Knowledge creation dynamics in foresight: A knowledge typology and exploratory method to analyse foresight workshops

Mikko Dufva, Toni Ahlqvist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


A typical foresight process involves stakeholders exploring the futures and interpreting the results to present actions. In other words, participants create knowledge about the future. Interaction between the participants is a key ingredient of foresight, yet this dynamic interaction has rarely been studied from the perspective of knowledge creation. In this paper, we aim to fill this gap by looking at how, and through what kinds of dynamics, knowledge is created in a foresight workshop; how it is manifested; and what are the special characteristics of futures knowledge. We develop a typology of knowledge in foresight workshops, and construct an exploratory methodological approach for analysing the knowledge creation dynamics in transcribed workshop discussions. Based on the results from the analysis of two workshop discussions, we argue that futures knowledge is founded on the knowledge base formed by the participants and new knowledge is created both through cumulative discussion flow and revelatory statements which reframe the discussion or challenge implicit assumptions. We argue that the typology of knowledge as well as the exploratory method aid in understanding futures expertise and support the planning of foresight processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-268
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • foresight
  • workshop
  • knowledge typology
  • futures knowledge
  • knowledge creation
  • foresight process


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