Science and Technology Foresight (STF) is an interactive and systematic exploration of future dynamics of science, technology, the economy and society with the aim of identifying and supporting viable strategies and actions for stakeholders. In comparison to futures studies and forecasting, the literature on foresight has paid little attention to its actual strategic value. In this paper we review the 1995-1999 foresight programme of the Dutch National Council for Agricultural Research, and evaluate some key dimensions of the foresight process, including the selection and range of participants, the immediate impact of interactive tools such as workshops and the ultimate effect on the strategic thinking in the agricultural sector. The evaluation indicates that strategic thinking in the Dutch agricultural sector has improved. The paper concludes with suggestions for monitoring and evaluation of foresight that may increase the understanding of foresight's strategic value.
- The Netherlands