The growing demand for forward-looking activities (FLA) has increased the number of players prescribing, applying, researching, improving and supporting FLA. This has both pros and cons. On the one hand, we find new actors prescribing practices or “systemic approaches” that have not been properly oriented or aligned to the three fundamental features of fully-fledged FLA: forward-looking (prospective orientation), strategic-intelligence (practical orientation) and stakeholder-engagement (participatory orientation). On the other hand, we see more players improving and supporting FLA practices based on lessons learned from systematically researching (i.e. mapping and evaluating) and applying (i.e. practising and exploiting) FLA. In EFP we will map the latter group of players in an effort to identify key FLA competences, capacities and skills in Europe and other world regions.
By players we mean actors who have been involved in forward-looking studies mapped in the EFP Mapping Environment. This possibly means that, in the short-term, our lists of actors would not be representative of the universe of FLA players. However, the mapping of FLA players is not meant to be a census or process aimed to collect information about all members of the FLA community. Instead, our aim is to systematically record the type, role and number of FLA players contributing to the projects mapped in EFP. In other words, we will not map institutions, initiatives or individuals teaching or publishing on FLA, unless they have been involved, in one way or another, in one or more than the following phases of mapped FLA: scoping, mobilising, anticipating, recommending and transforming futures.
Here we focus on another question: How to map FLA players?
The answer to this question involves the mapping of the core elements of FLA players. We should highlight that the mapping of players also includes those actors supporting the scoping phase of FLA, in particular: sponsors, research teams and domain/methodology experts.