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Regular version of the site

Futures under The Microscope

The HSE Annual Conference on Foresight and STI Policy: Cooperation, Coordination, and Challenges,organised by the Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge has come to a close. For two days (October 30-31) at the HSE premises at the foot of the Shukhov Radio Tower, signals were analysed that will sooner or later show up in contemporary socio-economic policy and in future news stories.

The conference brought together many prominent and distinguished experts in the global Foresight community, who used their presentations to cover such a broad range of topics that sometimes particpants might have got the feeling that they were actually present at several events at once — on the issues of economics, politics, culture, and history.

"There is no other conference in Russia with such a complex agenda and impressive list of invited experts. Here international organisations that define the standards for Future Studies, including UNIDO, UNESCO and OECD are represented, as well as research centres from those countries that take leading positions in Foresight, from South Korea to Brazil", said first Vice-Rector, HSE ISSEK Director Leonid Gokhberg in his welcome address to the participants.

This high level of discussion was clearly appreciated by the invited experts and guests of the conference, including representatives of those key ministries charged with building up the relevant agendas of the country’s development, as well as large companies that realise their resource potential in specific ways.

Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Russia, Lyudmila Ogorodova, emphasised in her speech at the opening plenary session that "this is a very important time for Russia: we are searching for new sources of economic growth. We need to modernise the traditional sectors of the economy and build new ones, "pushing" the country forward".

The ministry spokeswoman spoke about her participation in the project to develop Russian Long-term Science and Technology (S&T) Foresight towards 2030 and in the evaluation of its results. She said that Foresight is considered to be a basic tool that can be used by decision makers; in particular, it is widely used to update government programs and development policies for major companies. Professor Ogorodova was also enthusiastic about the role of Foresight in developing long-term strategies, because "this process not only produces results, but also unites the team". Among the Foresight results which were then presented in detail in a number of presentations, the Deputy Minister highlighted the creation of a national system of technology Foresight in Russia and the launch of the Interdepartmental Commission, which was established to coordinate the efforts of all centres implementing forward-looking projects at a national level and to regularly discuss their research.

In the course of this work, several teams were formed, including sectoral S&T Foresight centres at six leading universities, and it is now important not to lose track of these groups, but to bring their cooperation to the level of the national system of technology Foresight, Lyudmila Ogorodova said.

The major goals of this conference on Foresight were to present the recently finalised long-term S&T Foresight towards 2030 to a wide range of experts, to sum up the outcomes of the work already done and to discuss new approaches to Foresight. Leonid Gokhberg described in detail the results of the project focusing on issues of their integration into policies and corporate strategies. Director of the HSE Foresight Centre, Alexander Sokolov and Head of the Department of S&T Foresight Alexander Chulok elaborated upon this theme, describing the evolution of the national Foresight project, which is entering a new phase with a longer timeframe, and with wider infrastructure.

Issues of the further life of Foresight results were constantly in focus during the two-day practice-oriented discussion. Participants addressed multiple sides of these issues, with an emphasis on the external outline of managing Foresight projects and on the internal aspects, including the design and tools for the exercise. The most active discussions centred around such topics as: creation of a sustainable innovation ecosystem basing on the results of Foresight studies, consolidation of efforts of different decision-making centres, methodologies of future studies (a combination of quantitative and qualitative tools, Big Data analytics, et al), evaluation of the results — planned objectives, priorities and threats (measuring the impact of Foresight).

The participants paid a great deal of attention to building an efficient dialogue on the future with key stakeholders, efficient communication of different expert communities, and involvement of general public in this process.

Questions were raised concerning the mandate for handling Foresight discourse and developing a common language which can be used to talk about the priorities of social development.

The organisers plan to cover all the topics of the conference in a series of online publications, as well as in a monograph, which is expected to be published by the international publishing house Springer.

Elena Gutaruk

See also:

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UNESCO Chair on Future Studies Opens at HSE University

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HSE University Shapes Global Chain of Foresight

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated our swift adaptation to big challenges and strengthened cooperation ties between researchers, politicians, and entrepreneurs on national and global levels. The accumulated life and goal setting practices in the new reality will be discussed on October 15–26, 2021 by participants of the XI International Academic Conference ‘Foresight and Science, Technology and Innovation Policy’ organised by the Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge (ISSEK).

HSE University Expands Cooperation with the World's Leading Foresight Centres

HSE University has signed cooperation agreements with two of the world's leading research centres, NISTEP (Japan) and TIFAC (India), which provide their governments with analytical support to inform science and technology forecasting and science and technology policy.

From Science Fiction to Designing the Future: Annual Foresight Conference Commences at HSE University

This week, researchers from all over the world have gathered online for the 10th annual International Academic Conference ‘Foresight and STI Policy’ at HSE University. One of the cross-cutting themes of the anniversary forum, which will be held from November 9 to 13, is lessons learned from the pandemic and the crisis’s effects in future scenarios.

Managers’ Role in an Era of Wild Cards: Seeing Opportunities Even at Rock Bottom

Global economic trends that have emerged in 2020 have been reevaluated in the context of the pandemic and low oil prices. Businesses have reconsidered their windows of opportunity and potential threats. This is evidenced by a foresight study conducted by the Association of Managers of Russia and co-authored by Alexander Chulok, Director of the HSE Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge.

'I Hope That I Will Be Able to Travel to Moscow to Be with My HSE Colleagues and Friends Soon'

Jonathan Calof has been cooperating with HSE since 2009. In an interview with HSE News Service he talks about how his involvement with HSE began, what projects he has been part of, and how he has organized his online work during the recent lockdown.

HSE ISSEK Researchers Sign Cooperation Agreement with Korean Colleagues

This May, HSE and the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI, Republic of Korea) signed a cooperation agreement on science and advanced technology research. This agreement was signed by Leonid Gokhberg, HSE First Vice Rector, Director of the Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge, and Dr. Hwang-Hee Cho, STEPI President.

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