Course objective and brief description of the subjects
How one can design a new product without knowing future needs and limitations? What is the prescient knowledge that provides competitive advantages?
The aim of the course is to provide information and knowledge on the modern methods for technology forecasting and prediction of socio-technological changes. It is supposed to proceed with the definition of the main features of technology forecast and forecasting process. Therefore, we will proceed with a detailed discussion of the problems of forecasting. A particular method “Researching Future” and its main techniques will be introduced. The course will then show the possible integration with processes of inventive problem solving, innovative design and strategic planning activities.
In conclusion, we introduce the techniques to support a practical forecasting process.
Practical work-shops will be divided into individual and group exercises, with and without the use of dedicated software.
Synthesis of the subjects
Introduction: why do we need to forecast socio-technological changes, alternatives to a forecast, product evolution cycle, scope of technology forecast, strategic planning and forecast, from uncertainties to reliable forecasting, why it is tough to forecast, the systems approach.
Contemporary Methods of technology forecasting: history of methods, types of forecasts, classifying the forecasting methods (causal methods, phenomenological methods, intuitive methods, monitoring and mapping), combination of methods.
The use of forecasting methods in practice: what is technology, technology and the environment, roadmaps of technology changes; fifty years prediction for energy technologies.
Researching Future methodology: basic concepts, main characteristics of the method, process of study about future, applied techniques and knowledge.
Forecasting – its application, advantages and limitations: failures of technological forecasting.
Course structure and way of checking preparation of students
The course includes a series of lessons, exercises and classroom computer lab. The course will be delivered with two full immersion weeks in the second semester during June and July (in 2018, the course will take place from 11/06 to 15/06 and from 2/07 to 6/07).
The exam consists of one individual and one collective test. The individual test is a written exercise, possibly with the aid of a pc, requiring the application of tools and methods introduced during the course. The collective test includes the presentation and discussion of a project, developed by students divided into groups of 2-4 students and chosen in agreement with the lecturer, preferably based on a real-world topic.