Anticipating the Future to Improve Policy Today
Although day-to-day politics often leave little space to think beyond the next summit gathering, political milestone, or legislative election, we expect political leaders to be prescient and take decisions with long-term goals in mind. Working toward a desirable outcome also means hedging against any unwanted developments, which are very difficult to anticipate. Moreover, the fast-paced policy cycle leaves little resources to be spent on long-term thinking. If that is done at all, it often falls victim to cognitive biases.
This is why DGAP uses strategic foresight to inform its policy advice. The methodology is based on considering perspectives over the long term. It allows different pathways to be explored hypothetically and encourages thinking outside of the box.
Foresight is not forecasting. The methodology does not claim to predict the future, but rather to develop probable versions of a defined time to come. Exploring a well-thought-out possible future is an opportunity to improve early warning, more efficiently allocate resources, and future-proof overall decision-making.
DGAP’s experts employ foresight methodology to help decision-makers take long-term decisions about the future of their policy field in a changing world. They can tweak the method to accommodate special circumstances in an area of interest as needed. Examples of analyses and recommendations from across all DGAP topic areas that put a specific focus on foresight methodology can be found below.