پیش بینی تحول ساختاری - درسهایی از یک پروژه پیش بینی در مورد آینده نوآوری
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|2375||2013||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7742 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Volume 80, Issue 3, March 2013, Pages 453–466
The paper aims to contribute towards building foresight capacities for systemic and structural transformations. Experiences from a foresight project exploring future innovation patterns (www.innovation-futures.org) are discussed. Four specific features were applied in order to underpin the recognition of structural transformation: • Inductive foresight approach with an emphasis on capturing indications for extra-systemic change at a micro level instead of extrapolating seemingly dominant macro-trends. • Visual inspiration, to mobilise tacit knowledge, support a creative spirit and an easy exchange of ideas among people with different disciplinary backgrounds. • Rigorous assessment of coverage of dimensions of change, to foster the explicit consideration of possibly unrecognised/hidden structural changes • Extended openness for diversity, to avoid the exclusive interpretation of weak signals only in the context of the existing structures. The findings of the project indicate interesting changes in the nexus of innovation demand and innovation supply. A wide variety of hybrid value creation models with novel configurations of innovation actors emerged. We explain the approach and findings of the project and discuss in particular the implications for foresight methodology. We argue that all four innovative methodological features contributed in a specific way to opening up new perspectives on the future of innovation and potential structural transformation of innovation processes.
Envisioning structural transformation in foresight exercises is challenging. When exploring alternative futures, many foresight exercises do not look into paradigm shifts but rather tackle different variants of the established system view. In many cases “mode 1 foresight”  that fosters the recognition of intra-systemic alternatives, underpins the optimisation of robust strategies within the existing paradigm, and aligns aspirations and ideas across stakeholder groups is suitable for meeting the objectives of the foresight exercise. For a growing number of cases, however, the need to think about “change in the conditions of change”  is being recognised. One prominent example is the case of priority setting for science, technology and innovation policy—a highly relevant domain of foresight activities. Increasingly, innovation policy strategies such as the European Commission's Innovation Union flagship initiative  are addressing socio-economic challenges such as sustainability, health, and security. In such “mission-oriented” STI strategies the socio-economic impact becomes the key criterion for STI priority setting. Accordingly, picking “key technologies” is no longer sufficient. Transformative priorities  that indicate the arenas for “collective experimentation”  with various solutions for societal problems are required. Sustainability is another realm where the need for foresight methods that are able to unlock the potential for paradigmatic change rather than just highlighting incremental improvements along current trajectories is strongly emerging. Sustainability researchers are emphasising that optimisation of current patterns of production and consumption is not sufficient to achieve the order of magnitude in reduction of ecological footprint required to preserve the earth's eco-sphere. A number of studies are pointing towards the need for more fundamental changes using notions such as “transformative innovation” , system transition , and systemic eco-innovation . All these concepts are calling for transformative visions, scenarios and roadmaps challenging today's paradigms and basic assumptions on system dynamics. A third arena where systemic change needs to be addressed is “innovation” itself as its very definition seems to be shifting. Early models saw innovation processes as a linear sequence of functional activities distinguishing only between “technology push” and “market pull”. The limitations of such a model are clear; in practice innovation is a coupling and matching process where interaction is the critical element . Rothwell's “fifth-generation innovation” concept describes innovation as a multi-actor process which requires intensive interaction at intra- and inter-firm levels . For decades the dominant definition of innovation as “new products and processes that are introduced to the market” combined with the common understanding of companies as the main actors in this process was hardly ever questioned. Nowadays new innovation concepts are being suggested from a number of different directions. Increasingly, phenomena like social innovation, service innovation, low-tech innovation, relational innovation and value innovation are recognised as highly relevant innovation arenas extending the standard definition ,  and . At the same time, with the notion of “open innovation” the focus on the firm as the key innovation actor has substantially broadened towards social entrepreneurs, users, customers, public sector and citizens  and . Creativity as the innovation competence is no longer exclusively assigned to specific professions such as designers and artists or entrepreneurs but extends to “ordinary people” and everyday life. Accordingly, a change in innovation can no longer be investigated as a change in direction or priority but needs to be recognised as a change in kind. Future innovation landscapes may function according to a different logic all-together. The INFU (Innovation Futures) foresight project was set out to explore such future innovation landscapes. INFU was financed by the European Commission in the 7th Framework Programme Area Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH). It was carried out between 2009 and 2012 by the Austrian Institute of Technology AIT (Austria), Fraunhofer ISI (Germany), Z_punkt (Germany) and Solutioning Design Scenarios SDS (Belgium). The foresight project comprised four distinctive phases with different methodological approaches: 1. screening for signals of changes linked to innovation in a wide range of online and print media 2. stepwise clustering of the findings into visions in interaction with innovation actors through interviews and an online survey 3. development and assessment of scenarios of future innovation landscapes 4. generation of policy implications. The INFU findings were documented in a number of reports and policy briefs which can be found on the project website.1 When investigating new patterns of innovation INFU was focussing on fundamental transformation in the way innovation is organised in business, public sector and society . Accordingly, the methodological concept of INFU was tailored to capture systemic and structural transformation. In Section 2 we outline the methodological framework of the INFU foresight exercise and highlight in particular the features that were foreseen to enable the capture of structural transformation. In Section 3 we introduce the main findings of the INFU project and discuss lessons learnt in terms of methodology. Section 4 presents conclusions for future applications of “transformative foresight”.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
