The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at Boston University has received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to develop data analysis and visualization tools for futures foresight research and to apply these to the Rockefeller Foundation’s ongoing ‘Searchlight’ project that focuses on horizon scanning to identify early signals that could have long-term implications for poor and vulnerable communities, and present a diversity of opinions and perspectives across a range of topics (poverty, development, donor issues, social, economic, political, environmental, science, technology and innovation).
The Pardee Center project will systematically visualize, analyze, and draw conclusions from a collective body of trend monitoring produced in different regions of the world. The project goal is to textually identify and visually represent the key ideas and themes emerging from regional trend analyses in a way that is user-friendly, globally accessible, visually interpretive, and policy relevant. A two-level analysis will be performed which will include (a) a conventional textual analysis; and (b) deploying sophisticated data-mining and text-mining algorithms to extract patterns and linkages from reports. A set of analytical tools for Searchlight data analysis will be developed and deployed. A policy paper as well as an academic research paper will be produced.
The project is led by Prof. Adil Najam (Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future and Boston University Professor of International Relations and Geography and Environment) and by Prof. Suchi Gopal (Faculty Fellow at the e Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future and Boston University Professor of Geography and Environment).