Modern futures studies assume that the future is not entirely determinable and that different future developments (‘futures’) are possible and there is scope for design. They are based on the realization that there are indeed a great number of possible futures but that these are not arbitrary.
The draft paper
The conference paper “Futures Studies and Future-oriented Technology Analysis. Principles, Methodology and Research Questions” was prepared by Rolf Kreibich, Britta Oertel and Michaela Wölk from the Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment, Berlin.
The latest version of the Foresight-Paper is available here.
Futures Studies, which are well understood as foresight today, and Future-oriented Technology analysis are concerned with complex dynamic systems and processes. They engage multiple stakeholders in participatory and interdisciplinary processes to assure distributed understanding and sustainable development. The workshop format enabled two working groups with different foci to generate further research questions: the distinction was made between methods for long-term orientation, which include horizon scanning, Transdisciplinary Technology Forecasting (e.g. Wild Cards) and methods which analyse the involvement of stakeholders through the Internet by scanning and sourcing the crowd. Thereby both the importance of addressing the socio-technical interrelations within the context of Internet and society and tailoring the approach according to the overall aim of Future-oriented Technology analysis were emphasized.