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Foresight Impact on Policy-making: Insights from the FORLEARN mutual learning process Olivier DA COSTA, Philine WARNKE Fabiana SCAPOLO, Cristiano CAGNIN.

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Presentation on theme: "Foresight Impact on Policy-making: Insights from the FORLEARN mutual learning process Olivier DA COSTA, Philine WARNKE Fabiana SCAPOLO, Cristiano CAGNIN."— Presentation transcript:

1 Foresight Impact on Policy-making: Insights from the FORLEARN mutual learning process Olivier DA COSTA, Philine WARNKE Fabiana SCAPOLO, Cristiano CAGNIN European Commission / Joint Research Centre / Institute for Prospective Technological Studies

2 Outline FOR-LEARN project Why revisiting the impact of Foresight on policy making? What? Can Foresight contribute to policy making Contribution of Foresight to policy-making 1.Informing policy 2.Facilitating policy implementation Three additional functions 3.Supporting policy definition 4.Embedding participation 5.Reorienting the policy system How? Can Foresight contribute to policy making Nine emerging guidelines for high impact on policy making

3 FOR-LEARN Project Part of the Foresight Knowledge Sharing Platform initiated by DG Research Objectives: Consolidation and improvement of accessibility to Foresight knowledge and know-how Promotion Foresight throughout Europe Advancement of Foresight knowledge Through Codification and dissemination of Foresight knowledge Direct support to people embarking into Foresight Mutual learning between relevant actors To transfer existing knowledge To address knowledge gaps

4 FOR-LEARN Learning Cycle Foresight Learning Cycle WP1 Online Foresight guide WP1 Online Foresight guide WP2 Online Query WP2 Online Query WP3 Mutual Learning Workshop WP3 Mutual Learning Workshop Expertise for the support to practitioners Knowledge gaps Feedback to update the guide Foresight Learning Cycle WP1 Online Foresight guide WP1 Online Foresight guide WP2 Online Query WP2 Online Query WP3 Mutual Learning Workshop WP3 Mutual Learning Workshop Expertise for the support to practitioners Knowledge gaps Feedback to update the guide Information about Foresight such as what it is what it can do for you and what not. Practical guidance on how to design and carry a Foresight exercise Detailed description and implementation advises of Foresight methods Case studies of past and current exercises Links to debates and research issues To promote Transfer and consolidation of knowledge Codification of practises Research on knowledge gaps Different types Bilateral (in support of a specific exercise, ex Romanian) Multilateral (addressing a knowledge gap with experts) Consolidation (presenting results to a larger audience) Individual and targeted support to practitioners, especially beginners Direct answer Reference to other sources or contacts Possibly set-up of a Mutual Learning Workshop to focus on the issue

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6 Mutual Learning workshop series on the impact of Foresight on policy-making 1.Seville Dec 05– Positioning of Foresight in the policy making system – Framing the debate 2.Brussels April 06– Towards practical conclusions – Adaptive Foresight and other inroads to policy 3.Seville Sept 06 – The policy-maker perspective 4.Seville Dec 06 - Consolidation workshop – Presenting the results to a wider audience Capture further reactions to refine and validate the outcomes Foster wide dissemination of FOR-LEARN insights Reflect on future activities

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8 Why revisiting impact on policy-making? Experience allows for review of lessons learned Increasing emphasis on impact assessment and on value for money Exercises launched to respond to a specific demand Shift of emphasis from product to process Impact on policy needs to be redefined Debate on new types of policy-support instruments and new modes of governance Need to position Foresight

9 What? Can Foresight contribute to policy making

10 2 + 3 functions 1.Informing policy 2.Facilitating policy implementation 3.Supporting policy definition 4.Embedding participation 5.Reorienting the policy system

11 Two core functions of Foresight for policy making (model) Actor Policy Actor Facilitating policy implementation Foresight process Foresight product Informing policy

12 Anticipatory intelligence Dynamics of change (scenarios, roadmaps) Future opportunities & threats Strengths & weaknesses of the current system for addressing future challenges (e.g. skills & competencies available) Visions for change Recommendations for action Based on a diversity of knowledge sources Stakeholders views Viewpoints and expectations in reference to a policy field New ideas from new channels 1: Informing policy Policy Informing policy Foresight product

