The Public Sector Foresight Network (PSFN) has been formed to provide those involved in foresight for public sector organizations the opportunity to share their aspirations, work, methods, experiences, and results.
With the initial support of the World Future Society, PSFN has grown from a breakfast meeting at the WFS Annual Conference in 2011 organized by Nancy Donovan of the U.S. Government Accountability Office, with Clem Bezold of the Institute of Alternative Futures, to day-long meetings in 2012-2016. Attendees at the meetings have included representatives of U.S. federal, state and local governments, and participants from Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Finland, New Zealand, China, Korea, the UK, and other countries as well as the UN, NATO, academia, and the consulting world. Issues discussed include leading examples of foresight efforts, lessons and challenges in doing foresight, and how to best communicate and sustain foresight activities. Since 2015 PFSN has joined with the Federal Foresight Community of Interest (FFCOI) in hosting the annual meetings. In 2018, the Association of Professional Futurists (APF) joined as a co-host.
2019 Meeting Information
PSFN, the Federal Foresight Community of Interest (FFCOI), and the Association for Professional Futurists (APF) hosted this year’s meeting on Wednesday, July 31, 2019. Below are the links for the agenda and the presentations.
The Risk and Threat of Radical Leveling and Emergent Neurotechnologies in Non-Kinetic Operations by Dr. James Giordano, Professor of Neurology and Biochemistry; Chief, Neuroethics Studies Program; Co-Director, Program in Brain Science and Global Law and Policy, Georgetown University Medical Center
Foresight and the Research Policy of the European Union by Nikos Kastrinos, Team Leader for Foresight, European Commission, Directorate General for Research and Innovation
Lessons from the Mouse: A Global Case Study in Corporate Foresight by Frank Spencer, Creative Director and Founder, Kedge and the Futures School; and Yvette Montero Salvatico, Managing Director and Founder, Kedge and the Futures School. Related information:
- Kedge LLC – Disney, a case study in Strategic Foresight, a global case study in corporate foresight
- Kedge Strategic Foresight Primer, introduces the core concepts of foresight, our methodology and includes job aids
U.S. Special Operations Command: At the Nexus of Strategy and Innovation by Aaron Bazin, Managing Director, Donovan Strategy and Innovation Group
Professional Life in 2040: Impact of Emerging Technologies by Denise Sughrue, Director, Toffler Associates; and Robert (Bob) Wagner, Senior Associate, Toffler Associates
The Evolution of “Collapse” and Other Futures by Jim Dator, Retired Professor, University of Hawai’i. Related information:
- A description of the Four Futures approach in the July 2017 APF Compass
- A description of how to do a future visioning process using a set of Manoa School Futures from the Journal of Futures Studies
- An example of the Manoa School Futures Approach for a Federal agency: the US Forest Service
2018 Meeting Information
This year, PSFN and the Federal Foresight Community of Interest (FFCOI) were joined by the Association for Professional Futurists (APF) in hosting the Foresight in Government day on Friday, July 27, 2018. Below are the links for the agenda and the presentations.
Foresight for Mayors and Local Government
- Mayors as Futurists: A Civic Imagination Workshop at SXSW 2018 by Jake Dunagan, Institute for the Future
- Alliance for Innovation’s Foresight Tool for Local Governments by Rebecca Ryan, Next Generation Consulting
- Human Services 2035 Scenarios by Clem Bezold, Institute for Alternative Futures
Foresight in and for Legislatures
- The Korean National Assembly Futures Institute (video presentation) by Jin Park, President, Korea National Assembly Futures Institute
- Foresight in Korea by Kyungmoo Heo, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
- The Global Trends Unit of the European Parliament (PDF slides) by Danièle Réchard, Global Trends Unit
- GAO’s Technology Assessment, Artificial Intelligence: Emerging Opportunities, Challenges, and Implications by Steve Sanford, GAO
Black Swans, Scanning the Fringe
- University of Houston Foresight’s Scanning the Fringe Meeting by Jennifer Jarratt, Leading Futurists
- “What I fear we are missing” by Ruben Nelson, Foresight Canada
- U.S. National Academies of Science Forecast of Opportunities in Social & Behavioral Science for Security, for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence by Kent Myers
- The OECD Digital Transformation Scenarios by Duncan Cass-Beggs, OECD
2017 Meeting Information
PSFN held its annual meeting once again with the FFCOI (Federal Foresight Community of Interest). Participants attended both in-person at the Veterans’ Administration Conference Center in Crystal City Virginia and virtual from around the world.
We had four great presentations with discussions, and the presentations are listed below with links to slides for three of them. Lane Jennings of AAI Foresight offers a summary of the presentations and discussion (note that Peter Padbury adds his own summary at the end of Lane’s piece).
- AI in Shaping Tomorrow’s Environmental Scanning and Strategic Foresight by Michael Jackson, describing how his firm, Shaping Tomorrow, and its partner organization, ForeKnowledge, developed and are currently using an AI robot named Athena to facilitate studies for specific clients of the trends relevant to government and business.
- Building a Foresight System in the Government – Lessons from 11 Countries by Peter Padbury, discussing a study conducted by Policy Horizons Canada on how several governments have successfully integrated foresight into policy and decision making.
- A Survey of Methods, Resources and Institutional Arrangements for Strategic Foresight in the U.S. Federal Government by Joseph Greenblott, summarizing a survey that he and his colleagues conducted comparing strategic foresight activities within 19 different U.S. federal agencies and two private organizations.
