Foresight is a systematic way of reaching systematic information about the future in order to build on average or the long-term developmental vision, its directions and priorities, and in this context making current decisions and encouraging joint actions.
Foresight is an undertaking popularized worldwide during the last two decades of the 20th century. It is aimed at a recommendation and assessment of prospective needs, opportunities and threats related to the social and economic development and preparing appropriate actions in the field of science and technology. Both, foresight process as well as its results, are being used above all as the way of creating, then implementing science, technology, and innovation policies at different levels, from subregional to supranational. Moreover, foresight processes are a tool of developing the culture of thinking about the future in the society. They usually involve representatives of national and regional authorities, industry, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, research organisations, and the broad society to open, focused discussion on the future. The foresight results inform decision-makers of new trends in development of science, technology, economy, and society, help to reach a consensus concerning development scenarios, allow to harmonize social partners (government, scientific and industrial communities, small and large companies, economic sectors). They are helpful in establishing criteria of financing the science and technology.
World-first foresight programmes had been initiated in Japan and the USA. Later on, different foresight exercises have been conducted in such countries as South Korea, New Zealand, or Turkey. As the modern tool of planning and conducting the science and technology policy it is recommended and widely applied in the EU countries. National foresight programmes have been conducted in Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Ireland, Hungary, the Czech Republic since the 90's of the 20th century, and implemented in shaping the long term development strategies.The results have pointed out the most relevant socially economic sectors, actions and priorities in the sphere of the research and technology development on which a financial state aid should concentrate. Other EU contries followed in the first decade of the 21st century, including the New Member States that acceded in 2004-2007, among them Poland The content of foresight.pl presents the results of policy-related foresight projects that have been initiated and conducted in Poland since 2002, where the first Polish organisation has been admitted to the European Science and Technology Observatory (ESTO) affilliated at the DG JRC of the European Commission. The National Foresight Programme 2007-2008 and over 50 other projects financed from the ERDF within mainly the Competitive Enterpises and Innovative Economy Operational Programmes are also reported. Nowadays, foresight is becoming increasingly a modern tool of corporate policy building which is reflected in the information on foresight methods and opportunities to organise a corporate foresight exercise published in the section "Foresight". The International Centre for Decision Science and Forecasting (CDSF) takes care about the timeliness of the overall content. All those interested in contributing to the sections "Publications", "Projects", "Conferences", "News", or other with a new content are encouraged to use the appropriate interactive forms and the general contact form provided in the section "Contact".
Diagram of the interdependences of foresight research areas (own study of the Progress and Businss Foundation)