Inderscience Publishers

Foresight in Germany: the example of the Delphi '98 or: how can the future be shaped?

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The German foresight experiences started at the beginning of the 1990s with a comprehensive Delphi study conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) on behalf of the Federal German Ministry for Science and Technology (BMFT, since 1994 BMBF). The second large German Foresight study on the global development of science and technology - called Delphi '98 - was more concentrated on German needs to provide companies, ministries, research institutions or other interested actors in the R&D system with information about the future. In the Delphi '98, not only emerging technologies but also 19 general megatrends were asked about. The German Delphi process is organised with a steering group and expert panels for the creation of visionary topics, a two-round Delphi survey with a feedback loop and an implementation phase with workshops and an Internet platform for the diffusion and discussion of the results. Some of them are described in this article. A follow-up process "FUTUR" is supposed to continue the work of exploring and shaping the future.

Keywords: Delphi method, foresight, international cooperation, science and technology

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