Knowledge for Development

Foresighting

Marie de Lattre-Gasquet, in her lead article, says that the foresight process provides an opportunity for the world, and especially for ACP countries, to invent sustainable patterns of production and consumption and explore new lifestyles. The author describes the trends related to ST&I, knowledge development and agriculture to show that the future depends on those involved in agriculture and rural development and that ST&I influence agricultural research and development and the other way round. To explain the idea that foresight aims at better investment decisions Neill Allan, in his lead article first explains the why, how, what and when of Foresight. He provides examples, among which several ACP cases, that are well underway to providing benefits. The lead articles are supported by background material in the form of web links to organizations, think-tanks, research groups, journals that deal with foresight. Further, an overview is given of articles that one can easily access and download for further reading on foresight and its role and meaning for agricultural and rural development. This folder has been edited by Judith Francis (CTA) and Jacqueline Sluijs (KIT). March-April 2009

Foresight - a spotlight on future opportunity

by Neill Allan, UK Director, Ability Europe Limited
The idea behind foresight is that better investment decisions will be made if the longer term future is taken into account. To do this, there needs to be a receptive and competent culture, resources and a reliable process and methodology to drive forward the policy into tangible benefit. This article reflects on how this is done and provides some results of foresighting work in a few countries. 21/04/2009
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INRA carries out mission-oriented research for better food and nutrition, preservation of the environment and competitive, sustainable agricultural practices. In its research policies the institute uses foresight as a tool to plan for the future and to provide elements of reflection that contribute to the discussion and choice of priorities.INRA has a special Foresight Unit which is involved in more studies related to foresighting and agriculture. Among the studies that are in progress or have been completed are the following titles: Agriculture 2013: a foresight study for French agriculture; Agrimonde: agriculture and food in the world of 2050; Poultry foresight study: the French poultry sector in 2020; CAP-Environment: upstream dialogue on environment research programmes; ENDURE: crop protection in Europe in 2030; New Ruralities: the future of French rural areas in the Europe of 2030; and, Technologies of the future. 21/04/2009
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Foresight

by Marie de Lattre-Gasquet, CIRAD and ANR (Agence Nationale de la Recherche)
The ERA-NET project entitled ForSociety[1] notes that “there is no generally accepted formal definition of what distinguishes foresight from other future-oriented activities. It is interesting to note that none of these definitions[2] explicitly recognizes the idea that the future is genuinely uncertain, with the implication that foresight has to prepare us for a variety of futures. 21/04/2009
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This document is the final report of the European Commission (EC) funded project Scenarios of future science and technology developments in developing countries referred to as SCOPE 2015. The main objectives of this work were: (i) To produce scenarios for the year 2015 focused on contextualized scientific and technological developments in selected regions of developing countries; (ii) to analyse the consequences of the scenarios for Europe and European RTDI policy; and, (iii) to use the above to provide advice to the European Union (EU) in the field of RTDI policies in relation to developing countries. This report summarizes the context, the approach adopted and key findings on cooperation policy targeted on selected countries in four regions: The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS); Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA); Maghreb and Mashreq (MEDA); and Latin America (LA).Download the document (pdf-file) 21/04/2009
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