The Foresight Network
In the current day and age, we are witnessing a multiplication of crises of magnitude, many of which have uncertain outcomes. These trends, which unfold against the backdrop of ever-complex environments and rapid changes within societies, increase the need for decision-makers – located across different governance levels and operating within various sectors, both public and private – to identify and understand processes of evolution within society.
While many public and private actors have recently bolstered their foresight capacities and efforts, including through increased institutionalisation, foresight-oriented activities typically remain confined to individual governmental bodies and private enterprises, and foresight efforts often remain centred around specific policy areas for the benefit of specific public or private entities. Consequently, opportunities for the exchange of views between foresight actors, both on the challenges within particular areas of policy and on “best practices” related to foresight capacities, remain limited.
Building on its decades of experience in helping policymakers make sense of the most pressing issues in international affairs, the Egmont Institute (Belgian Royal Institute for International Relations) has taken the initiative of establishing the Egmont Foresight Network. This new foresight community aims to:
- Map the extent of foresight activities undertaken in the (Belgian) public and private spheres and provide insights into the current nature of foresight practices.
- Enable open dialogue and the free exchange of views between foresight experts from various parts of the (Belgian and wider European) public and private sectors.
- Engage foresight experts from the public and private sectors in debate concerning expected large-scale societal risks, trends, and developments in Belgium and the European Union (also in light of the EU’s new approach to strategic foresight) as a whole (devoting attention to, inter alia, the Belgian Government’s recently released National Security Strategy).
- Expand foresight-related discussions beyond a focus on individual issues in narrowly defined areas by adopting a multidisciplinary, intersectoral, and wide geographical perspective.
Against the backdrop of the Egmont Foresight Network, a series of informal meetings and seminars have been organised since early 2023.
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