Title: Finnsight 2015 – A Foresight Exercise for the Shaping of National Strategies

Authors: Ahti Salo, Ville Brummer and Totti Könnölä

Status: Third International Seville Seminar on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis: Impacts and implications for policy and decision-making – Seville 16-17 October 2008.

Keywords: foresight, research and innovation policy, decision support

In 2005, the Finnish Government took a Decision in principle on the development of a national strategy. This Decision spurred the two main funding agencies – the Academy of Finland and the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes) – to carry out FinnSight 2015, a joint foresight exercise that would provide inputs to this strategy, foster collaboration between these funding agencies and promote foresight and innovation activities at large. Towards these objectives, FinnSight 2015 engaged ten expert panels who identified key driving forces and characterized focus areas of competences, assisted by extensive deployment of Internet-based tools for collaborative work and intensive deliberations at facilitated workshops. In this paper, we describe the policy context and methodological support of FinnSight; in particular we report how challenges arising from the exceptionally tight schedule were addressed through foresight design, and what policy developments have taken place after to the publication of foresight results. We also examine FinnSight in view of several axes of balance, in the belief that this analysis may be instructive for the planning of large-scale foresight exercises that need to serve high-level policy objectives subject to unusually tight time constraints and expectations.