Supporting INNOBASQUE to explore Wild Card Events for the Basque Innovation Ecosystem

While we continue to make progress in our research on Wild Cards, this year we completed a project supporting INNOBASQUE, the Basque Innovation Agency, in identifying potential Wild Card events that could significantly impact the research and innovation ecosystem of the Basque Country (EUSKADI).

Wild Cards are, by definition, rare events with a seemingly slim chance of occurrence but wield an immense potential to disrupt the status quo if they were to happen. We aimed to uncover these hidden gems by carefully mapping and exploring what we refer to as Weak Signals—those subtle and often unclear warnings that hold the power to help us elucidate future game-changing events.

To carry out this study, we assembled a dynamic team of experts, collaborating closely with INNOBASQUE and selected professionals who are well-versed in their respective fields. We employed a multifaceted approach that combined evidence-based methods, expertise-driven interviews, creativity-infused analyses, and interactive brainstorming sessions. This comprehensive strategy allowed us to meticulously map and explore the potential Wild Card events, taking into account the dynamic nature of the innovation ecosystem.

The selected Wild Card topics were linked to the priorities outlined in "The Science Technology and Innovation Plan EUSKADI 2030" and the "Innobasque Strategic Plan 2021-2024." These initiatives served as a compass guiding us towards the most relevant and impactful areas where the Wild Cards could potentially emerge. Our focus was aligned with the so-called "Transversal Tractor initiatives," ensuring a targeted and strategic approach.

The study was carried out in two phases: the Pre-foresight phase focused on establishing timelines, selecting key experts, and overall study management, while the Generation Phase aimed to achieve future orientation by exploring critical issues, analysing their interactions, and anticipating potential futures and highly disruptive events, namely Wild Cards.

The results of the study can be found (in Spanish) on INNOBASQUE’s website at:

Image credit: with "Futuristic Bilbao" as a prompt.