A Policy-Oriented Survey of the Future: Part one: An Attempt to Challenge

The aim of the WRR in its report ‘A policy-oriented survey of the future. Part one: An attempt to Challenge (Report no. 19, 1980) is to explain the significance of differences in political outlooks towards the future and to secure the cooperation of groups in society in developing alternative future scenarios.

Characteristic visions

In the report the WRR compares and contrasts six characteristic visions of society based on normative outlooks with demonstrable support in society. These visions are based on liberal, socialist and denominational political ideologies and on the distinction between technocratic and sociocratic approaches. They represent the spectrum of conflicting political views in the Netherlands, insofar as they relate to shaping the future.

Involving the future in decision-making

The six characteristic visions form the basis for constructing future scenarios. A scenario sets out the intended and unintended consequences of the visions. By clarifying the potential consequences of actions based on political choices in this way, the WRR hopes to help ensure that future developments play a greater role in the formulation of current policy. The six visions of the future are described in more detail in the second part of this policy-oriented survey (Report no. 25, 1983).