13 (over)simplification and formatting for the messages to go through: indicators, ranking... General framework policy advice Increasing the bandwidth Huge basis of material in the Society, Academy, Industry Optimising the signal Transmitting more relevant, useable and operational material Improving reception Improving credibility by giving good advises Making thing interesting rather than boring Increasing the bandwidth Creating mechanisms of consultations at different steps of policy-making Coupling qualitative with quantitative Using parallel channels of attention: pictures, movies… Using the media Problematic of policy-making often on a reduced basis Optimising the signal Improving reception Structuring knowledge from diverse sources through targeted dialogue

14 Within the targeted arena of change: Common ground Linkages & interfaces Combinations between elements (e.g. institutions, companies, people, knowledge, beliefs, technologies, products) Joint visions Learning platforms Soft coordination Awareness of policy objectives, strategy and constraints Willingness to contribute to policy implementation because of agreement with the goal to reach and even feeling of ownership Distributed intelligence Shared information as an input to decision-making for various actors and stakeholders beyond policy-makers Policy benefit: Enhanced receptivity of the system and thereby its capability to react to future challenges and to evolve in phase with policy 2: Facilitating policy implementation Actor Policy Actor Foresight process Facilitating change

15 NB: Policy facilitating as a crucial element of Research and Innovation policy Need for systemic instruments (Smits & Kuhlmann 2004) in innovation policy complementing classical steering approaches Drivers for the need for systemic instruments Central role of networks and interfaces within knowledge society Insight into co-evolution between technology and societal context Broadening of decision-making procedures Multi level governance Focus of systemic instruments Management of interfaces Facilitate new combinations of elements within a system Providing a platform for learning and experimenting Providing an infrastructure for (distributed) strategic intelligence Stimulating demand articulation and common visions Benefit for R&I policy Enhanced connectivity Enhanced responsiveness Enhanced capability for innovation

16 Actors Policy Actors Foresight product Informing policy Actors Facilitating policy implementation Dynamics of change Future risks & opportunities System capabilities New ideas & visions Stakeholders views Building amongst stakeholders: Common ground Soft coordination Distributed intelligence Foresight process

17 Three additional functions Refined through the Mutual Learning process 1.Supporting policy definition Establishing a linkage to implementation 2.Embedding participation Improving governance of policy-making 3.Reorienting the policy system Adapting it to changing context and challenges

18 F Supporting policy definition Problem: Anticipatory intelligence is not easily translated into options for policy definition, even more so if it stems from a collective process Reluctance of policy makers to communicate their agenda within open process Danger of blocking the creative process Lack of understanding about real needs of policy makers To contribute to implementation, informing and facilitating are not enough. Support for policy definition is a possible function of Foresight that has to be addressed explicitly

19 F Embedding participation A new infrastructure for participatory democracy: improving governance in complex systems Improve the transparency of policy-making process Improve the legitimacy of policy-making process Especially for policy with long-term impact or large budget spending Crisis of (S&T) expertise Restoring trust afterwards Better identification of citizens with policy Building policy on societal debates Trigger societal debate about central issues (also access to media via Foresight) Making societal values explicit Evolution towards shared values

20 F Reorienting the policy system New configurations of policy-making bodies around new conceptualisations of topics e.g. establishment of linkages between ministries Better ability to address future challenges

21 Evaluation Agenda- setting FORESIGHT Policy definition Ex-ante impact analysis Learning Implementation Understanding of changes Receptivity of the system New ideas Legitimacy, transparency Visions Policy options New configurations

22 Compatibility of the functions A Foresight exercise can fulfil several of the functions but: Not everything can be achieved simultaneously and with the same approach Need to tailor phases to functions with different: Levels of stakeholder participation Modes of policy involvement Methods Adaptive Foresight (WS2)

23 Tailoring Phases to Functions From vision to action Diversity and level of participation A few decision- makers Citizen participatio n Large societal debate Stakeholder expert groups Phase I: Diagnosis Vision How to get there + recommendations Measures, actions Diagnosis Phase II: Exploration Phase III: Strategic orientation Phase IV: Making choices Phase V: Implementation and coordination

24 How? Can Foresight contribute to policy making

25 How can Foresight achieve these contributions? Towards guidelines for good impact 1.Tailoring phases to functions 2.Analysis of the policy context 3.Adding a strategic counselling phase 4.Shaping within boundaries 5.Involvement of policy makers in the design 6.Involvement of policy makers in the process 7.Building a reservoir of knowledge 8.Addressing choices and values 9.Smart communication

26 1. Tailoring phases to functions From vision to action Diversity and level of participation A few decision- makers Citizen participatio n Large societal debate Stakeholder expert groups Phase I: Diagnosis Vision How to get there + recommendations Measures, actions Diagnosis Phase II: Exploration Phase III: Strategic orientation Phase IV: Making choices Phase V: Implementation and coordination

