Future research has become an integral element in our society. What benefits does it deliver for policymakers? And what is good future research?

Scenario studies

The WRR is not the only body active in future research. Government departments, policy research institutes and expertise centres, as well as commercial companies such as Shell, Essent and Rabobank, are all engaged in future research, sometimes collaboratively. These studies are used to help make policy choices that will protect society against potential problems in the future. Transnational future research is also carried out, as with the scenario studies by the IPCC, the OECD, the European Commission and the UN.


The WRR Investigation Uit zicht: toekomstverkennen met beleid (‘Out of sight: future research with policy’) was presented on 24 September 2010.

Cover (small) of summary WRR-investigation Exploring Futures for Policymaking

Exploring Futures or Policymaking (summary of WRR-investigation no 24 Out of sight)

In this study, Dutch practices around futures studies are examined and an up-to-date conceptual framework is presented that helps to reflect critically on futures studies. Some major pitfalls and challenges are indicated.