Video: What is foresight?


(Text on screen: WHAT IS FORESIGHT?)

The practice of looking forward into the future is something we all do naturally.

(An adult walks along a path worn into a grassy field, watching the sunrise on the horizon)

When we imagine possible futures, explore options, weigh pros and cons, and design plans, we're using foresight.

(Three adults consult a city map and discuss possible directions to take, pointing left, right and straight ahead)

When we run "mental movies" to explore possible strategies and goals, we're also using foresight.

(A fast-draw shot in which a hand draws the outline of a human head. Inside the head is a movie projector)

Increasingly, organizations and governments are using foresight to think creatively and systematically about the future.

(A montage of: flags of the world flapping in the wind outside the United Nations building, pan of Parliament Hill in Ottawa)

Foresight enables us to make better plans and reduce surprises.

(A close up shot of designers reviewing a blueprint)

It helps inform policy decisions, design public services, and shape strategies.

(A shot of a large boardroom with workshop participants seated around a large table listening to a workshop leader speak)

Strategic foresight is a practice that uses evidence, creativity, expertise and participation.

(Two people discuss and amend a diagram on an easel)

(Text on screen: Strategic foresight)

Strategic foresight allows us to understand, plan for, and influence future events and situations.

(In a university classroom setting, several students participate in a role-playing exercise)

Foresight isn’t about predicting the future. Rather it helps us to see what may happen – and to understand the range of plausible futures that we may confront.

(A shot of a chart forecasting oil prices, slowly zooming to an illustration depicting silhouettes of people walking along a path that forks into multiple directions)

Foresight is interdisciplinary, blending futures studies, systems dynamics, the physical and social sciences, participatory design, and strategic management.

(As the narrator lists the disciplines, titles appears on the screen)

(Text on screen: Futures studies, System dynamics, Physical and social sciences, Participatory design,Strategic management)

It is supported by professional communities of practice and by academic scholarship. It is deliberate, imaginative and rigorous.

(A shot of a discussion in a university classroom; two people stand in front of a series of charts and diagrams on an office wall, one person is explaining the diagrams)

(Direction: Greg Van Alstyne, Zan Chandler)

(Writing: Zan Chandler, Greg Van Alstyne, Peter Padbury, Steffen Christensen, Judy Watling)

(Visual design: Greg Van Alstyne, Jazeen Hollings, Alex Appugliesi, Zan Chandler, Naomi Kühn)

(Editing: Jazeen Hollings)

(Narration: Zan Chandler)

(Video sources: Policy Horizons Canada / Louis-Philippe Gascon, OCAD University / G. Van Alstyne, J. Hollings, A. Appugliesi, NASA Johnson Space Center / Crew Earth Observations Video, NASA Earth Observatory / NOAA NGDC, Ryan Lake Illustration /, Various videographers /, JayMiller /, Lynch, M.C, 2002, Forecasting oil supply: theory and practice, The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance 42, 374.)

(Video sources: (cc): Alex Hoffman, anno112658, caoz96, DARPAtv, darwinfish105, Dexter Ico, dustbagsrevenge, Ekso Bionics, Elijah Meeks, InsideScience, Mike Moceri, MrBugpod, NaughtyMissTee, PlayPauseAndRewind, The NRAO, Russia Today)

(Our thanks to The foresight teams at Policy Horizons Canada, OCAD University)

(Created for Policy Horizons Canada by sLab, OCAD University with ZancomMedia)

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