Foresight studies rely on a wide variety of methods. Some of these methods can be applied in different ways (i.e. they have variants). Choosing and applying the right method for a specific exercise is a crucial step in any Foresight process. It is important to emphasise that no one method is a panacea. Each method is best suited to certain specific objectives, context, resources, culture and the mindset of the team and participants, and will prove inadequate if these conditions are not met.
The clickable table below gives detailed descriptions the individual methods, highlighting their advantages and disadvantages, and describing the steps they involve.
- Methods can be classified in various ways. To find out more about common classifications and also to better understand the categories used in the table you can find more information in the section on classifying methods;
- A Foresight exercise rarely relies on one single method. For some guiding considerations on how to arrange methods into a sequence suited for your exercise see methodological framework.
How to read the table
The table below assigns various characteristics to a number of methods used within Foresight. A cross (x) indicates that the feature concerned applies to the method to a certain extent, two crosses indicate that the features is a dominant feature of this method.
How to use the table
Clicking on a method within the first column will lead you to a detailed description of the respective method including a step by step guide on how to implement the method and a "Is it for me"checklist.
|Environmental Scanning & Monitoring||XX||X||X|
|Structural Analysis (e.g. MICMAC)||XX||X||X||X||X|
|Agent Modelling (e.g. MACTOR)||XX||X||X||X|
|Trend Intra & Extrapolation||X||XX||X||X||X||X|
|Modelling & Simulation||X||XX||X||X||X|
|Creativity Methods (Brainstorming, Mindmapping…)||X||XX||X||X||X||X||X|
|Critical & Key Technology Study||X||X||XX||X||X||X||X|
|Morphological Analysis & Relevance Trees||XX||X||X||X||X|
|Cross-Impact Analysis (e.g. SMIC)||XX||X||X||X||X|
|Multi-Criteria Analysis (e.g. MULTIPOL)||XX||X||X||X||X|
Adapted from Futures Research Methodology
- You can also search for initiatives mapped by the EFMN (European Foresight Monitoring Network) by methods employed. The annual EFMN mapping reports also include analyses on methods used across foresight initiatives.