Purpose - Foresight often encompasses participative approaches for decision making. Here we give a first overview of our research on immediate learning and networking in the context of foresight. We introduce a practical concept for an accompanying social research of a participatory foresight process for empirically identifying and mapping impacts; and present empirical results from the study of a specific foresight process. Design/methodology/approach - We apply three approaches to analyze impacts. Accordingly data were gathered in moderated workshops for process analysis; structured telephone interviews for qualitative analysis; and surveys for social network analysis. Findings - The accompanying social research produced direct insights on experiences and knowledge acquisition of participants in a large, complex foresight process, as well as a measurable increase of personal ties in this process. Our research shows that the perception of the wider spectrum of actors in a social system, as well as their rationales and approaches, are one identifiable and crucial achievement of participative foresight processes. Research limitations/implications - This research focuses on immediate learning impacts, while additional impacts of mid- or longer-term scales were not captured in this study. Accompanying social research (e.g. longitudinal studies) of broader scale would be beneficial to foresight research and process design. Originality/value - We use a specific foresight process to analyze its immediate impacts. We introduce and demonstrate ways forward to use practical concepts for impact description, empirical data acquisition, and how it relates to underlying process design. Our results are relevant for foresight project managers, process counselors and accompanying social research.
- Ehemaliges Research Field - Innovation Systems and Policy
- Stakeholder participation
- Social network analysis