Presentation on theme: "Applying Foresight Methodology to the Romanian Higher Education System Workshop: Innovation management Zagreb, Croatia – May 2011 Presenters: Irina Bujor,"— Presentation transcript:
Applying Foresight Methodology to the Romanian Higher Education System Workshop: Innovation management Zagreb, Croatia – May 2011 Presenters: Irina Bujor, Bucharest, Romania Campbell Warden, Tenerife, Spain Authors: Irina Bujor Ozcan Saritas Campbell Warden
What is TF? TF consists of an organised collection of activities making up an exercise with the following characteristics: 1.- an open and collective process of purposeful, future oriented exploration;
What is TF? 2.- it involves deliberation between heterogeneous actors in science and technology arenas; 3. - it has the objective of formulating shared visions and strategies that take better account of future opportunities and threats (ForeIntegra-RI, 2007).
A more flexible definition... The foresight process involves intense iterative periods of open reflection, networking, consultation and discussion, leading to the joint refining of future visions and the common ownership of strategies, with the aim of exploiting long term opportunities opened up through the impact of science, technology and innovation on society...
A more abstract definition... The discovery of a common space for open thinking on the future and the incubation of strategic approaches..." (Jennifer Cassingena-Harper, Malta Council for Science and Technology)
Please note ! The stress placed upon the way in which foresight activities are linked to the joint formulation and ownership of strategies. ! This perspective avoids the treatment of foresight and its implementation as separate processes, without serious attempts to build bridges between the two.
Foresight does not seek to predict: it is a process that seeks to create shared visions of the future, visions that stakeholders are willing to endorse by the actions they choose to take today. foresight is focused on influencing the development of the future.
Attributes of TF Foresight considers multiple futures, which may include possible, plausible and desirable futures; Foresight is an action-oriented activity; Foresight is a participative activity. The important thing to note is that TF does not replace forecasting, futures studies, or strategic planning. Each activity has its role, which in many instances can be mutually supportive.
Some goals for TF are: Exploring future opportunities so as to set priorities for investment in science and innovation activities: The degree to which priorities can emerge from foresight varies from "critical technologies exercises, where the whole discourse is focussed on a priority list, through more general programmes from which priorities are derived, to targeted foresight where the priorities are in effect set before foresight begins.
Some goals for TF are: Reorienting the Science & Innovation System: This goal is related to priority setting but goes further. In such cases, there may have been a preliminary diagnosis that the science and innovation system does not match the needs of the country.
The situation in Croatia This was a common perception in parts of Central and Eastern Europe in the immediate post-Communist period when, apart from severe resource difficulties, capabilities reflected an industrial system that no longer existed. What do you think?
Applying TF to real life… In this context it has been proposed that Foresight can be used as a tool to re-orientate away from some fields and towards others, as well as to explore new institutional structures. Which institutional structures do you think should be revised and developed in Croatia?
Some goals for TF are: Demonstrating the vitality of the Science and Innovation System: In this context foresight becomes a "shop window" to demonstrate the technological opportunities that are available and to assess the capability of science and industry to fulfil that promise.
Have new science and industry capabilities been developed recently in Croatia? Which ones? How? Have lessons been learned that could be applied to other fields? What will be the future engines of innovation and social development here?
Some goals for TF are: Bringing new actors into the strategic debate: A growing tendency is the use of foresight as an instrument to broaden the range of actors engaged in science and innovation policy. One example is the inclusion of social stakeholders, sections of the general public and University students.
Some goals for TF are: Building new networks and linkages across fields, sectors & markets or around problems: A different type of reorientation is sought when foresight is explicitly aimed at creating new networks and/or clusters that break out of long- standing disciplinary or sectoral silos.
Foresight (future studies) In futures studies the term "foresight" has become widely used to describe activities such as: critical thinking concerning long-term developments critical thinking debate and efforts to create wider participatory democracy debateparticipatory democracy shaping the future, especially by influencing public policy.public policy
Foresight Participatory method Stakeholders
Who are the stakeholders? Stakeholders – any group or individual who can affect or is affected by the achievement of the organizations objectives (Freeman, 1984) – individuals or groups that are, or perceive themselves as being, affected by or interested in the decision-making on a certain issue (van der Kerkhof, 2001)
Participation and communication in the Foresight landscape Saritas et al. (2008)
Mobilization of stakeholders
Context and Rationale The Romanian educational system has faced many challenges and reforms over the past 20 years. Key focus points: -The purpose of Higher Education is learning how to learn; - Opening up the Romanian Higher Education to: foreign staff, private investment = Internationalization.
Context and Rationale -Public sector funding across Europe will be strained due to the ageing population and the debt incurred leading up to the financial crisis; The University system by 2025 will be very different from 2010! - Universities and business will need to collaborate to deliver learning. - The anticipated decline in the Romanian population to 2025;
Context and Rationale - The evolution of e-learning -> electronic delivery of HE; - Students will need: -> better information and access, -> to be more focused -> become assertive, -> learn to personalize their own education paths.
The Main Methods of the Consultation Process The process of building a vision involves creating a sustainable dialogue between the main actors in the system and developing a cluster of associated policies in higher education. The main methods used for the community consolidation are: Viral questionnaire of nominalization-co nominalization; Brainstorming sessions; Scanning literature; Analysis of current state; Analysis of drivers of change; Developing scenarios; Delphi consultation.
Understanding scenarios = Plausible hypotheses about the ways in which external forces can evolve to impact us. Capturing opportunities, future conditions, threats and obstacles which we cannot influence. Shows us all the possible milestones and shortcuts encountered on our way to achieving a specific goal.
Scenario Difficulties The instability of the current education regulatory system (and educational policies); Reluctance to change, lack of incentives (universities, individuals and companies); Poor cooperation between the universities and industry; Inadequate school education prior to university studies; A non-consistent qualification system with respect to labor force demands.
Conclusions Activation of the policy community at the level of Romanian higher education, but at the same time generating a new dynamic within this community. In order to encourage the maintenance of the dialogue, a series of complementary elements were developed, which contribute to preserving the interest at the level of the community: - the FORwiki platform -a guide on foresight at university level -the Observatory for Higher Education
Contribution to the development of the community of associated policies through increasing the visibility of community members, identifying the problems, making explicit the policy paradigm, ensuring the space for dialogue, and even creating the premises for continuing this dialogue beyond the consultation period. This ongoing project has encountered several types of constraints and limitations, some of them epistemic in nature and some of a more practical sort, and they will pose as a threat to the implementation of the project results. Conclusions