FORESIGHT AS A CONCEPT OF REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT SUPPORT (Foresight jako koncepcja wspomagajaca rozwoj regionalny)
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1. Purpose The authors of this article make an attempt at verifying the usefulness of the foresight concept in instituting favorable conditions for socio-economic regional development, particularly based on the West Pomeranian voivodeship. 2. Methodology Based on European and Japanese foresight experiences, the authors made an evaluation of the program effects in the West Pomeranian voivodeship, both in terms of 'rigid' outcomes (i.e. reports, technological knowledge) and 'soft' outcomes (i.e. values). The latter turned out to have the most significant effects. Moreover, socio-economic development conditions of the region were analyzed together with the expectations of regional leaders regarding the conditions that lead to individual commitment to regional development, cooperation and responsibility. The data for the analysis was gathered during a focus group discussion and supplemented by survey results. 3. Findings A comparison of the foresight program outcomes with the expectations of regional leaders indicated that foresight is a desirable form of support for the development of the West Pomeranian voivodeship. 4. Originality The originality of the paper rests on the related long-term Japanese experience in applying foresight and the obtained results through this method in terms of socio-economic needs of the West Pomeranian voivodeship were defined during the focus group discussion. The authors showed the potential of using foresight not only as a method of developing directions for the development of regional innovation policy but also as a method that supports forming adequate conditions for socio-economic regional development.
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