Skills and competencies

Online Foresight Guide

Carrying out a Foresight exercise requires a number of skills and competencies from both the core project team and the wider circle of people contributing to the exercise.

The willingness and ability of actors in the field to learn from one another (mutual learning) and conduct future oriented reasoning is another important resource of a Foresight exercise.

You need to compare the skills and competencies needed to run the excercise with those available to be able to assess realistically what the excercise can achieve.

Identifying necessary skills and competencies

Skills and competencies are needed on various levels:

It is advisable to think carefully from the start about what competencies you will need on the various levels and what strategies you will use to recruit the people with the requisite profiles.

Mapping available skills and competencies

Knowledge may be either explicit (such as books, papers, journals or other sources) or tacit (such as individuals' experience and know-how). When mapping the available skills and competencies it is important not only to look at resources that are explicitly flagged as "Foresight" but to consider also how to make best use of skills and competencies from other fields.

There are a variety of activities where valuable expertise could be located:

All these fields should be carefully surveyed to identify people able to contribute to the exercise.

Securing the necessary skills and competencies

If the expertise needed to carry out the exercise is not available, other strategies will have to be employed such as:

Building the necessary skills and competencies inside

The skills needed for the successful completion of the exercise can be developed by training the project team or by bringing external competencies into the project (e.g. using external support for specific tasks) and ensuring that such skills are learned by members of the team so that external assistance is not needed in the future.

Recruiting necessary skills and competencies from outside

Another approach to bringing into the exercise the skills needed is to outsource parts of the project, such as using professional consultancy for facilitating workshops or panel discussions, among others.

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