Many regions, sectors or organisations find ongoing Foresight to be a valuable way of adapting to new challenges as they arise. Although a one-off Foresight exercise may inform decisions for a length of time beyond the particular policy need that triggered the exercise, in the end it is likely that:
- the reports will be viewed as out of date and increasingly irrelevant;
- the personal links forged in networks will have decayed as people move around within and between organisations;
- even the Foresight skills acquired may grow rusty through disuse.
- other topics are likely to arise which require longer-term perspectives, making a new Foresight effort will be necessary.
The upshot of this is that some form of continuous Foresight activity is bound to be of value in the country, in a region or sector. This does not necessarily mean that a full-blown Foresight programme should be run on a permanent basis – though this is not inconceivable, as long as there is plenty of room built into it for renewal and reorganisation to deal with changing circumstances.
It may be something far more modest, such as setting up a Foresight Unit charged with conducting small-scale Foresight exercises or training activities with particular agencies or sets of users on a continual basis. Such a unit could also play a valuable role in organising regular meetings to maintain and reinvigorate the networks set up during the original Foresight activity, and in providing information and analysis that can help update the reports and considerations that such networks may have generated.