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Welcome to the 10th Year of the Foresight Synergy Network (FSN)

The FSN is a voluntary, informal network open to all who are interested and motivated to learn about current and prospective issues from the perspective of a professional community of practice in foresight, so please feel free to circulate this notice to colleagues who might be interested. Students and professors are welcome.

We are currently seeking speakers for the Fall session on the following dates and locations:

–          A.  TUESDAY October 4th, 2016 (12 to 2 pm) @ room DMS 7170 @ 55 Laurier Ave East –  Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa,  K1N 6N5

–          B. Friday October 21, 2016 (1 to 3 pm) @ room DMS 7170

–          C. Monday November 7, 2016 (12 to 2 pm) @ room DMS 4165- note changed time and location

–          D. Friday December 16, 2016 (1 to 3 pm) @ room DMS 7170;

Ideally we will host a maximum of 2 speakers per date, allowing for approximately 1 hour each with discussion (e.g. a 20-30 minute presentation followed by 30-40 minutes of discussion).

Please contact me immediately, to discuss your ideas – presentation topic/s,  and to book your spot.

In the past a majority of the speakers have been members of the network, I would like to continue this tradition. If I get an overwhelming request to present, I would be happy to add more dates this fall.

In our first meeting on -October 4, I would like us to take a few minutes to discuss the issues raised about critical foresight and strategic foresight, as discussed in the following article:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/future-our-how-strategic-foresight-imperilled-jayar-la-fontaine.

I would also like us to take a few minutes to discuss the new government’s position on foresight, i.e. whether and how they are or will be inclined to use it in the development of future policies compared to the previous government. (e. g. Apparently the Trudeau team has initiated a reorganization of policy functions that includes moving the main surviving foresight unit Policy Horizons Canada back into the PCO as a key part of a new mandate focused on innovation.)  According to media reports, Trudeau’s government is also going to be interested in a 40 year time horizon, (whereas our FSN focus 2007-2015 has been mainly on a 20 to 30 year time frame.)  Additionally, the next budget reportedly is to be focussed on innovation.

About 5 years ago, prior to the Conservative majority government, the FSN sponsored a scenarios foresight project on the future of innovation – so if you  (the FSN members) agree I would propose we revisit the scenarios that were the key result of the exercise and situate/compare them with our current foresight horizons and STEEPLES scanning climate to reflect on our strengths, weakness and shortfalls. We could treat these as lessons learned and also redo the scenarios using a 20 to 40-year time line from 2017.   This could become a FSN project focus for October – November and require additional meetings – likely weekly –  during the period Oct 11-NOV 17.  See the attachments for further background.

Another possibility would be for the FSN to take a few of the most challenging long term topics (e.g. arctic development; aboriginal relations and economy; health system management; energy sources and services mix and internal and export economy) Identify 2- 4 critical uncertainties for  each and  then proceed to sketch out some skeletal scenario themes – less focused than innovation but perhaps more diverse and just as useful a contribution in any event.

Quick note on the Foresight Synergy Network Web/WIKI page:

FSN has previously used a wiki to provide announcements, information on previous meetings (presentations and meeting minutes), and other material related to foresight. It is a wiki, which means those having a login can add and edit material. Because we are generously hosted by the University of Ottawa, this means we don’t allow commercial messages, nor, of course, anything illegal or scurrilous.

Despite the “no commercial messages” rule, we’ll likely still welcome a 1-2 line announcement of some event of interest (include a URL for the full message), even if this is a commercial event. If in doubt, ask the webmaster (Sameer Valiyani).

Jack Smith,

Adjunct Professor of Technology & Strategy,

Telfer School of Management,University of Ottawa.

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