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Welcome & Introduction Nancy Donovan, US Government Accountability Office Ken Hunter, World Future Society Clem Bezold, Institute for Alternative Futures.

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Presentation on theme: "Welcome & Introduction Nancy Donovan, US Government Accountability Office Ken Hunter, World Future Society Clem Bezold, Institute for Alternative Futures."— Presentation transcript:

1 Welcome & Introduction Nancy Donovan, US Government Accountability Office Ken Hunter, World Future Society Clem Bezold, Institute for Alternative Futures Public Sector Foresight Network At the World Future Society Annual Meeting Sheraton Centre, Toronto July 27, 2012 Public Sector Foresight Network 1

2 Today’s Objectives & Agenda Objectives: Better understand foresight Support and encourage government foresight practitioners Share our aspirations for foresight, our activities and lessons Determine the future of the Public Sector Foresight Network Agenda: See copy Public Sector Foresight Network 2

3 Ground Rules – Get the most out of the meeting – Network – Share your aspirations, activities and lessons – Learn about others’ foresight – No direct marketing of foresight services or tools – Have fun – Use active listening – Chatham House rule: all statements are confidential unless participants give permission to be quoted – Set smart phones to stun except during breaks Public Sector Foresight Network 3

4 Our Roles – All – practitioners and supporters of foresight Some new, some experienced – Clem and Nancy – facilitators – Reporters/recorders – small groups will choose; volunteer Public Sector Foresight Network 4

5 Foresight Defined (1) foresight [/fɔrsaɪt, foʊr-/] noun – 1. provision for or insight into future problems, needs, etc. – 2. the act or ability of foreseeing – 3. the act of looking forward – 4. (Mathematics & Measurements / Surveying) Surveying a reading taken looking forwards to a new station, esp in levelling from a point of known elevation to a point the elevation of which is to be determined; Compare backsight backsight – 5. (Military / Firearms, Gunnery, Ordnance & Artillery) the front sight on a firearm Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003 Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged n. Perception of the significance and nature of events before they have occurred; care in providing for the future; prudence. The act of looking forward. American Heritage Dictionary Public Sector Foresight Network 5

6 Foresight Defined (2) FORESIGHT – Foresight involves taking a longer and broader view of decision-making. Foresight is used to provide early warning of emerging issues, understand challenges and opportunities, clarify vision and goals, and check the appropriateness and “robustness” of strategies. Foresight enables organizations, agencies, and communities to more wisely create their futures. Foresight is essentially about the future – a place for which there are no facts (it has not occurred yet). Key approaches to foresight include monitoring trends, developing forecasts and scenarios, checking assumptions and mental maps. – Institute for Alternative Futures, Wiser Futures Compendium 2011 Public Sector Foresight Network 6

7 Foresight Defined (3) ??? - PSFN definition? Public Sector Foresight Network 7

8 Foresight in the Public Sector Foresight happens in many places and for many reasons in government: – For Early Warning, Horizon Scanning – For Strategic Assessment – For Policy Formulation Technology Assessment Environmental Impact; Health and Equity Impact Assessment – In the Budget Process – In Evaluation/Oversight Public Sector Foresight Network 8

9 Public Sector Foresight Network 9

10 Organizational Position Trends, Forecasts, Scenarios Threats/ Opportunities Weaknesses/ Strengths Vision Achieved Core Competencies Critical Success Factors Future External Environment Internal Environment Strategies Vision Audacious Goals Foresight & Strategic Planning Public Sector Foresight Network 10

11 Foresight & the U.S. Congress Foresight is a component of each Committee’s responsibilities for wisely assessing the implementation of laws as well as the needs in the area of the committee’s jurisdiction. It could include, e.g., future research and forecasting on subjects within its jurisdiction. (House Rules) Agency strategic plans should contain “an identification of those key factors external to the agency and beyond its control that could significantly affect the achievement of the general goals and objectives” (GPRA Modernization Act of 2010) Public Sector Foresight Network 11

12 Overview of Foresight, Across Nations Jack Smith, foresight positions in Canada’s National Research Council, Office of National Science Advisor, and Department of Defense Public Sector Foresight Network 12

13 Overview of Canadian Foresight Peter Padbury, Director of Scanning and Foresight at Policy Horizons Canada, a foresight center in the Canadian Federal Government Public Sector Foresight Network 13

14 Overview of Foresight at GAO and other US Federal Agencies Nancy Donovan, Senior Analyst, Applied Research and Methods, US Government Accountability Office (GAO) Public Sector Foresight Network 14

15 Panel on Local Government Foresight Dewey Harris, Assistant County Manager, Catawba County John Jackson, Houston Police Department and Police Futurists International Leonard Matarese, Director of Research and Public Safety Programs at International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Public Sector Foresight Network 15

16 What Does Your Foresight Need? What tools, support, reinforcement do you/ your organization most need to do foresight well and have it be used effectively? Public Sector Foresight Network 16

17 Foresight in Specific Policy Areas Join a group to talk about foresight in the policy are you are most interested in or concerned about. How can the PSFN be helpful in the policy area you are discussing? Participants can choose among: – Security/defense related foresight, – Environment and Resources, – Others to be nominated at the session Discuss foresight in your policy area for about 15 minutes Public Sector Foresight Network 17

18 Sustaining Foresight and the Contribution of Foresight in a Downturn Public Sector Foresight Network 18

19 Foresight Methods and Approaches: What Do You Use? What methods/approaches do you use, e.g. (and see Jack Smith’s slides)? – Scanning – Assessing risk – security; technologies – Surveying the public – Forecasting – Scenarios – Modeling – Vision, Audacious Goals – Integration with Strategic Planning, Operational Planning – Evaluation frameworks with foresight Public Sector Foresight Network 19

20 Communicating & Measuring Foresight What are your most effective efforts to communicate your foresight activities or results? How do you judge success for your foresight work? – What are the measures/metrics? – How successful have your foresight efforts been? Public Sector Foresight Network 20

21 PSFN Options Going Forward Should PSFN continue? – Will you take part? – What is of greatest value to you? List serv vs. Yahoo groups or Google groups – Moderator? WFS membership or WFS professional membership? For the time being the website will be Public Sector Foresight Network 21

22 Onward Foresight! 4:50Concluding Thoughts 5:00No-host Reception Public Sector Foresight Network 22


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