The notion of foresight was coined for future-oriented activities, which are action-oriented and employ analytical, prospective methods in combination with participatory ones. While so-called process output of foresight activities in form of learning and networking has become inherent to many rationales of foresight, the learning and networking processes themselves remain underexplored in the literature. This thesis aims to contribute to closing this gap by investigating how participatory, policy-oriented foresight processes can instigate learning and networking among participants, and how new knowledge and new relationships affect actors and their home organizations. The analysis is conceptually rooted in the social constructivist perspective on interaction and learning. It features development of a conceptual framework to connect foresight processes to impact, and qualitative empirical investigation of three foresight processes set in the European research and innovation system. Social constructivism theory provides a useful basis for investigating impact of foresight processes in terms of change at individual and group levels. It offers a perspective that enables separate analysis of impact on individual actors and on the relations between them. Analysis of the three foresight cases provides evidence of distinctive forms of individual learning and formation of new and stronger links. It is possible to directly connect adapted research strategies and actions to the foresight cases. Analysis further reveals a novel dimension of product output and emphasizes the value of group learning processes regarding the emergence of long-lasting relationships.
|Veröffentlicht - 2015