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The role of foresight in shaping the next production revolution

Havas, Atttila and Weber, K. Matthias (2017): The role of foresight in shaping the next production revolution. Published in: OECD (ed.): The Next Production Revolution: Implications for governments and business, Paris: OECD No. ISBN 978-92-64-27099-2, doi: 10.1787/9789264271036-en (2017): pp. 299-324.

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Foresight can be a highly useful tool to address the opportunities and challenges triggered by the next production revolution. As shown by the various country cases considered in this chapter, it facilitates debating and systemic thinking about multiple futures and helps shaping the future through the process of participation and engagement. Given its participatory nature, key actors are mobilised to form shared views about the future, negotiate their future stakes and interests, and agree on actions aligned to their shared vision. The next production revolution requires quick and proactive policy-making, as well as better orchestration across different policy domains. Foresight can assist policy-makers by providing foundations for robust policies, fostering new framing of policy issues, as well as translating long-term concerns into aligned policy priorities. Furthermore, policy implementation is likely to be faster and more effective when key stakeholders are involved early on in shaping these policies. Foresight benefits, however, are far from being automatic: the chapter considers eight factors critical to achieving those. An astute embedding of a foresight process into policy-making enhances the likelihood of impact, but foresight recommendations are no substitute for policy decisions and actions.

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