The programme Foresight for Regional Planning and Sustainable Regional Development seeks to contribute to the understanding of the challenges and opportunities inherent in foresight as a tool for future studies in general, and for sustainable regional dev elopment efforts in particular. Although regional foresight seems promising as an innovative approach to regional planning, critical analysis of key elements of this approach is needed in order to assess and alleviate the potential challenges and pitfalls inherent in all emerging development strategies.
The general objectives of this proposal are threefold:
(1) Although there is a growing methodological literature on foresight as well as numerous empirical studies of the use of this method, several pro blems and challenges of a conceptual and general nature remain. Furthermore, there are unresolved issues relating to the relationship between governance levels, of dealing with diversity in cultures and social systems, and of legitimising foresight.
(2) The programme aims at advancing and elaborating on NIBRs competence within the cross-disciplinary field combining regional planning studies and sustainable development.
(3) As an applied research institute with a national mandate, NIBR is in a position to accumulate and disseminate knowledge about foresight as a relevant option for policymakers, government agencies and societal actors on a broad scale.
The results from the programme will be disseminated in the following ways:
* The programme will host two conferences.
* Two edited volumes will be published, containing key findings from the programme.
* The programme will provide funding for a Ph.D. student, who is expected to produce a thesis on foresight.
* Publication of main findings will be in NIBR and TØIs report series and acknowledged journals.