Foresight and Design Fictions meet at a Policy Lab: An Experimentation Approach in Public Sector Innovation

Paper by Alexandre Pólvora and Susana Nascimento: “This paper depicts a theoretical and methodological experimentation approach developed at the EU Policy Lab of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. The approach is first framed by its larger institutional context and positioned in a back-end space of public sector innovation. With an internal and self-reflexive departure point, our purpose is to outline it as catalyst of future-oriented explorations, simultaneously nurtured by evidence-based knowledge, and its own transdisciplinary set of experimentation concepts and practices. In addition, to allow for its observation in a practical stage, the paper showcases an empirical illustration of the approach in a forward-looking project for policy advice.

#Blockchain4EU was an exploration of existing, emerging or potential applications of blockchain in industrial and non-financial sectors, with attention to plausible near future applications and scenarios, and focus on possible policy, economic, social, technical, legal and environmental impacts. The approach is anchored on desk and qualitative research throughout the project. But its primary outputs emerge from participatory foresight, collective vision building and co-creation workshops, and the prototyping of speculative artefacts through multi-stakeholder engagement. The purpose is to stimulate anticipatory governance frameworks in general, and push the frontiers of what is common practice in policy when considering emerging technologies….(More)”