Title: Responsiveness in foresight management: reflections from the Finnish food and drink industry

Authors: Ahti Salo, Totti Konnola, Mari Hjelt

Addresses: Systems Analysis Laboratory, Helsinki University of Technology, P.O. Box 1100, 02015 HUT, Finland. ' Gaia Group Oy, Bulevardi 6 A, 00120 Helsinki, Finland. ' Gaia Group Oy, Bulevardi 6 A, 00120 Helsinki, Finland

Abstract: Based on experiences from participatory foresight exercises and a recent foresight study for the Finnish food and drink industries, we elaborate three overarching objectives for foresight activities, i.e. improved systems understanding, enhanced networking and strengthened innovation activities. We also argue that foresight is an inherently creative (and hence uncertain) activity where success depends on how adequately combinations of analytical and communicative methods are adopted in relation to possibly evolving foresight objectives. Specifically, we postulate that responsiveness to shifting stakeholder interests and expectations may be required in the definition and pursuit of foresight objectives; this, in turn, has implications for decision-making structures and methodological choices. Some of these implications are highlighted by describing a foresight study for the Finnish food and drink industries.

Keywords: innovation policy; participatory policy analysis; research and technology programmes; technology foresight; Finland

DOI: 10.1504/IJFIP.2004.004622

International Journal of Foresight and Innovation Policy, 2004 Vol.1 No.1/2, pp.70 - 88

Available online: 24 May 2004 *

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