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Developing futures for agriculture in the Netherlands: a systematic exploration of the strategic value of foresight


  • Jan de Wilt

    (Innovation Network for Rural Areas and Agricultural Systems, The Netherlands)

  • Barend van der Meulen

    (Centre for Studies of Science, Technology and Society, University of Twente, The Netherlands)

  • Hans Rutten

    (Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries-Strategic Policies Division, The Netherlands)


Science and Technology Foresight (STF) is an interactive and systematic exploration of future dynamics of science, technology, the economy and society with the aim of identifying and supporting viable strategies and actions for stakeholders. In comparison to futures studies and forecasting, the literature on foresight has paid little attention to its actual strategic value. In this paper we review the 1995-1999 foresight programme of the Dutch National Council for Agricultural Research, and evaluate some key dimensions of the foresight process, including the selection and range of participants, the immediate impact of interactive tools such as workshops and the ultimate effect on the strategic thinking in the agricultural sector. The evaluation indicates that strategic thinking in the Dutch agricultural sector has improved. The paper concludes with suggestions for monitoring and evaluation of foresight that may increase the understanding of foresight's strategic value. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan de Wilt & Barend van der Meulen & Hans Rutten, 2003. "Developing futures for agriculture in the Netherlands: a systematic exploration of the strategic value of foresight," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(2-3), pages 219-233.
  • Handle: RePEc:jof:jforec:v:22:y:2003:i:2-3:p:219-233
    DOI: 10.1002/for.851

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. ., 1998. "Technological Change," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Classical Economics, chapter 127 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Spithourakis, Georgios P. & Petropoulos, Fotios & Nikolopoulos, Konstantinos & Assimakopoulos, Vassilios, 2015. "Amplifying the learning effects via a Forecasting and Foresight Support System," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 20-32.
    2. Lu, Louis Y.Y. & Hsieh, Chih-Hung & Liu, John S., 2016. "Development trajectory and research themes of foresight," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 347-356.
    3. repec:eee:tefoso:v:124:y:2017:i:c:p:203-213 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Klerkx, Laurens & Leeuwis, Cees, 2008. "Matching demand and supply in the agricultural knowledge infrastructure: Experiences with innovation intermediaries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 260-276, June.
    5. Haegeman, Karel & Spiesberger, Manfred & Könnölä, Totti, 2017. "Evaluating foresight in transnational research programming," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 313-326.

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