A2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review
Exploring the unknowns : State of the art in qualitative forest-based sector foresight research (2022)

Heiskanen, A., Hurmekoski, E., Toppinen, A., & Näyhä, A. (2022). Exploring the unknowns : State of the art in qualitative forest-based sector foresight research. Forest Policy and Economics, 135, Article 102643. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2021.102643

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Heiskanen, Aleksi; Hurmekoski, Elias; Toppinen, Anne; Näyhä, Annukka

Journal or series: Forest Policy and Economics

ISSN: 1389-9341

eISSN: 1872-7050

Publication year: 2022

Volume: 135

Article number: 102643

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication country: Netherlands

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2021.102643

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/78833


The forest-based sector is facing one the greatest transitions in its history in the face of global megatrends. Globalization, sustainability challenges and the ICT sector have put the world in a new light. Whereas some of the recent developments have resulted in challenges for the traditional forest industry, many positive expectations and opportunities are also seen to arise in the form of the transition to a sustainable bio-economy. However, to be able to fully seize the opportunity, the industry has to navigate through contingency where preparedness can have a major impact. Foresight as a strategic approach can help to prepare and sensitize decision-makers to be prepared for the future. Foresight is a process aimed at understanding the various and alternative developments of the future better. In this review, we aim to find out what the state-of-the-art of qualitative foresight in the context of forest-based sector is. Forest sector foresight remains a nascent stream in peer-reviewed literature despite the small increase in articles since 2010. Foresight has been applied relatively evenly across the sub-sectors, attention having been predominantly on adaptive approaches. Foresight studies could be classified based on their objectives and types of output into three main categories: Identifying Drivers and Trends, Management of Change and Visioning. Notably, almost all the scientific foresight literature deals with sectoral level, and lacks organisational points of view. Foresight could also provide an opportunity to include stakeholder engagement beyond business-as-usual, which seems to remain currently relatively marginal. The findings suggests that foresight in the forest sector is not entirely novel, but still developing. Many opportunities to fully capture the potential lie ahead and micro level perspectives could be enhanced in the literature.

Keywords: forest sector; forest industry; business environment; forecasts; economic forecasts; systematic reviews

Free keywords: Foresight; Forest-based sector; Transition; Adaptive management

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2022

Preliminary JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 15:55