In this era of rapid change and great uncertainty, governments and organisations, private and public, need to develop better mechanisms for analysing and planning for the future.
  • in the development of emerging technologies, at a time when specific commercial outcomes cannot be confidently predicted, a premium is placed on intelligence about the forces likely to shape their characteristics – the ‘killer application’;
  • businesses are faced with the challenges of strengthening their strategic planning, building capacity in risk management and contingency planning, and coherently driving towards, and surviving, change;
  • governments need improved mechanisms to generate strong visions and policy options, to map policy consequences in advance, and promoting increased learning and adaptive potential in mechanisms and institutions.

The Australian Centre for Innovation has been among the pioneers in the introduction of the techniques of foresight, and in particular scenario development and planning to Australia. These techniques rest not on improved attempts to predict the future, but rather on an acknowledgement of the need to manage under uncertainty against a number of scenarios projecting radically different possible futures