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National Technology Foresight Activities Around the Globe: Resurrection and New Paradigms

: Grupp, H.; Linstone, H.A.


Technological forecasting and social change 60 (1999), Nr.1, S.85-94
ISSN: 0040-1625
Fraunhofer ISI ()
Technologie; Prognose; Technikbewertung

This contribution summarizes recent experiences in government or national technology forecasting which are now often termed 'foresight'. While the methodological tool kit changed from mathematical models to more qualitative scenarios or visions, the Delphi method has become the backbone of foresight projects. Recent national activities, being dealt with in this special issue, are compared in terms of thei comprehensives, their science versus industry orientation, and their analytic versus action-oriented targets. Although some of these are ongoing, we can discern several new foresight paradigms. From the perspectives of sociology and political sciences, foresight elements seem to be the means of communication (or the 'wiring up') for the negotiating systems of the society. From an economics and management point of view, foresight is helpful for benchmarking and for iniating feedback processes between future demand and present day investment in research and development. From a cultural point of view, the resurrection of foresight in the 1990s seems to be related to growing globalization and at the same time the recognition of national or regional innovation systems. Finally, in terms of international affairs supranational foresight seems to become an new venture.