We have been thinking a lot about foresight at the Institute recently. Earlier this month we met with Professor Shaun Hendy from the New Zealand Association of Scientists, Bryce Johnson from Fish & Game and Madeleine Foreman and Miranda Corin from Generation Zero for a discussion on how to progress long-term thinking in New Zealand. We are continuing to collaborate with this group on a paper we hope to publish later this year advocating for more embedded and integrated foresight in government. The paper’s working title is An argument for mandating foresight.

Coincidentally, while we were working on this today, Roger Dennis, a friend of the Institute and consultant in foresight, innovation and large scale change dropped off some publications from the Centre for Strategic Futures in Singapore. This organsiation is part of the Strategic Policy Office in the Public Service Division of the Prime Minster’s Office yet is able to operate very much like a think tank with the freedom to focus on issues of strategic importance rather than those perceived to be urgent. The photo below shows a few of the publications including our office favourite – the Future Deck – a set of cards which aim to spark conversations about the emerging challenges and opportunities facing Singapore. The deck includes questions like ‘What opportunities will quantum computing bring us?’, ‘Will tomorrow’s leaders be educated in China?’, ‘What if marriage went out of fashion?’ or ‘Are insects the food of the future?’. The deck is designed to be used in workshops to prioritise issues for further research, to examine the impact of issues on public policy, and to craft scenario narratives about the future. If anyone wants to pop into our office to have a look at these, you’re most welcome. Contact either Niki Lomax or myself.