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IFA International Foresight Academy

Participants of the IFA Academic Seminar on "Participatory Foresight for Smarter Futures - From Design to Impact" at ZHAW in Winterthur, 16.-19.9.2013

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The International Foresight Academy (IFA) is the first initiative worldwide to bring together foresight activities around the globe in order to expand horizons and offer new networking opportunities. This EU project, coordinated by the Austrian Institute of Technology, did not only use international exchange programmes and seminars to broaden perspectives of the participants and a larger audience, but it also examined how foresight can be used to organize participative process in modern democracies and how to use the “discipline of anticipation” in our daily strategic planning. Partners from a wide range of European and non-European countries took part in this exchange scheme. The project focused on examining the extent to which foresight and anticipation could serve as an instrument to promote participative processes in different democracies. IFA also offered an exchange programme for scientists, two summer schools and two academic seminars. As action research, IFA explored and compared if and how foresight and anticipation comprise the potential to function as means in supporting to better face and influence politics, especially with regard to the Grand Challenges. The European Academic Seminar addressing issues around foresight, public participation and decision-making with parallel sessions on smart futures (e.g. cities, energy) was held on 16-18 September 2013 at ZHAW in Winterthur, Switzerland.

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