Surveys and futures studies
Incorporating weak signals that could change the course of events in the short, medium and long term
To handle the issues and challenges of our time, the political and economic spheres must have access to the most targeted information.
The principal function of La Documentation parlementaire is to enlighten strategic policymaking and governance.
The surveys and futures studies of La Documentation parlementaire are intended to facilitate decision-making on the basis of scenarios – expressed implicitly or explicitly (in most cases in interviews) by key actors from renowned organisations operating in the relevant sector and/or by leading experts. These scenarios encompass both trends and weak signals that could change the course of events in the short, medium or long term. With this information in hand, individuals and organisations can rationalise or refine their strategies to anticipate the events considered to be the most probable.
This exercise requires access to a sufficiently large pool of relevant data, which may comprise themes, phrases, buzzwords, key issues or actors, models or trend curves. These data are summarised for readers’ evaluation.
Futures studies are only effective if they undergo adjustments and regular retroactive revisions. Consequently, the summary needs to be updated at least half-yearly, or quarterly, as in the case of new information and communication technology.
When policymakers and key actors in society take futures studies into account, they shape the future.
La Documentation parlementaire is delighted to publish this content in the quarterly magazine Europe parlementaire, which is distributed to members of parliament and major regional and international socio-economic actors.