The fundamental practice of foresight is the process of imagining and designing what our futures can and should be. Like any tool, foresight is not neutral. It is conditioned by our positionality, cultural values, our economic systems, and our capacity for collective imagination. Often, however, such processes have been predominantly constructed by communities that uphold pockets of monopolies, capitalism, power, and privilege that shape our views of what is possible. While there’s no simple or singular solution to disrupt these dynamics, there is significant power in asking more intentional questions – particularly those that help to identify the assumptions and biases we bring to the application of any new method.
The UNDP RBAP Foresight Ethics Guide offers several lines of inquiry for this purpose. Its intentionally expansive questions are intended to prompt reflections that can support a group to move towards more justice-led and power-sensitive modes of thinking about, facilitating and responding to the future. They may be particularly useful as frames for designing a foresight process, tailoring the tools to the context, and identifying opportunities to evolve existing development planning, decision-making, or knowledge practices.