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    Exploration of the future is about systematically exploring future developments and the possible consequences for an organization or issue. The demand for future explorations at local policy level has increased in recent years. This article focuses on the relationship between participatory future exportations and local strategic policy processes. On the basis of four case studies, the meaning of participatory foresight studies for local policy processes was investigated. The research, which was carried out as action research, shows that future explorations in local strategic policy processes can be significant in different ways: they provide new knowledge, they promote learning in an integral and future-oriented manner and they encourage social learning processes that are independent of the content, which is valuable for group dynamics. In addition, future explorations can be useful in different phases of the policy cycle. Despite the fact that participatory explorations of the future can be meaningful in local strategic policy processes, there is still a bridge between the method of future exploration on the one hand and policy processes and organizations on the other. The research shows that a demand-driven approach starting from the needs of the participants in the policy process and responding to the culture, structure and working method of the organization is a promising approach. At the same time, the research shows that there are several factors that need to be considered in order to achieve a stronger interrelatedness of future exploration and policy. The policy practice and the exploratory practice seem to be gradually evolving towards each other. On the one hand, policy practice is becoming more rational, transparent and analytical in nature through the use of future explorations, at least in policy preparation. The explorations promote substantive discussions on policy agendas and policy intentions. On the other hand, they are becoming more policy oriented through more reasoning from the policy practice in terms of process design and knowledge needs of the policy process.


Dr. Nicole Rijkens-Klomp
Dr. N. Rijkens-Klomp is in 2016 gepromoveerd aan de Universiteit Maastricht bij prof. Pim Martens, met dr. Ron Cörvers als haar co-promotor. Ze heeft sinds 2004 een eigen bedrijf in Antwerpen op het gebied van toekomstverkenning (foresight & design studio Panopticon). Daarnaast werkt ze aan het Scientific Institute for Sustainable Development (ICIS) van de Universiteit Maastricht.

Dr. Ron Cörvers
Dr. R.J.M. Cörvers is wetenschappelijk directeur van het Scientific Institute for Sustainable Development (ICIS) van de Universiteit Maastricht.
Artikel

Van kaas naar big data

Data science Alkmaar, het living lab van Noord-Holland Noord

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2016
Trefwoorden big data, innovation, data-driven societies, data science, smart cities
Auteurs Dr. Ir. Martijn van Otterlo en Prof. dr. Frans Feldberg
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Big data can be seen as vital fuel for the innovation of diverse processes in both companies and in government policies and practices. In this short article we describe local efforts in the region around the Dutch city of Alkmaar in which the (local) government, (local) companies and a nearby university (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) work together on data-related challenges in a typical triple-helix structure. The municipality of Alkmaar gathers activities in a physical location to stimulate interaction and cooperation among (potential) partners, and it engages in the formation of new governance structures to increase both the intensity and the regional spread of the activities around data. All this raises many new and interesting issues and challenges for public administration researchers and practitioners.


Dr. Ir. Martijn van Otterlo
Dr. ir. M. van Otterlo is postdoctoraal onderzoeker aan de Vrije Universiteit van Amsterdam

Prof. dr. Frans Feldberg
Prof. dr. J.F.M. Feldberg is hoogleraar aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
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