- Strategic Foresight in the U.S. Intelligence Community by Joseph Cyrulik, offering a review of foresight activities across the entire range of U.S. intelligence agencies.
2016 Meeting Information
PSFN held its annual meeting with the Federal Foresight Community of Interest (FFCOI) on Friday, July 22, 2016. It was a successful gathering of over 100 participants in the conference center of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons near the U.S. Capital. Below are the links for the agenda and the presentations.
PSFN / FFCoI July 2016 Meeting Presentations
Federal Foresight Community of Interest – Panel on Foresight Experience
- Design Thinking & Public Sector Foresight by Stephen Sanford, Government Accountability Office
- EPA’s Strategic Foresight Pilot Project by Joe Greenblott, Environmental Protection Agency
Foresight Faces Challenging Issues
- Basque Government Use of the Millennium Project Work 2015 by M. Gotzone Sagardui, Lanbide/Basque Government
- WorkTech Study 2050 in Basque County by Ibon Zugasti, Prospektiker – Basque Government
- The Emerging Economy 2030: Some initial explorations by Peter Padbury, Policy Horizons Canada
Advising National Governments and Administration Transitions on Foresight Processes
- Foresight in the Government of Canada by Tracey Wait, Policy Horizons Canada
The Aspirational Component of Foresight: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by Chris Mihm, U.S. Government Accountability Office
- The Aspirational Component of Foresight: The SDGs by Catarina Tully, School of International Futures
2015 Meeting Information
This year’s meeting was held on Friday, July 24, 2015 from 8:30 am to 3 pm. The 50 attendees included turnout from U.S. federal agencies (Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Government Accountability Office, U.S. Forest Service, and National Defense University) as well as officials from variety of Canadian government agencies and the World Bank. Attendees also represented foresight from the governments of Finland and the Netherlands and included those from a range of academic and other organizations in the U.S., Canada, the UK, Bermuda, and China. Below you’ll find the meeting agenda and presenters’ slides.
On The State of Foresight in U.S. Federal Agencies:
Public Sector Foresight: The Future is Now by Stephen Sanford, U.S. Government Accountability Office
U.S. Federal Foresight Community of Interest by Joseph Moore, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Evergreen: Influencing Strategic Decisions Within the Coast Guard by Eric Popiel, U.S. Coast Guard
Foresight Research in the U.S. Forest Service by David Bengston, U.S. Forest Service
Foresight in a Regulatory Agency:
AER and Strategic Foresight by Richard Dixon, Alberta Energy Regulator
On Foresight, Complexity & Technological Change:
Improving Policy, Strategy & Decision-Making in a Complex World by Sheila Ronis, Walsh College
Security Policy Challenges of Accelerating Technological Change by James Kadtke, Center for Technology and National Security Policy, NDU;School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego
3D Printing: Opportunities, Challenges, and Policy Implications of Additive Manufacturing by Timothy Persons, U.S. Government Accountability Office
2014 Meeting Information
U.S. Federal Foresight Community of Interest by James-Christian Blockwood, US Department of Veterans Affairs, Director of Strategic Studies, Office of Policy & Planning
Developing scenarios to determine future Canadian Army requirements and concepts by Lieutenant-Colonel Chris Rankin & Peter Gizewski, Canadian Army Land Warfare Centre
Developing scenarios for public health by Clem Bezold, Institute for Alternative Futures
The History and Future of Scenarios & the U.S. Coast Guard by CDR Eric Popiel, US Coast Guard
Using “Prospective Evaluation Synthesis” & grounded foresight to design education-related study for Congressional use by Jamila Kennedy, US GAO, Education, Workforce and Income Security Team
Creating an International Public Sector Foresight Network by Nancy Donovan, US GAO, Applied Research & Methods
2013 Meeting Information
2012 Meeting Information
Join PSFN and the Electronic Mailing List
The objectives of the Public Sector Foresight Network (PSFN) are:
- To spread awareness of foresight activities taking place around the world, at all levels of governments,
- To support and encourage government foresight practitioners, and
- To enhance the quality of foresight by sharing lessons and best practices.
Membership in PSFN is open to government officials involved in foresight and those who work with them. PSFN was co-founded by Nancy Donovan and Clem Bezold, has been directed by Nancy Donovan, Clem Bezold and Ken Hunter, and is hosted by the Institute for Alternative Futures. For the time being there is no cost to belong to PSFN.
PSFN has hosted a one-day meeting each year on government foresight since 2012 in cities ranging from Toronto to Chicago and since 2016, this gathering has been held jointly with the Federal Foresight Community of Interest. In 2018, the Association of Professional Futurists joined the government foresight groups in co-hosting the meeting. The co-hosted meeting is typically held in the Washington DC area with virtual participation of members from several countries.
Presentations at the PSFN in-person meeting and electronic mailing list postings cannot be used for direct marketing of foresight services or tools. To join PSFN, visit http://groupspaces.com/PublicSectorForesightNetwork/join. Once you’ve joined, you may post a message to all members of the group by sending an email to PublicSectorForesightNetwork [at] groupspaces [dot] com from your preferred email client (e.g., Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook).
By joining you indicate that you agree to the following:
- I am a government official involved in foresight or I work on foresight with government.
- I will not use PSFN meetings or the electronic mailing list for marketing purposes.
Once you apply, you’ll be informed shortly of your membership.