Government and Future Research

The forecasting function should receive more attention in surveys of the future carried out for the government. The uncertainties about developments in the longer term should be reflected in closer attention to alternative developments that could occur rather than focusing on a continuation of existing trends, the WRR recommends in its report Government and Future Research (Report no. 34, 1988).

Policy value of future research

The policy value of future research lies mainly in highlighting uncertainties and possibilities, thus providing a clearer picture of opportunities that can be seen as positive, or threats that have to be avoided. Such insights can also help increase the robustness of policy.

Future research by WRR

The WRR should perform additional future research in crucial areas. These thematic surveys of the future can be seen as contemporary versions of the former comprehensive future surveys by the WRR (reports 15, 19 and 25). The WRR could also make greater use of the forum system.