Politics and Futures Thinking: An Overview of Recent Approaches and Practices
The current decade has started with crises: A global pandemic, extreme weather conditions, democratic societies under pressure… To deal with the big challenges our societies are increasingly facing, we need interdisciplinary and coordinated thinking and acting. Politics is expected to play an important role in this and yet only slowly integrating new future-fit approaches within their thinking and acting.
First, this paper provides an overview of how policy makers can benefit from futures thinking to tackle big challenges. It clusters recent thinking, approaches, and practices (such as mission-orientation or systemic thinking), which have been or could be applied to politics. These will not only prepare policy makers for futures of uncertainty and complexity, but also support the transformation of politics.
Therefore and second, the paper recommends policy makers to follow these principles:
– Collaboration (e.g. mission-orientation, participatory approaches)
– Openness (e.g. an open skill set, mind set, and tool set)
– Anticipation (e.g. systemic thinking, speculative design)
– Adaptation (e.g. strategic innovation portfolio management, organizational design narratives)
The explorative paper aims to shed light at the intersection of futures thinking and a human-centered design approach in policy making to nudge further discourses.