Pro-poor foresight is forward-looking analysis that focuses on poor and marginalized people by expanding their social and economic opportunities and by enhancing the social, economic, and ecological resilience of human society. Yet foresight, as generally applied within government, industry, and the non-governmental sector, rarely includes an explicit focus on poverty. While foresight exercises typically take into account the impact of long- term political, economic, social, and technological trends, the differential implications of these factors for the lives of poor people tend not to be addressed. Poor communities, however, will be disproportionately affected by the myriad and intractable problems of the 21st century, including climate change disasters, weak governance systems, financial crises, security threats, and societal disruptions….
The report explores three main ideas at the heart of the workshop: pro-poor foresight, anticipatory governance, and smart globalization. It also summarizes the real-world experience of participants in conducting foresight in different geographical regions and the barriers faced in applying foresight for decision-making. Subsequently, it describes three interlocking issues—energy and climate change, science and technology, and economic governance—that were discussed in tandem at the workshop.
In conclusion, pro-poor foresight provides an opportunity to approach the problems of developing countries in the Global South in a unique, interconnected, and more effective manner. Pro-poor foresight can catalyze insight in the minds of communities and decision-makers, forge new paths for action, and lead to understanding and embracing complexity. In short, it serves as a survival tool through which we, as individuals, as communities, and as a species can escape the bounds of present circumstances and achieve a measure of freedom of choice about our destinies.