30 May 2024

Strategic Foresight for Regions event

  • The meeting brought together experts and policymakers from various European regions to exchange experiences in strategic foresight issues. 
  • Ane Izulain presented Euskadi 2040, a research project that Orkestra has carried out with the Basque Government to reach a consensus on a shared vision of Basque competitiveness for the next generation.

Orkestra pre-doctoral researcher Ane Izulain presented the Euskadi 2040 initiative as an example of good practice at the Strategic Foresight for Regions event organised by the Flemish region, within the framework of Belgium's European presidency.

The aim of the meeting was to bring together experts and policymakers from various European regions to exchange experiences and learning on strategic foresight, a crucial aspect for governments to be able to anticipate potential long-term trends or scenarios and to develop policies that contribute to the wellbeing of citizens.

The Flemish Government collaborates with other countries and regions in these strategic foresight analyses, as well as with several international institutions such as the OECD and the European Union, both of which are pioneers in this field. Some of the regions that participated in the meeting were Wallonia, Lombardy, Galicia, North Brabant, Lower Saxony, Helsinki-Uusimaa, Scotland, Catalonia, Hauts-de-France, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Upper Austria. Euskadi was represented by its delegate to the European Union, Marta Marín.

During the session, the creation of a Regional Foresight Network was considered as a space for mutual learning in the field of strategic foresight between European regions.

Euskadi 2040, focus of the first Orkestra Policy Brief

Euskadi 2040 is a research project that Orkestra is carrying out with the Basque President's Office and the Basque Government's Department of Economic Promotion, Sustainability and Environment to identify the competitiveness challenges of the Basque Country are and how they are changing, with the aim of building sustainable and inclusive wellbeing for the next generation.

The process, developed in four phases, has led to a shared vision of Basque competitiveness in 2040 with various public bodies, the business sector, the third sector, young people and other agents.

Euskadi 2040 has generated a series of lessons that may be relevant both for advancing in the action phases of the process and for other territories that intend to carry out similar regional foresight processes. These lessons have served, precisely, as the basis for the first Orkestra Policy Brief, a new type of publication aimed at policymakers. The main purpose of these publications is to transfer to the international community the knowledge generated by Orkestra in collaboration with key agents in the Basque Country and which can serve as a learning experience for other regions.

This first Policy Brief, entitled Shared visioning as an approach to regional strategic foresight: The experience of Euskadi 2040, stresses that there is increasing interest in experimenting with regional strategic foresight, since although many of the trends that mark foresight processes are global, a large part of the response capacity is local. Among the lessons learned from Euskadi 2040, the document highlights the need to clearly define the scope and perspective of shared visioning processes, and the importance of highlighting potential conflicts and focusing on the development of collective capacities.

Forthcoming international events

As part of the internationalisation of the project, several events will take place in the coming months to share the Euskadi 2040 experience.

On June 14th Ane Izulain will participate in the annual conference of the Regional Studies Association in Florence. On June 17th there will be a session with the Joint Research Center (JRC) team in which the scientific article Place-leadership and power in the futures domain: the case of Euskadi 2040, written by Ane Izulain, Mari Jose Aranguren and James Wilson, will be presented.