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Table 2 A Framework to classify impacts of foresight activities

From: Evaluation of technology foresight projects

Function Time lag Targeted and/or unintended impact
Informing Immediate • Increased recognition of a topic area
• Awareness of science, technology and innovation among players, creating database
• Awareness of systemic character
• Training of participation in foresight matters
• New combination of experts and stakeholders, shared understanding (knowledge network)
Intermediate • Articulation of joint visions of the future, establishing longer-term perspectives
Ultimate • Integrate able new actors in the community
Counselling Immediate • Make hidden agendas and objectives explicit
Intermediate • Devising recommendations and identifying options for action
• Activate and support fast policy learning and policy unlearning processes
• Identify hidden obstacles to the introduction of more informed, transparent, open participatory processes to governance
Ultimate • Influence on (research/policy) agendas of actors, both public and private (as revealed, for instance, in policy strategies and programmes)
• Incorporate forward-looking elements in organisations’ internal procedures
Facilitating Immediate • Effective actions taken
Intermediate • Formation of action networks
• Creation of follow-up activities
Ultimate • Adoption of foresight results in the research and teaching agenda of organisations; Foresight spin-off activities in various disciplines
• Improved coherence of policies
• Cultural changes towards longer-term, holistic, and systemic thinking
  1. Source: [46]