Foresight & Forecasts

Planning with a sound basis & discovering scopes of action.

Long-term, resilient planning requires a vision of the future – be it political strategies, business decisions or investments. What is possible, probable, desirable, conceivable and what would one want to avoid? Foresight processes use scenarios, forecasts and other scientifically based methods to shed light on scopes of action.

Scenarios and forecasts outline development paths          

Scenarios allow for the comparison of development paths that arise from different assumptions or objectives. For this purpose, they map alternative paths: How would a system evolve, if the status quo is maintained? Which effects are likely to result from political measures or technological developments?

The comparison of consistent scenarios provides important information on the impact of policy alternatives, reforms or objectives. Scenarios can be derived qualitatively and can also be calculated quantitatively as well as based on models.

Forecasts, on the other hand, depict highly probable development paths based on data and models. This provides a framework for strategic decisions – short, medium or long term, depending on the issue at hand.

Explore possibilities, broaden your field of vision – with foresight

While scenarios and forecasts outline and describe specific development paths under clearly defined conditions, foresight processes enable an expansion of the field of vision: They are used to explore not only possible and probable but also conceivable futures. In this way, foresight opens up spaces of possibility within which the future can be shaped.

When seeking answers to complex questions about the future and scopes of action, foresight processes utilize various methods: Comprehensive participation formats can be just as much a part of the process as forecasts of particular trends as well as qualitative and quantitative scenarios of the future.

In developing such visions of the future, the developments already visible today are examined, for example in interaction with superordinate megatrends: How, say, do demography, digitisation and climate change affect social and/or economic systems? What skills will be called for in five-, ten- or 15-years’ time?   

Orientation and decision criteria for policymakers, organisations and companies

Foresight processes, scenarios and forecasts provide scientifically sound impulses to strategically shape the future:

  • Detecting changes: Identifying changes and their drivers early on and assessing their effects
  • Reduce uncertainties: Making well-founded decisions
  • Strategic alignment: Building up competences in a targeted and far-sighted manner, recognising innovation potential and initiating transformation processes
  • Getting stakeholders on board: Making important stakeholders aware of changes and showing them possible scopes of action

Foresight & forecasts: A selection of our services

Instruments of Futures Studies

We use the entire toolbox of futures research: qualitative and quantitative scenarios, forecasts and trend reports - based on our diverse and proven models, big-data analysis tools, Delphi surveys, road mapping and many more.

Future Scenarios

We draft visions of the future for various strategic planning processes in politics, businesses and organisations.

Analyses and Impact Assessments

Analyses and impact assessments of political instruments, reforms and action alternatives.

Interdisciplinary approach

We tap and use knowledge from a wide range of disciplines in a scientifically sound manner.

Our work on this topic

Take a look at our latest projects and activities.

No generational conflict: Young and old are primarily looking for security.

| Project

Study compares “boomers” and Generation Z: high need for security for young and old alike.

Prognos Economic Outlook® (PEO®)

| Project

In uncertain times, there is a growing demand for orientation. PEO® delivers independent figures. Based on our economic models we project the coming 25 years.

Germany's Global Value-Adding Network

| Project

Prognos analysed the value-added interdependencies of the German economy in the years 2000, 2008, and 2014.

“No-deal Brexit” no disaster for the German economy

| Project

Scenario analysis: The German economy need no longer fear a no-deal Brexit.

Prognos Zukunftsatlas®


Zukunftsatlas 2022 Curious about how your region is currently perfo

Work Landscape 2025

| Project

The "Labor Landscape" study series has been providing an overview of the development of labor demand and labor supply in Germany since 2008.

Prognos Zukunftsatlas® 2019

| Project

How well equipped are Germany's districts and cities for the future? Who is ahead in the ranking, who needs to catch up? The Prognos Zukunftsatlas 2019 provides answers (in German).

Germany Report 2025|2035|2045

| Project

Germany will become more global, more digital, greener and older in the next 30 years. This is shown by Prognos Deutschland Report from 2018/2019.

Automated driving spreads only slowly

| Project

Automated driving will not be a mass phenomenon in the foreseeable future. This is the result of a study by Prognos AG on behalf of ADAC e.V.

Women & retirement provision

| Project

A stronger employment orientation for women can help to stabilise the public pension system – while also benefitting their own financial position in old age.

Do you have questions?

Your contact at Prognos

Dr Oliver Ehrentraut

Head of the economics division, Partner, Director

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Dr Almut Kirchner

Director, Partner

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About us

Prognos – Providing Orientation.

Prognos is one of the oldest economic research centres in Europe. Founded at the University of Basel, Prognos experts have been conducting research for a wide range of clients from the public and private sectors since 1959 – politically independent, scientifically sound.

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