A Policy-Oriented Survey of the Future. Towards a Broader Perspective

In its report A Policy-oriented Survey of the Future Part 2. Towards a Broader Perspective (Report no. 25, 1983), the WRR sketches how the future is likely to look in seven major policy areas: distribution issues, the production of goods and services, socio-economic policy, the environment, cultural policy, foreign policy and public administration. Given the nature of the report, it does not contain any specific policy recommendations.

Alternatives to policy

The survey presents alternatives to policies that arise from the six ideal-type views of society identified by the WRR in the first part of the survey (Report no. 19, 1980). The WRR outlines not one, but several developments in the survey, none of which will in reality come about in the manner described.

Highlighting consequences

The central idea is that the future is shaped in part by political and social action. The aim of the survey is to highlight consequences, including unintended consequences, of different visions in relation to one another. Accordingly, the value of this survey lies not in the forecasts it makes, but in the possibility of clarifying the public debate about future-oriented policy in light of the identified consequences of particular perceptions of society.