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The Head of the Foresight Centre Tea Danilov addressed the international seminar “Towards bridging science and decision-making”. She presented the scenarios on productivity, labour market, and governance that had been based on studies conducted by the Centre, and explained why the Foresight Centre does not propose ready solutions or provide political guidelines.

Danilov sees scenarios as an excellent way of shaping policies because the future is not pre-determined and the scenarios help to envision possible developments and their impact on Estonia. “We are not into predicting; instead we consider possible future developments. The scenarios help us to see the future in a less black-and-white way, point out possible development avenues and options, and analyse their pros and cons,” Danilov explained.

The scenarios developed through the Foresight Centre studies offer policy shapers information on possible risks, and prepare them to consider ways to ground the risks as early as possible. “The scientific research and systemised data that form the basis of the scenarios help the policy shapers and decision-makers reach reliable solutions that could also be understood by the general public,” Danilov added.

The Foresight Centre Director of Studies Meelis Kitsing said that various external and internal considerations can be factored in when planning the scenarios. “It is very important to foresee how the decisions made today affect the future in one way or another, and whether this or that direction would serve Estonia well as a nation,” Kitsing explained.

In 2019, the Foresight Centre plans to carry out three new monitoring projects: the condition of Estonian human resources, the financial well-being of the future elderly, and the evolution of regional development.

The central objective of the studies on regional economy is to identify the regional economy development scenarios in Estonia. The study should conclude with alternative scenarios for 2035.

The monitoring project on analysing the financial well-being of the future elderly assembles the existing studies and will result in scenarios on how to finance old age. Significant developments and needs for decision-making are also identified, along with their implications.

The human resources studies focus on assessing the quality of human resources from a so-called broader perspective, i.e. the attitudes, values, and well-being of the people. This is a meta-analysis where the developments are viewed in relation to the scenarios that have already been created or will be created.

Foresight Centre is a think tank at the Chancellery of the Riigikogu that analyses long-term developments in society and economy