Let's stop blaming external forces for slow growth in the French regions. Their performances, says Michel Godet, basically depend on the ability of those concerned with a region's growth to build their efforts around shared visions. In his view, the main purpose of regional scenario-building should be to act as a catalyst for local initiatives, the main aim being to mobilize efforts to achieve collective targets developed from the bottom-up.
In this paper, written for a European forum on regional and local futures studies to be held in Lille on 18-19 December 2001, Michel Godet draws on both his own experience of regional scenario-building and on the work of the national committee concerned with local development initiatives.
He sets out to show why foresight is useful in informing action and how dreams can shape reality, as well as ultimately how far the future of our regions, like that of any human community, depends above all on initiatives that, developing from the grass-roots, have a collective impetus. Along the way, he stresses the contribution of futures studies methods for which he is so well known in France..
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