2020 marks 25 years since Foresight published the first panel reports. We’ve worked under seven Government Chief Scientific Advisors and six Prime Ministers. We’ve adapted our approach to suit the policy making culture of the day, and the prevailing issues of the future. We started life as a series of 15 expert panels looking at issues such as materials, communications and financial services. In 2002 we relaunched with a project focus, and have published 28 major projects since then covering issues as diverse as food and farming, manufacturing and lifelong learning. More recently we’ve enhanced our projects work with an increased emphasis on building capability in other parts of Government to do futures and foresight.
Since we set up, our mission has been helping the UK Government use scientific evidence to think strategically about the future. Foresight projects have informed many government strategies, from ageing to seas to obesity. Foresight put flooding on the map (several in fact) in 2004. Our five ways to wellbeing still resonates over a decade on. Each project has provided an opportunity for us to develop new approaches to futures, from city-led initiatives to speculative design for policy. There’s much to celebrate, and we’re looking forward to sharing more of our recent work through 2020.
We’d like to use this milestone as an excuse to reconnect with people who have been involved in Foresight over the years. Were you on project team? Perhaps you worked as a lead expert or wrote us an evidence review. Or maybe you’re one of the many policy makers we’ve worked with to translate Foresight’s work into policy. Whoever you are, we’d love to hear from you, particularly what you’ve been up to since and your reflections on how government can get the most out of Foresight in 2020. Some hindsight for Foresight, if you will! Please drop us an email.