Participation and Interaction in Foresight
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Participation and Interaction in Foresight

Dialogue, Dissemination and Visions

Edited by Kristian Borch, Sandra Dingli and Michael Søgaard Jørgensen

This illuminating book combines theory and practice to analyse the experiences and impacts of foresight activities in various European countries. It includes case studies with a focus on different societal issues including national development, science and technology, and sustainable development.
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Chapter 1: The role of interaction in foresight

Kristian Borch


Foresight is a broad term that covers different ways of thinking about the future. The COST Action 22: Foresight Methodologies – Exploring New Ways to Explore the Future was initiated in 2002 with the main objective being to develop certain aspects of foresight methodology so as to ensure their systematic use and optimization of benefits. A working group was established to explore and discuss the role of foresight in the interaction between researchers, decision-makers and the broader public. This book represents a systematic recapitulation of the discussions in the working group, including case study comparisons of a number of national foresight exercises and the theoretical considerations necessary to analyse these cases. Experience with public debate indicates that the more controversial the issue is, the greater the necessity of maintaining a multi-perspective dialogue between the stakeholders. However, such debate is often highly normative, reflecting the degree of aversion to risk and uncertainty of the stakeholders involved. Public authorities and their scientific advisers often find such subjective discussion difficult, and they may overlook the fact that solutions to many problems require multilateral dialogue across disciplines.

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