27 2. Analysis of the policy context Issue Foresight outcomes are only taken onboard if the exercise is adequately embedded into the specific policy context Approach Careful analysis of policy-context in terms of Nature of decision making process (who is involved, who is affected, what are the formal procedures) What other input is being fed into the process? What are related ongoing decision making processes (e.g. planning) Positioning in reference to these other ongoing policy processes Taking into account policy culture

28 3. Adding a strategic counselling phase 3. Adding a strategic counselling phase Issue: Supporting policy definition without loosing complexity and creativity in collective process Approach Specific strategic counselling phase for some policy- oriented exercises Concept: Joint translation of outcomes from a collective exercise into strategic options for a specific policy actor (e.g. ministry) Keeping protected spaces for creativity Not diverting collective process with the constraints of implementation Outcome: Future-oriented strategies in specific policy fields (e.g. adaptive, robust) adapted to the needs of a specific policy actor

29 Strategic counselling phase Strategic counselling phase Policy Product: Informing Collective Foresight Process: Facilitating Strategy Phase Adapted strategic options

30 4. Shaping within boundaries Issue Future is shaped by complex interplay of global drivers which often can be little influenced by policy client (especially in small countries) Approach Accept the need to adapt to the future as shaped by others Make effort to identify space of manoeuvre as part of the exercise Might be more than obvious at first sight! E.g. scenario building: definition of system/drivers Divergence and convergence: focus recommendations on where it can make a difference without reducing complexity of holistic analysis

31 5. Involvement of policy makers in the design Issue Mutual ignorance?? Often the Foresight practitioners are treating the policy making system as a black box with a static demand that they expect the policy client to communicate to them. Policy makers do not want to open the "Pandora box" of Foresight methodology but rather expect the practitioners to arrange the exercise to fulfil their needs without having a clear picture of what kind of needs Foresight could be addressing. Approach Joint design of the exercise between Foresight team and policy client. More than just a one off consultation… … but a real attempt to create trust and mutual understanding More than communication of a pre-existing demand… … but co-construction of demand

32 Policy-makers Foresight practitioners Pandora box Better not try to see what is inside Mutual ignorance Cannot see what is inside

33 6. Involvement of policy makers in the process Issue Finding the right balance of policy makers involvement Policy-makers require external and neutral advice But they may not, without early involvement, embrace the outcomes (Not Invented Here) Presence of policy makers encourages lobbying rather than creative thinking Approach Finding specific roles for policy makers in the process Windows of policy interaction & windows of seclusion (cf. adaptive Foresight)

34 7. Building a reservoir of knowledge Issue Precise answers to precise questions usually not possible, neither always desirable, on the spot. Being in phase is desirable but often not possible. Changing policy agenda, different time scales Difficult to be in phase: Foresight slower than policy-making Not always possible to go through the supporting policy definition phase Aversion against prescriptions of some policy makers Approach As an alternative to the policy definition phase… Try to be in phase with policy making e.g. by anticipating policy debates but in parallel: Conceptualise outcomes as a reservoir of possible policy options (rather than prioritisation or recommendations) that can be adopted by different actors at different times Even in case of major changes, e.g. elections

35 8. Addressing choices and values Issue Policies need to be linked to normative objectives such as sustainability, quality of life etc. Stakeholders need to be convinced that the policy results from a choice, not a lack of choice Counter-example: French referendum on European Constitution Approach Linking explicitly the exploration of the future with debates about choices and values Not only possible futures but also desirable futures

36 9. Smart communication Issue: Policy makers are Under severe time pressure Troubled by information overload Not always relevant, reliable Speed of change & uncertainty Increasing complexity of issues Multi-dimensional: S&T, economic, cultural & social, political, environmental Inter-connection, inter-dependency, multi-causal Good old fashioned control system not applicable, You can never change one thing Difficulty to switch modes dealing with urgency long-term thinking Challenge to transmit complexity and long term thinking Approach Targeted use of up-to-date communication techniques Communication strategy tailored to policy makers Communication via stakeholder involvement and media 50 cm / day

37 Thank you for your attention!

38 Discussion Consolidated outcomes from the mutual learning process Five functions of Foresight for policy making Nine guidelines for good policy impact Now jointly with all contributors Validate, criticise Refine, complement Propose modes of communication Identify needs to go deeper

39 Issues to be discussed tomorrow Further dissemination of FORLEARN activities & products Needs of the Foresight community for mutual learning and cooperation within the European Research Area Topics for Mutual Learning series next year


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