RAND Europe’s new centre focuses on the future

Woman with futuristic user interface concept

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22 August 2018

RAND Europe has launched a new research centre that uses futures and foresight techniques to help clients visualise a range of different possible futures. Through the application of these foresight methods, clients can pre-empt and adapt to changing circumstances, and explore the potential benefits and drawbacks of different options and actions.

Through the new Centre for Futures and Foresight Studies (CFFS), RAND Europe combines the depth of its methodological expertise in futures techniques with its broad subject matter knowledge, which spans defence, security, transport, home affairs, social policy, innovation, health and science.

“The CFFS builds on RAND Europe’s extensive portfolio of futures work and delivers a wide range of bespoke services across the strategy, policy and decision-making spectrum,” says centre head and RAND Europe research leader Giacomo Persi Paoli. “Through the centre, we help clients think proactively about what different future outlooks might mean for their future strategy and policy, and identify what capabilities they will need in the future. Our futures techniques produce actionable insights across a wide range of topics and incorporate both near- and longer-term time horizons.”

RAND Europe’s CFFS delivers a wide range of services, from in-depth research studies to provide evidence-based analysis on specific research questions, to rolling reporting to help clients keep abreast of trends on a continuous basis, and workshops to discuss key developments and their implications in greater depth.

For each task, CFFS staff apply appropriate combination of futures tools and techniques to address the specific requirements of clients. Methods include horizon scanning and technology watch services, big data analysis, and road-mapping. They also use a range of scenario-based methods such as assumption-based planning to underpin sensitivity analysis and formulate policy options, as well as exercises and games to test options, assumptions, plans and policies against a set of scenarios.

The future is inherently uncertain and predicting what will happen is impossible. However, all sectors and organisation types can benefit from thinking about what might happen and exploring the possible implications of different projected futures. See www.randeurope.org/CFFS for more information on the centre and its work.