FTA break new ground in response to grand challenges

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PurposeThis Guest Editorial aims to demonstrate the diversity of application fields in which FTA methods are being used and to offer a glimpse into possible consequences that grand challenges may imply for the development of FTA. Design/methodology/approachThis introductory paper provides an overview of selected FTA 2011 Conference contributions for this Special Issue. FindingsFTA approaches create spaces where an effective dialogue between key players in different policy domains facilitates vision-building and consensus-building for engineering major processes of transformation. Therefore, sound approaches of futures thinking will help to better address the grand challenges. Research limitations/implicationsFrom a large set of excellent papers presented at the FTA 2011 Conference, only a restricted number of papers could be included in this Special Issue highlighting the broad diversity of FTA application fields in response to grand challenges. Practical implicationsFTA can contribute not only to the steering of diverse innovation systems, but also to their adjustment, adaptability and ability to shape responses to grand challenges. Social implicationsThe papers of this Special Issue point to the need for FTA to take into account user perspectives and to shape the social context. Originality/valueThis Special Issue brings together papers that explore not only the opportunities and limitations of implementing FTA methods in a variety of policy domains, but also their benefits in enabling a better understanding of complex systems that interact in each situation and in defining effective policy responses.

Keywords: FTA; Forward looking activities; Future-oriented technology analysis; Grand challenges

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/14636681211256062

Publication date: July 20, 2012

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