The Future of Foresight

The Government in the Lab blog has an interesting April 8 post looking at current government foresight efforts, including initiatives at the Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Air Force and Department of Veterans Affairs, among others at the federal and state levels. Thinking about the long-term future becomes particularly important when the short-term budget outlook is so bleak, the post concludes.

“Strategic foresight is not futurist forecasting, nor is it the sole purvey of Popular Science magazine, the World Future Society, or the Jetson Family,” the blog says. “It is about having the imagination to be prepared for what may come, regardless of which scenario occurs – it’s a mindset, not a process.” The post suggest the need for greater cross-agency work on foresight, emphasizing the need to show the value of foresight to policymakers (including the costs of not being prepared).

The post also references Leon Fuerth’s recent report on the subject, Anticipatory Governance. Fuerth visited the Wilson Center late last year to discuss the report, while the Science & Technology Innovation Program in January held a launch event for the Global Futures Intelligence System and the 2012 State of the Future report.


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