A Report on the 2016 Meeting of the Public Sector Foresight Network and the Federal Foresight Community of Interest
Interest in how government looks at the future is undergoing a renaissance in governments around the world, and the role of networks in facilitating the exchange of information is critical. The integration of networks is particularly important in order to leverage knowledge.
Two government foresight networks were formed in recent years in response to growing interest in developing a critical mass of those working in government on foresight in the U.S. and around the world. In 2011, futurist Dr. Clem Bezold of the Institute for Alternative Futures (IAF) and Nancy Donovan of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) convened a government foresight breakfast in Vancouver, Canada, which has since evolved into annual day-long meetings and the creation of an international Public Sector Foresight Network (PSFN) open to those in and working with government on foresight issues. In 2013, James-Christian Blockwood, then with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), organized the Federal Foresight Community of Interest (FFCoI), which has since conducted quarterly meetings drawing officials from over 50 U.S. federal agencies. Both networks decided to combine forces to organize a joint meeting in 2016 in order to facilitate the exchange of diverse views and best practices by U.S. and international foresight officials.