Mapping: iKnow - interconnecting Knowledge on S&T Issues

iKnow is one of six Blue Sky foresight research projects funded by the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technology Development (FP7) under the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) theme. The project is aimed at interconnecting Knowledge on issues and developments potentially shaking or shaping the future of science, technology and innovation (STI) in Europe and the world. There is a general consensus that the kinds of issues addressed by iKnow have often remained out of the "policy radar" and so far have received little attention in forward-looking activities: the identification and analysis of Wild Cards and Weak Signals (WI-WE) and their effects on European and national science, technology and innovation (STI) policy. Wild Cards are the kind of issues that can potentially shake our future; Weak Signals relate to issues that are currently shaping it.

Wild Cards are high impact and low perceived probability events (e.g. unexpected systems failures or sudden transformations resulting from breakthrough or incremental innovations). Wild Cards are often presented as negative events, such as the 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States or the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. However, they can also be positive such as the discovery of penicillin by Fleming. Weak Signals are ambiguous events, often referred to as "seeds of change", providing advance intelligence or "hints" about potentially important futures, including Wild Cards, challenges and opportunities. Weak Signals lie in the eye of the beholder and are generally influenced by the mental frameworks and subjective interpretations of individuals with limited information about emerging trends, developments or issues in a particular time and context. Their "weakness" is directly proportional to levels of uncertainty about their interpretations, importance and implications in the short-medium-to-long-term. Thus, Weak Signals are unclear observables warning us about the possibility of future "game changing" events.

Overall, iKnow has two interconnected objectives: (1) To develop and pilot conceptual and methodological frameworks to identify and analyse Wild Cards and Weak Signals (WI-WE); and (2) To assess the implications and impact of selected WI-WE on, science, technology and innovation (STI) and key dimensions of the European Research Area (ERA). To do so, iKnow has used Foresight and Horizon Scanning (FHS) approaches to support the research and technology development (RTD) agenda associated with each objective.

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MODE: VIEW


Annexe 1.13: Mobilising Futures (6/7)

Participation Scale

Q1: Please indicate the number of participants and level of stakeholder engagement in each of the core activities (methods) conducted during the project.

Method Number of Participants Stakeholder Engagement *
low › high

Brainstorming

71 - 80
PU
RE
PR
EU
IO
NG
ME
CS
O

Conferences/Workshops

201 - 300
PU
RE
PR
EU
IO
NG
ME
CS
O

Expert Panels

11 - 20
PU
RE
PR
EU
IO
NG
ME
CS
O

Interviews

61 - 70
PU
RE
PR
EU
IO
NG
ME
CS
O

Literature Review (LR)

1 - 10
PU
RE
PR
EU
IO
NG
ME
CS
O

Scanning

1 - 10
PU
RE
PR
EU
IO
NG
ME
CS
O

Science Fictioning (SF)

1 - 10
PU
RE
PR
EU
IO
NG
ME
CS
O

TEEPSE Analysis

1 - 10
PU
RE
PR
EU
IO
NG
ME
CS
O

Weak Signals Analysis

21 - 30
PU
RE
PR
EU
IO
NG
ME
CS
O

Wild Cards Analysis

21 - 30
PU
RE
PR
EU
IO
NG
ME
CS
O

Delphi survey

701 - 800
PU
RE
PR
EU
IO
NG
ME
CS
O

Web-based crowdsourcing

301 - 400
PU
RE
PR
EU
IO
NG
ME
CS
O
* = none/very low
** = low
*** = moderate
**** = high
***** = very high

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