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 7: Visions and visioning in foresight activities

Michael Søgaard Jørgensen


This chapter discusses the roles of visioning processes and visions in foresight activities and in societal discourses and societal changes in connection to foresight activities. The overall topic of the chapter can be characterised as the dynamics and mechanisms that make visions and visioning processes work or not work. In the chapter a vision is understood as a description of a desirable or preferable future, compared to a scenario which is understood as a description of a possible future. Visioning processes are understood as processes where a vision is developed or where visions get a role in societal discourses. A distinction is made between the visioning, which is part of a formalised foresight activity and where visions are developed, and visioning as societal activity in parallel to and after a foresight activity. The chapter presents an actor-network theory approach to the analyses of visions and visioning processes, where the shaping of the visions and the visioning and what has made them work or not work can be analysed. The first section provides a short introduction to three approaches to future thinking, including the visionary mode of thinking and the backcasting approach which combine development of visions and paths that may lead to the realisation of the visions.

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