Journal of Futures Studies

A Review of Elina Hiltunen’s “Foresight and Innovation: How Companies are Coping with the Future” Palgrave, 2013.

by Reanna Browne

Introduction

As anyone living in the ‘trenches’ would attest, organisations can be impervious to
futures praxis. Indeed, practitioners operating in this space repeatedly face the dilemma
of working within the existing dominant paradigms with little but cursory references to
foresight work. The overt application of such discourse can be alienating and contribute
to the view of futures thinking as esoteric, and dare I say it, having little consequence to
organisational actions outcomes.
Many futures thinkers and writers seldom favour the nitty-gritty application to the
abstract discourse. Although it may pain the purist to concede, one of the greatest ways of
getting traction is to move beyond the margins (as peculiar conceptualising organisational
beings) to the mainstream. Eminent futurist Elina Hiltunen attempts to bridge this chasm
by sharing her well-practiced, piquant perspectives of applied futures thinking in her first
non-academic book. Foresight and Innovation speaks to a number of practiced ideas of how
an individual (or organisation) can better prepare for the future and is a fine example of
maintaining the delicate balance of academic rigor and pragmatic utility.

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Journal of Futures Studies

Tamkang University, Tamsui Campus
Taipei, Taiwan 251
Tel: 886 2-2621-5656 ext. 3001
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ISSN 1027-6084