Policy making 3.0 – Connecting the Futurium to research event









I have been invited to participate in the session session “Connecting the Futurium to research” at the  ICT 2013 event in Vilnius.

The session is about the “Policy Making 3.0” model, which I have reviewed before on the OpenGardens blog From Landsgemeinde to Policy 3.0 – Paper review – The Futurium—a Foresight Platform for Evidence-Based and Participatory Policymaking and I have followed it with interest as the Futurium platform evolves.


Futurium was initially developed primarily for hosting and curating visions and policy ideas but has since turned into a platform on which to experiment with new policymaking models based on scientific evidence and stakeholder participation, referred to in this paper as ‘Policy Making 3.0’.


The purpose of this networking session is to:

-          Identify possible features and components that could contribute to expand the Futurium implementation, for instance: to improve the user experience (e.g. gaming, semantic-based search), to address specific foresight needs or to analyse the content co-created by the futurium users (e.g. data mining).

-          Identify prospective use cases of the Futurium model to address specific policy needs, in the context of local, national and international policy making contexts.

You can participate online also via “Connecting the Futurium to research

From the paper a review and summary:


  • Rationale for Policy making 3.0 – Due to the rate of change in society and technology, Policy making needs to be dynamic and keep up with the change. Currently, Policy making reacts to emergencies and evolves from there.  However, there is a growing need to improve forward thinking in policymaking practices which goes beyond current trends.


  • The challenges can be articulated along two main axes – 1. Evidence about the status of the real world vs. inspiration from longer-term thinking and 2. Delegated leadership vs. participatory leadership


  • Evidence vs. Futures balances current trends and short-term forecasts by detecting ‘weak signals’ and exploring alternative paths offered by progress in science and technology may help us to see challenges and opportunities earlier, thus broadening and improving the strategic base of policymaking.


  • Representative vs. Participatory Leadership – Balances inputs from participatory channels like social media with Trust, Identity management. It uses Social media to improve the links between policymakers and stakeholders to take a more participatory approach to the design of future policies.


  • Policy Making 3.0 is a participatory and evidence-based model designed to provide an answer to the above challenges. It is based on the metaphor of a ‘collective brain’ (or emerging collective intelligence) according to which stakeholders and policymakers form a social network to co-design policies on the basis of two distinct factors:  1) The scientific evidence stemming from the collective wisdom of stakeholders and policymakers. This is the collective and rational contribution of the participants to the policy (the ‘left hemisphere’ of the social network’s brain). Evidence is often elicited from data from and numerical models of the real world (e.g. statistics, data mining etc.).  and 2) The visions resulting from the collective aspirations of stakeholders and policy makers, which are measurable through the social network. This can be considered as the ‘emotional and imaginative’ contribution of the participants to the policy (the ‘right hemisphere’ of the social network’s brain).


  • The essential elements of the Policy Making 3.0 process: 1. The implementation of policies co-developed by policymakers and stakeholders has an impact on the real world (individuals, society, economy, environment etc.). 2. The real world is monitored and data are gathered, measured and analysed through knowledge mining and statistical tools, which makes it possible to identify trends, issues and challenges and to elicit scientific evidence. 3. The scientific evidence provides information which stakeholders and policymakers can use to reshape policies. 4. Stakeholders and policymakers interact in social networks where other factors rather than evidence emerge, such as personal opinions, corporate interests, lobbying, ideological values and other ‘non-measurable’ factors (i.e. that cannot be easily sensed and automatically captured). Such factors often prevail over the scientific evidence. There are also boundary constraints that come in the form of values and laws (e.g. constitutional rules). 5. Policies may also be inspired by desirable visions and aspirations that are not necessarily in line with current, short-term trends and can also be considered as part of the ‘emotional’ and intuitive factors that influence decisions.
  • Finally, In order to allow policymakers and stakeholders to work together and co-create in social networks, a common vocabulary of shared concepts (futures, policies etc.) is needed.

I am looking forward to some insightful discussions