Since the early 1990s interest in foresight has undergone one of its periodic resurgences and has led to a rapid growth in formal foresight studies backed by governments and transnational institutions, including many from the United Nations. However, texts that counterbalance in depth practical experience with an exposition and integration of the many theoretical strands that underpin the art and theory of foresight are rare.
Foresight: The Art and Science of Anticipating the Future provides entrepreneurs, business leaders, investors, inventors, scientists, politicians, and many others with a succinct, integrated guide to understanding foresight studies and using them as means for strategy development. The text dispels the belief that anticipations are 'mere guesswork', and conveys the depth of thought needed, implicitly or explicitly, to understand human foresight.
The book examines:
The role of foresight and its institutional counterpart in the modern world
The epistemology underlying foresight
The need to extend foresight activity into wider spheres, including sustainable development
The role that foresight plays in planning processes (including scenario planning)
Much of the material in the book is based upon the internationally known foresight course at the Manchester Business School's Institute of Innovation Research (MIoIR) formerly PREST, which the author developed and directed from1999 to 2003.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Systems and Foresight. Introduction 1. Foresight and Systems Thinking: An Appreciation 2. Foresight and Systems: Epistemology and Theory 3. Institutional Foresight: Practice and Practicalities 4. Foresight in Industry 5. Generalisable Outcomes Part 2: Scenarios and Sustainability 6. Foresight, Scenarios and Scenario Planning 7. Sustainable World 8. The World of 2030, 2050, and Beyond
Denis Loveridge is an Honorary Visiting Professor at the Manchester Business School's Institute of Innovation Research (formerly PREST), UK. He joined PREST in 1991 as an Honorary Simon Fellow after 44 years in industry.
"Denis Loveridge has done us an enormous service in re-establishing and exploring the fundamental relationship between futures and systems thinking. It’s thoughtful, rigorous, practical, full of commonsense and thoroughly readable. I can’t think of a better book on foresight – as an introduction for new students or as a guide for established practitioners."
--Colin Blackman, Editor, Foresight
"Denis Loveridge combines a scholarly philosophical and historical analysis of the human quest to anticipate and address the future, in the face of the deep controlling forces of past ideas and experiences, with a practical guide to the application of contemporary foresight methods and thinking. His conclusion addressing the threats facing our planet sends a timely signal to all those in power with little interest or capability in future-oriented thinking."
--Ron Johnston, Australian Centre for Innovation, University of Sydney
"Denis Loveridge´s book on foresight is an invaluable source of knowledge and understanding, maybe especially for those who have been involved in the field of foresight in one way or another, and generally for all concerned about future and unbiased approaches to tackling future-related issues. Professor Loveridge conveys his views in a broad context revealing his deep knowledge of the subject, both from a theoretical perspective and practical experience. The book is rich in facts and concrete data, author´s well-grounded contemplations are worth considering and provide a lot of food for thought. Anyone wishing to enter any discussion on the subject of foresight should be equipped with insights revealed in this respectable work."
--Karel Klusacek, Director, Technology Centre, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic