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Journal of the National Research University Higher School of Economics

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E-ISSN 2500-2597

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Marcus Bussey

Conceptual Frameworks of Foresight and Their Effects: Typology and Applications

2013. Vol. 7. No. 3. P. 64–73 [issue contents]
Marcus Bussey — Lecturer in History and Futures, Faculty of Arts and Business, and Research Fellow in Regional Futures,Sustainability Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast. Address: University of the Sunshine Coast, Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore DC, Queensland, 4558 Australia. E-mail: MBussey@usc.edu.au

This article assesses foundational concepts in foresight and futures studies. It uses terms matching definitions supplied by other scholars.  It argues that certain concepts underly the practice of foresight; although each foresight context and practitioner are unique, they come together under these concepts and give coherence to foresight and futures practice. Clarity regarding the conceptual framework of foresight practice strengthens the field and enables better decision making on the choice of tools to guide and validate practice.

There are two principally distinct approaches to elaborating future strategies — open and closed. The first presumes quest and comparison of alternatives, behavior toward risk, and personal and social resilience. The second presumes risk aversion, or relying on a «proven» pattern while weeding out unsustained ideas and initiatives. The latter results in decreasing personal and social resilience. The article evaluates conditions fostering one or the other approach. An appreciation of the relative «closedness» or «openness» of any context allows looking for elements that either enable or block the shift from closed to open futures. Much of the foresight practitioner’s work involves helping stakeholders undertake such an inquiry and seeding the resilience needed to manage both the turbulence and the ensuing uncertainty that results from this shift.

The author believes that seeing foresight work and the futures thinking that accompanies it as promoting the journey from closed to open futures is a powerful insight into why foresight practice is so exciting.

 

Citation: Bussey M. (2013) Kontseptual'nye osnovy Forsayt-issledovaniy i ikh effekty: klassifikatsiya i prakticheskoe primenenie [Conceptual Frameworks of Foresight and Their Effects: Typology and Applications]. Foresight-Russia, vol. 7, no 3, pp. 64-73 (in Russian)
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