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Policy learning from two rounds of Swedish Technology Foresight Lennart Lübeck Innovation Policy Learning: Change in Thinking - Change in Doing? 23-24.

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Presentation on theme: "Policy learning from two rounds of Swedish Technology Foresight Lennart Lübeck Innovation Policy Learning: Change in Thinking - Change in Doing? 23-24."— Presentation transcript:

1 Policy learning from two rounds of Swedish Technology Foresight Lennart Lübeck Innovation Policy Learning: Change in Thinking - Change in Doing? May, Stockholm, Sweden

2 Swedish Foresight History Feasibility studies Technology Foresight, first round 1999 Technology Hindsight 1999 Panel work 2000 – 01 Implementation Technology Foresight, Second round

3 First Round Objectives To strengthen a futures-oriented approach in companies and organisations To identify areas of expertise with potential for growth and renewal in Sweden

4 Major Features of the First Round Not initiated by government (but supported) Four public and private sponsors Generous financial support Classical thematic panel approach No Delphi, some scenario use On-line evaluation No detailed plan for implementation at outset, only dissemination

5 Panel Reports of the First Round Only in Swedish

6 The Foresighted Society (in English)

7 Successes of the First Round Wide acceptance of Foresight as a powerful process Mindsetting and networking among participants highly appreciated Industrial participation very satisfactory The reaction was good, the action better than expected

8 Lessons Learned for the Second Round Mission definition very important Need for scientific guidance of process Societal problems must be professionally treated Risk analysis should be included More time allowed for analysis

9 Mission Definition Who are the most important users? Which are the questions to which they really need the answers? Which process can find these answers?

10 Second Round Objectives Create the basis for setting priorities in R&D and education Create a broad basis for other in-depth foresight studies to be performed in other sectors of society Increase understanding about the role of technology for Swedish prosperity Identify improvement areas in the Swedish innovation system Increase long-term thinking and pro-activity Provide an arena for a broad discussion about technology-related issues about the future

11 Major Features of the Second Round Encouraged but not organised by government Even wider sponsorship Totally different panel approach Use of Delphi and scenarios considered (but not implemented)

12 Sponsors of the Second Round The Swedish Industrial Development Fund The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) The Knowledge Foundation The Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO) The Swedish Business Development Agency (NUTEK) The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise The Swedish Research Council The Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA)

13 Six operational questions Which images of the future do we believe in? Which are the most important strategic choices to make? What knowledge do we need in order to make these strategic choices? Which areas can provide Sweden with most growth? What barriers and opportunities are there in the Swedish innovation system? How should we continue foresight activity in the future?

14 Five New Panels Other national foresights - an international perspective Updating the first Swedish Technology Foresight Technologys context (geopolitics, globalisation, demography, change of values etc.) Paradigm-shaping innovations Synthesis and recommendations

15 Technology Foresight II Other national foresights Updating TF1 (Six panels) Other input Technologys context Paradigm-shaping innovations Synthesis Other national foresights Seven update reports Choosing Strategies for Sweden Inspiration for Innovation To be determined ActivitiesReports Communications & dialogue Foresight methodology Identification of future research-based growth areas The wider context Independent Backwards continuity International benchmarking

16 Main messages Sweden must dare to prioritize and specialize in both R&D and regional terms Sweden faces six crucial strategic choices The countrys future competitiveness and success require decisions and actions now Non-decisions will have consequences as great as active decisions, and usually they are worse Sweden is a small part of the world, so we need to take concerted action In order to prioritize, choose, make decisions and take such concerted action, we need a vision: a shared focus for the years ahead

17 Our key strategic choices Sweden – a part of the world Prioritizing and focusing Concentrating our resources on investments and projects for the future Modernizing public sector commitments Taking advantage of human resources Ensuring a sustainable society

18 Web site

19 So much for what was done….. What about Policy Learning? Let us have a look at the evaluation made by Technopolis…

20 The six operational questions not really addressed (Technopolis evaluation) Which images of the future do we believe in? Which are the most important strategic choices to make? What knowledge do we need in order to make these strategic choices? Which areas can provide Sweden with most growth? What barriers and opportunities are there in the Swedish innovation system? How should we continue foresight activity in the future?

21 Operational use of reports needs answers to these questions (Technopolis evaluation) What are the steps for moving from options to making choices? How would one make the choice? Using what criteria? Based on what understanding of the likely consequences of alternative choices? Who would make the choices? Based on what kind of legitimacy?

22 Lessons about context (Technopolis evaluation) Identifying customers and connecting with the context are key to achieving policy impacts Lack of absorptive and strategic intelligence capacity in the Swedish ministries We have politics but no policy. Agencies make policy, so they are the main beneficiaries of Foresight

23 Overall conclusions (Technopolis evaluation) Moving from technology to a more social form of foresight was too ambitious Intervention logic was not well worked out No customers able to take action on the findings Ends with a call for debate rather than a clear set of conclusions or options This is not the time for another Foresight

24 So we did not quite achieve what we set out to do, but nevertheless the second Technology Foresight was very useful, because….

25 Overall conclusions (Technopolis evaluation) As with other foresights, process benefits were important Network relationships have been strengthened, and this has led to new policy initiatives Now easier to co-ordinate within the fragmented Swedish R&D funding system Foresight and other debates led to major shift in Swedish research policy towards use- oriented R&D and building critical mass.

26 And the sponsors were happy..... The Swedish Industrial Development Fund The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) The Knowledge Foundation The Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO) The Swedish Business Development Agency (NUTEK) The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise The Swedish Research Council The Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA)

27 Final statement (Technopolis evaluation) The Foresight experience should highlight for policy makers the difficulties of setting priorities in the fragmented Swedish system. In this context, for the second Foresight alone to achieve its objectives is arguably mission impossible. The need for a debate about the future has not gone away, but an equally urgent debate is needed about governance of research and innovation funding in Sweden.


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