Defining users

Online Foresight Guide

Defining the users

The first obvious user for a Foresight exercise is the sponsor or client, but other stakeholders will also be interested in the outcomes. However, an outcome may be considered appropriate for one audience but inappropriate for another. Therefore, when starting to design the exercise it is vital to consider who else will be using the results and for what purpose. A clear understanding of potential users can help you design the exercise in a way that maximises the benefit from the outcomes.

The different focus of a Foresight exercise help defining the format of the desired outcome in relation to possible users. The table below illustrates possible Foresight users for a variety of different focuses. The members of the user groups can help to define the outcomes being aimed for.

Foresight focus Social Issue Technological Issue Sectoral Territorial vision
Potential Foresight users Policy makers   Policy makers Policy makers   Policy makers    
Consumer Associations Universities Industry   Territorial Associations
Knowledge infrastructure Research organisations Chamber of Commerce   Trade unions
  Industry SMEs  

In all later stages you can come back to your list of users to help you in various decisions. So, for example, when selecting participants for an event you should always think of involving members of various user groups.

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