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The 3 rd International Seville Conference on Future- Oriented Technology Analysis (FTA) Impacts and implications for policy and decision making Sandy Thomas.

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Presentation on theme: "The 3 rd International Seville Conference on Future- Oriented Technology Analysis (FTA) Impacts and implications for policy and decision making Sandy Thomas."— Presentation transcript:

1 The 3 rd International Seville Conference on Future- Oriented Technology Analysis (FTA) Impacts and implications for policy and decision making Sandy Thomas Foresight, Government Office for Science

2 FTA st century challenges need enduring solutions Population Water resource and food production Energy security and supply Health and disease Environment and climate change Conflict and terrorism Sustainability

3 FTA 2008 Foresight Technology Assessment helping governments to think systematically about the future so that it can develop robust policies for the 21 st century By: Understanding what types of futures might be possible Challenging presumptions Building a more robust approach to the future

4 FTA 2008 Foresight… UK approach: Encompassed by FTA methods in 2003 paper Methods and Tools Contributing to FTA The Use and Impact of FTA for Policy and Decision Making FTA in Research and Innovation FTA in Security and Sustainability

5 FTA 2008 Foresight achieves this in 3 ways: 1.Foresight Projects: in depth studies looking at big issues years in the future 2.Foresight Horizon Scanning Projects: smaller projects looking at more discrete issues across the entire spectrum of public policy futures years in the future 3.Foresight Toolkits and Networks: look to build futures thinking and share best practice within and across government

6 FTA 2008 Previous projects Brain Science, Addiction and Drugs Detection and Identification of Infectious Diseases Intelligent Infrastructure Systems Tackling Obesities: Future Choices Cognitive Systems Flood and Coastal Defence Cyber Trust and Crime Prevention Exploiting the Electromagnetic Spectrum Sustainable Energy and the Built Environment Mental Capital and Wellbeing

7 FTA 2008 Who is involved? GCSA Core experts Foresight team Ministerial/High Level Stakeholder Group International contributors Expert Advisory Group Stakeholders eg NGOs, RCs Scientific & Engineering Experts

8 FTA 2008 Typical project structure Analysis and Implica- tions for policy Underpinning review of evidence base Systems mapping Scenario development Qualitative modelling of policy response impact Development of quantitative model and analysis Action Scoping

9 FTA 2008 Why a project on obesity? Data source: IOTF Source: IOTF Male Female Data shown for England and Scotland

10 FTA 2008 Reviewing the evidence base Epidemiology Basic biological processes The eating process Obesity determinants Behaviour change Activity environment Intervention strategies for prevention & treatment Lessons learned Policy & economic context Social & cultural context International context Ethics

11 FTA 2008 Numbers of obese overtake healthy weight around 2016 Data source: HSE Obese Healthy % Quantitative analysis (Adult females)

12 FTA 2008 Systems map Societal influences Individual psychology Biology Activity environment Individual activity Food Consumption Food Production 7 major sub-systems

13 FTA 2008 Values Individual Social RESPONSESRESPONSES anticipation and preparation for change react when the need to change is critical, focus on mitigation of impact. Scenario 1 Scenario 3 Scenario 2 Scenario 4 Scenario Development Key uncertainty 1: Societal values Key uncertainty 2: How we respond to challenges

14 FTA 2008 Response OptionsSC1SC2SC3SC4 BUILT ENVIRONMENT & TRANSPORT Health planning criteria in all procedures Improve perceptions of safety Increase walkability and cyclability HEALTH Targeted interventions Population interventions Focus on consequences RESEARCH Invest in post-hoc solution Evaluation toolkits FISCAL Tax obesity promoting food All organisations responsible for employee health Individually targeted fiscal measures EDUCATION Food literacy and skills programmes REGULATION Control food exposure SOCIAL STRUCTURE Directive approach to changing cultural norm Technology to support individual choice FAMILY Early life intervention Penalise parents for unhealthy children Impact on future obesity

15 FTA 2008 Technology roadmapping: Point-of-care diagnostics

16 FTA 2008 Impact - typical project outputs Comprehensive evidence base Visions of possible futures Implications for policy Follow up to achieve action

17 FTA 2008 UK impacts Flooding project Examined future flood risks and how Government should respond. Annual costs of £20 billion 2080 Impacts: HMT increased the annual budget for flood defence by c.£300m; The approach has now been adopted internationally to assess long term flood risks.

18 FTA 2008 Revised obesity target to reflect a broader ambition to achieve and maintain a healthy weight Established dedicated Obesity Unit within government reporting to a cross-departmental Ministerial Group and Cabinet Committee Obesity Unit supported by external Expert Advisory Group, Obesity Observatory and a Delivery Group Plans to establish a National Partnership with stakeholders Cross-government obesity strategy - Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives informed by the Foresight report The government response to obesity:

19 FTA 2008 Impact Influencing government policy: Improving the robustness of existing policies by acting as a stimulating challenge: UK Futures: Society & Economy 2030 (work in progress) Influencing research agendas: Investment in research, technology and systems development for detection of infectious diseases: Detection and Identification of Infectious Diseases Cognitive Sciences Research Programme

20 FTA 2008 Global impacts Infectious Diseases project Analysed how the threat from diseases will change in the future and how to respond. Strategic links Impacts On the Russian G8 summit Declaration on Infectious Diseases TSB £55M for diagnostics Southern African research network; African Union

21 FTA 2008 Global impacts EU Nutrition Platform European Centre for Disease Control Networking eg EFMN China - Taihu Basin flooding project Canadian Animal Health Strategy US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention

22 FTA 2008 Impact

23 FTA 2008 Current projects Mental Capital and Wellbeing (MCW) Sustainable Energy Management and the Built Environment (SEMBE) - Sustainability, Security Land Use Futures (LUF) - Sustainability Future of Food and Farming - Sustainability

24 FTA 2008 The principal stages of the Foresight Mental Capital and Wellbeing Project

25 FTA 2008 Horizon scanning is… Beyond a single expected future to a range of possible futures to consider implications for todays decisions Looking ahead – beyond usual timescales Looking across – beyond usual sources

26 FTA 2008 Evidential tools for HSC Delta Scan: cutting-edge S&T perspectives Sigma Scan: synthesis of global futures work Outsights / Ipsos MORI Institute for the Future

27 FTA 2008 Current HSC projects International Futures Project UK Futures: Society & economy 2030 Future of Families 2030 Future of Communities Wider Implications of Science and Technology (WIST) Future of Local Services to the Public

28 FTA 2008 Challenges Achieving impact Focus on long term FTA Methodologies More social science Sharing best practice

29 FTA 2008 Conclusion Foresight increasingly accepted in policy making Foresight is respected for its strategic impact on policy, through evidence based, peer reviewed analysis A key role in helping government think beyond the short term to identify enduring solutions

30 FTA 2008 Foresight website More information about Foresight can be found at:

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