Anticipating the Future: Shifting Paradigms

Blog by Sara Marcucci and Stefaan Verhulst: “…Migration is a dynamic phenomenon influenced by a variety of factors. As migration policies strive to keep pace with an ever-changing landscape, anticipating trends becomes increasingly pertinent. Traditionally, in the realm of anticipatory methods, a clear demarcation existed between foresight and forecast. 

  • Forecast predominantly relies on quantitative techniques to predict future trends, utilizing historical data, mathematical models, and statistical analyses to provide numerical predictions applicable to the short-to-medium term, seeking to facilitate expedited policy making, resource allocation, and logistical planning.
  • Foresight methodologies conventionally leaned on qualitative insights to explore future possibilities, employing expert judgment, scenario planning, and holistic exploration to envision potential future scenarios. This qualitative approach has been characterized by a more long-term perspective, which seeks to explore a spectrum of potential futures in the long run.

More recently, this once-clear distinction between quantitative forecasting and qualitative foresight has begun to blur. New methodologies that embrace a mixed-method approach are emerging, challenging traditional paradigms and offering new pathways for understanding complex phenomena. Despite the evolution and the growing interest in these novel approaches, there currently exists no comprehensive taxonomy to guide practitioners in selecting the most appropriate method for their given objective. Moreover, due to the state-of-the-art, there is a need for primers delving into these modern methodologies, filling a gap in knowledge and resources that practitioners can leverage to enhance their forecasting and foresight endeavors…(More)”.

Anticipating the Future: Shifting Paradigms
Anticipating the Future: Shifting Paradigms

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