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Horizon Scanning: A Methodical Glance at the Uncertain

(2014) - iit perspektive 19
Simone Ehrenberg-Silies/ Marc Bovenschulte/ Diego Compagna

In contrast to detecting and describing “megatrends” (meaning clearly dominant, longer-term developments with lasting impacts that strongly influence a society’s future), “horizon scanning” strives to identify weak and diffuse indications of still hazy emerging trends so that they can be examined in terms of their social relevance and potential consequences, both positive and negative. This lets the conditions and foundations underpinning new developments be brought to light, to keep them from otherwise disappearing unnoticed into the “background noise”. Therefore, the main objective is to enhance sensitization towards developments of likely importance, which may manifest themselves in the early stages as initially inconspicuous, thus leaving them undiscovered for a long time.

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