The future belongs to everybody so it is strange that we often only listen to experts. Of course, it is a good thing that our bridges are being designed and built by university educated engineers. Science has advanced our society tremendously. However, foresight professionals advocate leaving thinking aboutthe future not only to experts. The expert is a specialist and assessing new developments only on the basis of analysis and historical data is not always the best idea.
The Dutch ‘National Future Monitor’ in 2018 investigated the opinion of Dutch people on future and technology. Thousand respondents have been asked how they think about the future of environment, economy, and governance, and about the societal impact of biotechnology, safety, robotics, and digitalization. Also their opinion is asked about how fast or slow certain technologies might break through, about the desirability of certain technologies, and which technologies should be invented to improve our future. The result is a large, diverse set of information about how Dutch people in 2018 think about their future and about technological developments. The result can fuel a wide-ranging societal discussion about the future, which in a democratic, dynamic, and ‘open’ country such as the Netherlands should be an ongoing activity.
- For the results of the 2016 ‘National Future Monitor’: Snijders, D. & P.A. van der Duin (2017). The future is ours. How Dutch people think about technology and the future, Journal of Futures Studies, Vol. 21. No.4, June 2017, pp.19-36