Cooperation and Networking as a Side Effect of
the German Delphi ’98
The German Foresight Process Delphi ’98 started with the aim of gathering information and informing interested actors about things to come. It was a large Delphi survey, dealing with global developments in science and technology but also included “megatrends.”
The project was financed by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, but it was mainly other users who profited from the results. Interest in the two volumes of the report was large, especially in the media, and reached a peak in the year 2000. But the survey also had side effects. The Fraunhofer Society used it for its evaluation by an international committee. Another side effect observed by the organizers was the creation of spontaneous networks and cooperation to develop products. An international informal foresight network also evolved because organizers and sponsors of foresight met at several conferences for mutual learning.
The German economy is proud of its high export quotas. The German market is open to international competitors, and Germany itself is at the center of a farreaching innovation competition. However, there are problem areas which make stringent demands on the economy: Setting priorities, the allocation of financial resources, and the strategic orientation of research and development in Germany are all under attack. Without an effective assessment of the most important areas