Top Foresight Methods & Tools

We asked ourselves, what are the best foresight methodologies out there? At Venturesight, we use a mix of modern techniques and proven scientific methods. To make our foresight program as practical as possible, we decided to bundle all top foresight methods in a PDF, that soon will be available for download. Keep an eye on our newsletter to receive our practical foresight guide.

Foresight Types and Methodologies

As a teaser for our upcoming guide, you can already browse the following examples:

Janus Cones

This foresight tool has a design of 2 cones of “uncertainty”. The present is at the center. The further left you are, the further back in time you will get. On the right side, you will explore potential future scenarios. By seeing how pattern overlaps in the past, you can find new relations how also in the future scenarios can be interlinked.

Backcasting

This is a popular foresight methodology that is used to connect the desirable possible futures with the current day environments. Often long term future scenarios may require significant changes in technology, culture, institutional and societal dimensions. This tool creates roadmaps backward to identify the plausible causal chain leading to our current situation.

Scenario Planning

Having similar underlying principles as backcasting, this foresight methods works in the opposite direction in looking at possible future scenarios from the current environment onwards and often relates to stakeholders in making present-day decisions.

Delphi Method

This foresight method has long been considered a best practice and proven method by foresight practitioners. It focuses on the wisdom of the crowds by getting a consensus from experts over a specific issue. Experts, in general, will have knowledge of the current market and the direction over what is affecting it and therefore these insights are able to collectively predict relatively accurate results. In order to reduce the “follow the leader” effect, the experts are often asked questionnaires with anonymised results.

Horizon Scanning

A common foresight activity, investigates potential threats, risks, emerging trends, and opportunities. The Horizon Scan is a foresight technique that is useful in detecting early signal (weak/strong) that influence the current environment and may impact the environment. It is important in the process to identify causal links or loops in order to closely monitor them for identifying a growth space.

Trend Radars

Are becoming a very relevant and modern technique in foresight methodology. There are 3rd party software that allows you to track the movement of these trends which make it an efficient process. The Trend Radar gives an illustrative overview of trends in relation to the time horizon in affecting the organization, and in which field they are derived from (i.e. Technology, Political, Socio-cultural).

Cross Impact Analysis

In association with the Delphi method, the cross-impact analysis was developed to address the issues that predicted events were being influenced by other events. Therefore, the analysis maps the links of the event themselves as well as the probability of an event happening.

Progression Curves

This foresight tool help illustrate changes and when. As you apply multiple curves that may even overlap and plot events in your map, patterns begin to emerge that can be interlinked. Identifying these patterns and understanding the time horizon in the patterns makes anticipating them better.

Agent Based Modeling

Often being used in the scientific method, agent-based modeling (ABM) utilized mathematics to simulate the changing of environment. ABM is becoming a new and attractive foresight tool that focuses on agents being rational and logical while affecting the environment, the key advantage of this kind of modeling is that agents are individuals and are not constrained to key equilibrium assumptions that other model often are.

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