EC FP7 call SSH.2012.7.1-1: Forward-looking tools and methods for answering major societal challenges.
Proposal full title: Interconnecting Knowledge, Forward-looking Tools and Methods for Addressing Grand Challenges
Proposal acronym: iKnowFutures
Funding Scheme: Collaborative Projects, Small or Medium Scale Focused Research Projects.
Project leader: The University of Manchester - Dr R Popper (Principal Investigator), Prof I Miles, Prof J. Edler, Prof L. Georghiou, Dr M. Bleda, E. Amanatidou and H. Cameron in collaboration with Joe Ravetz SED; in partnership with 16 leading research and innovation organisations (see full list below).
Proposed value of the project: € 2,500,000
Summary of the proposed project: Europe and the world face Grand Challenges that are complex and interconnected – as a result, we need complex and interconnected responses. These call for creative action, strategic thinking and shared intelligence... fine words, but in practice, often lacking. Over 20 years of research and policy on sustainable development and innovation, we have seen that the need is as clear as ever – we need a step change in the quality of thinking and creative shared intelligence. This applies at every level – communities, organisations, networks, economies and societies, from local to global. How to go about this? The iKnowFutures project offers a way to interconnect social and technical knowledge, developing forward-looking tools and methods for addressing grand challenges (GCs) and providing relevant frameworks and knowledge on potential grand responses (GRs). The iKnowFutures project aims to move forward the state of the art in foresight and forwardlooking activities. It uses next generation social technologies to enable ‘interconnecting knowledge’ systems and methodologies, in parallel with the social processes of Foresight and Forward Looking Activities. This proposal builds on the success of the project iKnow (‘interconnecting Knowledge’ http://www.iknowfutures.eu). Alongside its innovative use of social technologies, this project sets out a research agenda for enhanced foresight and ‘social knowledge’ on grand challenges, as discussed in the iKnow ‘European Research Area Toolkit’, available online at http://community.iknowfutures.eu/news/toolkit.php
The framework for theory and practice is based on three main knowledge domains:
- Social knowledge focus: Foresight information / knowledge / intelligence which is relevant to the user and practitioner community. These communities include policy, civil society, business and research. Each community frames its ‘agendas’ / ‘problems’ / ‘opportunities’, in terms of social knowledge deliberation processes and applications, which can be better understood using a ‘worldviews’ approach.
- Technical knowledge focus: This is based on the self-organising crowd-sourced knowledge library and community (i.e. following experience from Wikipedia, Facebook, etc.). The technical knowledge platform generates technical knowledge, through a series of protocols, which crowd-source the wisdom of the virtual communities for solution-oriented interventions like the Delphi oracle in the Greek mythology who was consulted before major undertakings.
- Socio-technical interface: Enhanced capacity foresight through combining social & technical knowledge. Here, social and technical knowledge are brought together in a general foresight cycle structure (a cycle which moves from ‘divergence’ to ‘convergence’, similar to that of scenario studies).
The result is to provide a platform, not only for a unique set of insights within the project, but also a continuing and evolving ‘strategic issue management’ community of shared intelligence. This will continue to promote shared intelligence and innovative responses to the Grand Challenges facing Europe and the world.
List of iKnowFutures consortium members:
- (UK) Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, MBS, The University of Manchester
- (France) Futuribles
- (Austria) ICCR Foundation
- (Israel) Interdisciplinary Center for Technological Analysis and Forecasting at Tel Aviv University
- (Germany) Nexus Institute for Cooperation Management and Interdisciplinary Research
- (Czech Rep.) Futures Diamond
- (UK) Cambridge Econometrics
- (UK) Lincoln University
- (Spain) Technological Institute of the Agrofood Industry
- (UK) Centre for Workforce Intelligence
- (Brazil) Center for Management and Strategic Studies
- (Netherlands) Stichting Deltares
- (Spain) University of Alicante
- (Russia) Higher School of Economics
- (UK) RTC North Ltd
- (Czech Rep.) Technology Centre of the Academy of Science
- (Switzerland) Zurich University of Applied Sciences