Futures in Government

14 Apr

Cat considers “why is the Civil Service not better at futures work and what¬†could be done in the immediate future to enhance this?”

Firstly, there is not enough awareness about purpose and value of future approaches among general civil servants, a possible solution to this would be to include futures as part of the policy skills framework. There are also not enough people with expert skills to be called upon to support those general civil servants design and deliver good quality futures projects with significant impact. The solution is to have access to these skills in the short term and build up a cadre of experts in long term somewhere within the civil service.

Within the Civil Service there are lots of scepticism surrounding endeavour, impact, value for money of foresight projects, the solution to this is the need of good examples and strong advocates.
The journey to being a futures alert and prepared organisation is a long one as there are many short term barriers and also some barriers that are quite counter cultural to civil service mode of operations. However, it is achievable but will need consistent support and investment, for example, building networks with people that will spot future trends and issues. Governmental flipflopping on this agenda makes it difficult to have consistent work so the solution to that would be to embed futures within the core vision for the civil service, articulate it well and build consistent relations.

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