Developing Foresight Capability at William Rainey Harper College 24

Write abstracts

Abstracts assist the scanning/monitoring process because they provide a brief summary about a potential development so that other members of the scanning/monitoring team do not have to read the entire source; abstracts provide members of the team with preliminary thoughts as to how this potential development could affect the institution.

When preparing abstracts, write the lead sentence in response to these questions: "If I had only a few minutes to describe this article to a friend, what would I say? What is the most important idea or event that indicates change?" Your response to these questions should be one paragraph. Include statistical data where possible. And include a statement of the implications of the emerging trend or potential development for the institution. The summary-and-implications section of the abstract should be one typed page at most.

Maintaining a System

Establishing a comprehensive environmental scanning system on a campus to inform planning requires a good deal of time from everyone involved in the process. Fortunately, you can take advantage of the information highway and can share resources via Horizon List and Horizon Home Page . Horizon List offers the opportunity to respond to draft articles focusing on emerging trends and potential events. Horizon Home Page has a futures planning database of abstracts describing signals of change in the macroenvironment that can affect education; please review this section and please add to it. You may subscribe to Horizon List by sending the following message to subscribe horizon <yourfirstname> <yourlastname>. You may view and contribute to Horizon Home Page by clicking on the underlined text. And these services are absolutely free to those who have access to the Internet.