Foresight enables to support decision-making by analyzing possible futures. Several definitions of foresight exist, which major and common features were summarized by Miles et al. (2008):
- Long-term orientation aimed to inform on the ongoing decisions set by assumptions that the future can be improved by enhanced understanding of opportunities and threats, driving forces and underlying processes of change;
- Use of a range of formal tools and techniques for developing the long-term analyses – including survey methods like Delphi, scenario workshops, explorative trend analysis, and often drawing on the results of modelling, SWOT studies etc.;
- Involvement of a wide range of experts and often stakeholders in order to access relevant knowledge, to engage more participants in the policy process, and to establish networks for the ongoing coordination of actions and sharing information;
- Crossing disciplinary boundaries and professional compartments in order to address emerging world problems that know nothing of these impediments. This often requires extensive “translation” and fusion of knowledge from different sources.