Futures for Regional Development
Start date: Jun 30, 2005,
End date: Dec 30, 2007
Regions and their public authorities can use futures tools to deal with important challenges and trends in an intelligent and strategic way. However, to date, relatively little use has been made of futures tools within regional policy-making. The FUTURREG partnership aims to provide regional authorities with access to these tools and build upon previous successful projects to improve the impact of policies within European regions. Achievements: Achievements so far The FUTURREG Project - Futures for Regional Development built futures capacity within the partner regions of Wales, Central Macedonia, Wallonia, La Rioja, Malta, South-Western Finland and the BMW Region of Ireland. The project began in July 2005 and ended in December 2007. It will have significant long-term impacts for regional development policies throughout the European Union, by ensuring that policies and regional development organisations are informed by high-quality futures tools and participatory processes. The initial activities of the project involved regional appraisals of futures tools and experience; writing futures tools reports for 5 futures tools (Delphi, Trend Analysis, Scenario Building, Horizon Scanning and Visionary Management and developing a 'Futures Toolkit' as a resource for defining regional development needs with relevant and easily applicable information including case studies and information and guidance on the use of the tools. Each partner identified opportunities for applying the Futures Toolkit through working with regional development actors to identify programmes and policies in which futures tools could be applied. Each partner profiled and recruited at least 2 regional organisations to apply the Toolkit. Partners also briefed and advised over 100 other regional stakeholders and met regularly in 7 Steering Committee events to review progress and evaluate results. The regional actors accompanied partners to a 1st Inter-Regional Futures Workshop in Turku, (7 June 2006) at which presentations made on the Tools reports and the Toolkit. Each partner in collaboration with regional stakeholders worked through the process of defining the two applications of the Toolkit. A refined and extended version of the Toolkit was presented at the 2nd Inter-regional Workshop in Liège (11 October 2006) at which interim results were discussed by partners and regional actors and linkages made between different actors. By mid 2007 all 14 pilot futures sub-projects applications of the Futures Toolkit were in progress or completed. 3,000 high quality project brochures were produced and disseminated EU-wide (April 2007). The concluding inter-regional FUTURREG conference held in Sligo, Ireland (8-9 October 2007) disseminated the aims and outcomes of the project attracting 90 delegates and addressed by leading national and international futures experts. At the Conference, there were 3 parallel workshops on the sub-project results and the full conference papers and the final version of the Toolkit were posted on the website.
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