Title: A group support system for foresight processes
Authors: Ahti Salo and Tommi Gustafsson
Status: International Journal of Foresight and Innovation Policy, Vol. 1, Nos. 3-4, pp. 249-269.
Keywords: Group support systems, technology foresight, program evaluation, strategic policy intelligence.
The preparation of research and technology development (RTD) programs calls for the analysis of prospective technological advances and the consideration of 'lessons learned' from earlier programs. In this paper, we report experiences from a pilot project in which an internet-based survey and five participatory workshops were organised in conjunction with a Finnish RTD program in telecommunications. At these workshops, leading representatives from industry and the research community were invited to report their experiences from a concluding RTD program and to address future research needs, whereby they were assisted by a group support system (GSS). The workshop process was well received, which suggests that the preparation of RTD efforts can benefit from the deployment of GSS tools in support of face-to-face discussions. To our knowledge, this is the first account on GSS use in the foresight context.