The Role of Horizon Scanning in Innovation and Design Practice
Keywords:horizon scanning, practitioners, interviews, dominant methods, comparison
This paper aims to investigate how horizon scanning (HS) is used by practitioners to create foresight for design and innovation and which methods, tools and approaches innovation practitioners use for spotting and acting upon changes in the business environment as well as in the consumer and technological landscape. Thus, this study contributes to the field of horizon scanning and innovation management by presenting the results from 16 in-depths expert interviews with innovation practitioners. Specifically, the aim of this research was to: discuss the role and importance of horizon scanning for innovation and design; identify dominant methods and approaches used within horizon scanning; and compare the methods typically used by different types of innovation practitioners. This study discovered that HS in conjunction with creative and lateral thinking, technology scouting as well as human-centred thinking not only facilitates the early detection of emerging trends and technologies but also facilitates turning insights into actionable ideas, increasing the likelihood of more successful product development, meaningful innovations and sustainable competitiveness.