As INFU was being finalised at the time of writing it is too early to assess the usefulness or even the impact of its findings in a reliable manner. However, the feedback received from the numerous participants during the INFU process as well as from audiences of INFU presentations in several different communities3 allows for some methodological conclusions. The majority of these responses indicate that the project succeeded in opening up new perspectives for exploring the future of innovation with relevance for strategic conversations among various actor groups. The INFU visions gave rise to fundamental discussions among stakeholders regarding possible cultural transitions, new economic principles, new principles organising resource flows, different notions of learning, new working patterns and different modes of democratic governance. The discussion among policy makers went beyond simple priority setting within today's strategies. The debate tackled fundamental concerns such as adequate consultation procedures, new types of R&D projects and pathways for integration of policy strategies across diverse policy realms. We feel that these fundamental discussions were triggered because to some extent the INFU perspectives were transcending the underlying assumptions dominating today's perception of innovation. This leads us to the conclusion that some of the features of the INFU methodology proved indeed suitable for tackling structural transformation in foresight exercises. This progress however can only be a first step. In order to envision and explore pathways for system transformation, foresight methodology needs to be further developed. We would like to highlight some of the aspects of the INFU experience that seem to be of particular relevance to be further explored by foresight practitioners, users and clients. The “open research approach” of subcontracting mini panel co-ordinators without any constraints on the visioning methodology and the involvement of experts and stakeholders, helped avoiding premature convergence into established pathways and fostered the integration of diverse perspectives not only at the beginning but throughout the project. In our view the effort put into realising contributions of external actors beyond mere workshop participation was fully justified by the diversity of the outcomes. The value of the contributions of actors from different perspectives was much better exploited than in conventional workshops where participants' contributions are documented by the foresight team. Therefore we recommend this approach of “prolonged divergence” to be further developed and frequently considered. As discussed above, the inductive scanning of signals with only minimal imposition of predefined categories proved an adequate approach for the INFU case. Nevertheless, re-introduction of rigour in later phases was challenging. We feel that the integration of elements from different foresight approaches such as weak signal scanning and diverse scenario approaches might help in addressing structural transformation. Further methodological research in this direction is required. In particular pros and cons of deductive and inductive methods, model-based and inductive methods as well as various options for combinations should be assessed in a systematic manner. There are many indications that the visual inspiration deployed throughout the INFU project for generating anticipatory intelligence was crucial for stretching the imagination beyond established pathways and for introducing out-of-the-box perspectives. We feel that this kind of approach holds a considerable potential for complementing established foresight methodology and that this potential is only just at the beginning of being exploited. Intuition-based methods fostering creative processes may be needed to capture structural transformation. The framework of “dimensions of change” used to assess the results of the signal screening phase enabled the INFU team to systematically question anticipatory assumptions and to reintroduce opposing views in a reflexive manner. Accordingly, we conclude that similar approaches could serve in other foresight exercises to uncover and transcend perception filters. This is of particular relevance when structural transformations are at stake as these are most prone to be missed out due to intra-systemic perception filters. In particular in the case of an inductive approach where a large number of micro-level findings need to be structured and restructured several times, the check against “dimensions of change” seems promising. Accordingly it seems worthwhile to further develop and test the approach. Throughout the project it was recognised that people are attracted by provocative ideas and visions. They serve very well to mobilise debates and engagement of the actors dealing with the topic, but at the same time there is a high risk, namely that only positive visions that go along very well with the personal value system are taken up and further developed. Actors who considered a structural change as a positive transition were willing to be involved in the further development of the visions. Therefore an in-depth analysis for these “positive” visions can be easily conducted whereas more gloomy visions may be neglected. Finally, it is important to note that while INFU may have been successful in developing diverse visions pointing at potential structural change, the next issue that will have to be tackled is the use of such “transformative visions” in actually managing transformative transition processes  and .