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What is Foresight

Foresight is a set of strategic tools that support government and industry decisions by assessing the external environment with adequate lead time for preparation of a timely response.

Why foresight? Foresight is a tool to help you understand elements of the external environment, the stakeholder perspectives and interests and emerging trends and technologies. Policies and programs can then be designed that would address the changing environment. Foresight looks at the long term, recognizing that it will take time to do the research, design the products, build the capacity and design the policies and programs.

Foresight focuses on providing depth of insight and a forward orientation. It uses a variety of profiling and environmental assessment techniques to understand sectors, companies, markets, technology trends etc.

Foresight has been used by organizations to support decision makers to:

  • Understand new issues, challenges, stakeholders, or shifts in alignments;
  • Identify needs for new skills, knowledge and capabilities;
  • Highlight signals of possible disruptive surprises or emerging technologies;
  • Demonstrate policy or regulatory weaknesses;
  • Determine science priorities, strategic technologies and critical sectors;
  • Expose the limits of current policies and identify gaps to be filled;
  • Deliver intelligence on emerging business and market opportunities;
  • Provide alerts about threats and organizational vulnerabilities
  • In short, foresight contributes to better decisions, more robust policy, effective program design precision in research choices and insightful analysis.