Foresight scenarios are not only useful presentational devices to show that many aspects of the future are open. Scenarios are means for generating advice that helps policymakers initiate actions in the present or near future that will be of long-term significance. Despite the influence that such advice may have on policy decisions, the Foresight literature has paid very little attention to the creation of policy recommendations. Though reports of scenario exercises frequently conclude with lists of recommendations that follow from the study, there is very little explication of the process whereby advice is elicited from the examination of these future scenarios. This paper addresses this gap, examining how the generation of recommendations is related to the development of scenarios within multiple future repositioning workshop settings. It focuses on the fluency and originality of these recommendations, and how this is influenced by repositioning participants in highly transformational scenarios. Repositioning is the process whereby participants are invited to imagine themselves playing roles in hypothetical future contexts, and on that basis to make decisions or devise strategies as if they actually were immersed in these circumstances. The method proposed and the findings of the case study have implications for why and how this future repositioning approach can be incorporated as a ‘key feature’ in the design of Foresight activities. The aim is also to raise awareness of the need for more exploration of Foresight recommendation methodology.
- European research area (ERA)