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Public futures: using public dialogue to develop policy options on emerging, cross-cutting issues


This Thought Leadership piece examines the challenges and the value of public engagement on key emerging, cross-cutting issues in policy related to science and technology. It addresses three overarching questions:

1. How might the role for public dialogue change in the future?
2. How might public dialogue impact on policy options on cross-cutting issues and play a part in improving future policymaking?
3. How could public dialogue tools be useful for tackling future policy challenges?

The relevance of public engagement is likely to increase, as complex systems are confronted with uncertain environmental and economic conditions and rapidly developing technology and science. Citizens are inherently users and co-producers of services and social intelligence and public behaviour are crucial to addressing current emergencies, from demographic changes to the economic and environmental crises. In such complex environments, the emphasis necessarily has to shift from addressing acute needs to preventing them and in this respect the role of the public is pivotal.


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