The Netherlands Study Centre for Technology Trends (STT) was established in 1968. STT is an independent non-profit foundation, funded by financial contributions from the Dutch government and industry and science.
STT carries out society oriented technology foresight studies. For that purpose STT facilitates a free space in which enthusiastic stakeholders, experts and creative minds from industry, society, science and government take part. There are often more than 100 participants per project. Young people from schools and universities are increasingly included in discussions. The participants create views on the future of technology in society. They are stimulated to think ‘out of the box’, 20-30 years ahead, and to leave present principles and constraints behind. Through knowledge fusion, new insights and ideas emerge and a willingness to explore new ways of cooperation between stakeholders. Topics are explored broadly (cross domain and interdisciplinary) and sub-topics are studied in-depth. The focus is on the interrelation between technological and societal developments.
The outcome of STT’s projects serve as starting points for new initiatives, such as public-private cooperation and (system) innovation projects; applied research programmes, the basis is laid during the projects through the cooperation of the stakeholders involved. There is a long list of achievements resulting from the foresight projects in the past decades. Foresight and especially horizon scanning can also used be used by STT board members and other stakeholders for risk assessment and risk management.
STT’s activities are carried out and supported by 7 staffmembers and in addition a number of student-assistants.
The governing board consists of high level members from industry, science, society and government. Board members are appointed for a period of four years, with one possible renewal of four years.
The governing board convenes twice a year. Meetings are usually organised in The Hague in the evening. Apart from discussions on the foresight studies during the regular board meeting, members, or their representative, may take part in special sessions, during which in depth discussions take place, serving as input for the projects. Members or their representatives are invited to join working groups of current projects. For network purposes ‘diners pensant’ with accompanying lectures are organized. Members may suggest themes for quick scans and seminars to cater for the rolling foresight agenda.
For the members STT serves as a knowledge centre and think tank, a meeting place for research, industry, society and government.
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