Collaborative Futures: Integrating Foresight with Design in Large Scale Innovation Processes-Seeing and Seeding the Futures of Europe

by Angela Wilkinson, Martin Mayer & Verena Ringler


Large scale societal and political changes can be enabled via open and collaborative innovation processes in which diverse interests collaborate to co-create the future. These social learning processes do not claim to know about the future but instead call for learning with alternative futures to become more agile and adaptive, overcome inertia and create movement. We illustrate this process of large scale systems transition through reference to a specific case study on the futures of Europe. The initiative combines a variety of futures methods – scenarios, visioning and value creation modeling – to support an open-ended process of collaborative innovation and empower the co-creation of new potentialities.1 Learning developed in this multi-stakeholder, multi-method transformational foresight initiative is relevant to a wide range of scholars and practitioners in different fields with interests in collabrative strategy, complex systems redesign, transition management. Key lessons include the value of convening both institutional insiders and outsiders, the benefits of opening up the past to look forward, and the resourcing challenges in sustaining an open-ended process and nourishing a new and still fragile network of actors.


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