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The future of employment: Evaluating impact of STI foresight exercises

The present paper addresses the impact of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Foresight and the resulting STI policy thereof on the critical issue of future industry studies, the demand for employment. The impact evaluation exercise relating STI Foresight and employment proposed here converges and integrates different scientific sectors such as the interdependence between employment and welfare framework; the role and weight of technology change to employment dimension; the prospects of emerging and future technologies impacting employment in future industry; the contribution of science, technology and innovation (STI) policies to promoting the generation and real application of new technologies. The paper follows the premise that STI Foresight, as well as Future Technology Analysis, offer a robust basis for the elaboration and monitoring of STI policies with anticipatory intelligence. The core of the paper is dedicated to address the main question of how to identify and choose variables and indicators able to reflect vectors towards the future of employment. The selected vectors are referred to cross effects, trends, and time scales. As far the relationship of technology and employment is concerned, the paper examines cross effect impacts resulting from an input-output analysis, trends indicated in Future Technology Analysis, and time scaling of the technology lifecycle. These parameters are meant to constitute the basic elements for impact evaluation algorithms. In this connection, the paper proposes concepts, measurement techniques, and methods for the evaluation of foresight exercises influencing future changes on employment. Linking policymaking, Foresight, and specific future-looking themes, the paper offers building blocks for constructing standards for the evaluation of foresight exercises.