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the 'French prospective' according to…

[Extending the horizon is not all. It also implies relying less on synchronic scenarios (2000, 2010, 2025) and more on the diachronic 'prospective' [foresight]. It implies referring less to goals or desires for a dated tomorrow, and more to highlighting paths and means to achieve them. Regional foresight gains much credibility when it has understood the overuse of photography (which reflects only a precise moment) and set its sights instead on the field-based economic, social and ecological strategies, that will demonstrate and permit the change or balance.]


proceedings of the Arc-et-Senans conference "Territoires en prospective", 1992 (préface) [translation]

[I do not believe that a perfect adaptation is an ideal to aspire to because the idea of adaptation refers to a set situation to which we should model ourselves. We have to live, not in a new world (...) but, in a mobile world. This means that even the concept of adaptation should be generalized to continuously apply to our accelerating societies: it is not for us to take up a new form or attitude that is more convenient than the previous one. It is about not being fixed or frozen in a particular frame of mind; it is about becoming flexible, available, remaining calm in the midst of unrest and learning to be happy in a mobile world.]

Gaston BERGER, Prospective, n°5, PUF, 1960 [translation]

[When companies have implemented the 'reengineering', the 'focusing', the 'benchmarking', when they approach the limits of what they can do at any given time in terms of research excellence and quality, they ensure their survival and their competitiveness in the short and medium terms. But afterwards, this is where foresight comes in. Indeed it is specifically the role of the leader to imagine a future, design it, test it, experiment with it in light of reality, argue in its favor and lead it to its implementation.]

Armand BRAUN [translation]

[The 'prospective' (foresight) attitude is born of a revolt of the mind against the shackles of determinism and the game of chance.]

Michel GODET

La Prospective : pratiques et méthodes. Fabrice HATEM, Economica, 1993 [translation]

futures thinking according to…

Foresight is a deliberate process of expanding awareness and understanding through futures scanning and the clarification of emerging situations.


The Foresight Principle: cultural recovery in the 21st century, Praeger, Westport, USA, 1995

But what is futures studies? One working definition is: the science, art and ethics of negotiating and creating alternative societies and the ideas and meanings that govern them. Futures studies has six pillars:

  • Mapping the Present and the Future through methods and tools such as the futures triangle and the futures landscape

  • Anticipating the Future through methods such as emerging issues analysis and the futures wheel

  • Timing the Future, understanding the grand patterns of change, macrohistory and macrofutures

  • Deepening the Future through methods such as causal layered analysis and four quadrant mapping

  • Creating Alternatives to the Present through methods such as scenarios and nuts and bolts

  • Transforming the Present and Creating the Future through visioning, backcasting, action learning and the transcend conflict resolution method.


Foresight, and its associated horizon scanning centre, aims to provide challenging visions of the future, to ensure effective strategies now. It does this by providing a core of skills in science-based futures projects and unequalled access to leaders in government, business and science.

UK government's programme FORESIGHT

Futures studies is the systemic analysis of possible, probable and preferred futures, and the worldviews and myths that underlie each future.