Foresight Diamond Reloaded

The Foresight Diamond (2008) is a framework that positions methods based on their main type of knowledge source (based on creativity, expertise, interaction or evidence). However, it is important to emphasise that these domains are not fully independent from one another.

These sources of knowledge consist of:

  • Creativity-based methods normally require a mixture of original and imaginative thinking, often provided by technology “gurus”, via genius forecasting, backcasting or essays.
  • Expertise-based methods rely on the skill and knowledge of individuals in a particular area or subject. These methods are frequently used to support top-down decisions, provide advice and make recommendations.
  • Interaction-based methods feature in foresight for at least two reasons – one is that expertise often gains considerably from being brought together and challenged to articulate with other expertise (and indeed with the views of non-expert stakeholders); the other is that foresight activities are taking place in societies where democratic ideals are widespread, and legitimacy involves “bottom-up”, participatory and inclusive activities, not just reliance on evidence and experts (which are liable to be used selectively!).
  • Evidence-based methods attempt to explain and/or forecast a particular phenomenon with the support of reliable documentation and means of analysis. These activities are particularly helpful for understanding the actual state of development of the research issue.

The Universal Foresight initiative aims to revisit and reload the Foresight Diamond with the most commonly used methods of today's practice as well as those emerging and positioning as promising for future practices.