This article is the fourth in the series started by Futuribles in June 2004, in partnership with the Aleph group of the French Commissariat général du Plan. The aim of the series is to enlighten readers about what specialist bodies are doing in other countries in the area of futures studies and strategic thinking geared to public decision-making. The three earlier articles looked at Germany, Ireland and Sweden. In this issue we look at the place of futures studies in the public sphere in Quebec.
As Aurélien Colson stresses, in Quebec, as elsewhere, the term futures studies ("prospective") has a variety of meanings and covers a wide range of practices. While planning and strategic monitoring are very highly developed in the public administration of Quebec, "prospective" in its strictest definition appears to be more marginal, with the exception of a promising concern with "foresight" that exists within the province's Council on Science and Technology.