Title: Adaptive Foresight in the Creative Content Industries: Anticipating Value Chain Transformations and Need for Policy Action
Authors: ABADIE FabienneFRIEDEWALD MichaelWEBER Matthias
Citation: FTA Future-Oriented Technology Analysis p. 145-146
Publisher: Institute for Prospective Technological Studies
Publication Year: 2008
JRC N°: JRC47685
URI: http://ipts.jrc.ec.europa.eu/publications/pub.cfm?id=1801
DOI: 10.2791/50885
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: This paper discusses the approach adopted to carry out a techno-economic foresight exercise on the creative content industries, within the EPIS (European Perspectives on the Information Society) project. The aim was to inform the EC policy making process with forward-looking intelligence and help identify priorities for the ICT R&D strategy The creative content industries were selected for their significant contribution to growth and jobs in Europe, their key role in promoting cultural diversity and the disruptive character of the current transformation process of their value chain. While this process is likely to continue in coming years, the direction it will take is subject to technological, economic, institutional and social uncertainties. To reach our goals an adaptive foresight process was designed and implemented, adaptive in terms of: - stressing the need to adapt to changing contextual developments (as opposed to stressing the ability to shape the future) - assigning iterative monitoring and learning a central role in foresight - adding a client-oriented (possibly closed) strategy process to the usual open participatory processes of anticipation. The foresight methodology consisted of four main building blocks: (1) analysis of the sector in terms of actors and business models on the creative content value chain for different sub-sectors, technology trends, societal developments, and user behaviour influencing those; (2) execution of an Internet-based, real-time Delphi expert survey building on a set of theses aimed at better understanding influential but uncertain driving forces shaping trajectories for the sector; (3) development of future scenarios spanning a broad spectrum of possible development paths, integrating results from all previous steps; (4) identification and discussion of policy issues, with particular emphasis on items likely to require policy action at European level. As the paper seeks to demonstrate, the novelty of the methodology lies in the mix of tools used to derive policy options, the embedding in an adaptive foresight framework and the implementation of a real-time Delphi survey. This approach allows to explore the future evolution of the creative content sector from several angles, based on a tailored involvement of experts, exploiting their respective sets of skills and knowledge depending on the stage of the process. Methodological lessons can be learned from this experience. For instance, the adaptive approach was well suited for handling the high degree of uncertainty and openness characterising the current evolution, not to say ¿eruption¿, of this sector. The online real-time Delphi process enhanced the overall flexibility of the process, helping to deal with some of the most uncertain issues in a time-efficient manner. Policy-oriented considerations in a partly separate setting allowed tackling sensitive items as a kind of thought-experiment. As a result the project succeeded in defining four qualitatively different scenarios for the creative content industries with a ten year horizon. Rather than advocating particular options those scenarios offer four distinct trajectories, each raising different policy challenges. The scenarios helped exemplify the insights from the background research and the Delphi survey (i.e. controversial vs. consensual issues), which was key for integrating findings and translating them into input for policy.
JRC Directorate:Growth and Innovation

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