When the imaginary and fiction invite themselves into foresight, and when foresight embarks on action, does it grow or get lost?
In 2013 the Urban Community of Lyon, in partnership with the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Lyon and the Cité du design, organized a symposium dedicated to foresight.
Fifty years of the history of foresight allow us to apprehend it as a practice; more precisely as a situated practice (generally in a certain proximity to the decision, and necessarily in a posture of articulation between different universes).
Defined primarily by its project (to improve a society's awareness of its future) and driven by a conviction (the future is not to be guessed, but to be built!), foresight cannot therefore be reduced to a corpus of methods. It adapts to the evolution of political orders and social practices, deals with the diversity of organizational and territorial contexts, and finally extends its field. It diversifies its objects: impacting strategy or impacting practice? ... its operating methods: "concrete" expertise or fruitful interactions? ... and its results: a shared vision or transformed projects? At the same time a device for setting in motion and taking a step back, but also an integrating place, can foresight catch everything?
When the realm of the imaginary comes into play in foresight: good news or slippage in sight?
While foresight has, from the outset, claimed its scientist and the In the rationality of its approach, it seems to be turning today towards a plurality of expertise and sources of inspiration: human and social sciences in all their diversity; expertise in use; artistic productions; fi ction; work on the imaginary; etc.
The rise of design in collective design approaches is evidence of the current challenge of diversifying and decompartmentalizing expertise.
Are art, design and literature new spaces of reflection and action for foresight? With what potential? What are the limits?
When foresight plays the silent transformations: operational gain or political loss?
Foresight is embodied in a growing number of fi gures: that of the expert in dialogue with the prince; that of the practitioner and researcher engaged in action research; that of the citizen mobilized to develop a vision; that, today, of the designer stimulating creativity and working on design.
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This shows the diversity of the orders placed on foresight: a tool at the service of planning from the outset; an agent of transformation of public action today.
How do these "action-oriented" perspectives relate to the long term, politics and territorial scales?