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Futuring in the European chemical industry
With the beginning of the new millennium there seems to be growing interest in foresight and futures studies. What was once seen as an intuitive skill practised by individuals with more or less success has grown into a coherent body of techniques and knowledge increasingly described as “futuring” and practised by “think tanks” and professional futurists around the world . It is therefore no surprise that these methodologies are also used in the chemical industry in order to cope with the growing uncertainty and volatility this industry has to deal with. More exceptionally, in the last couple of years different independent industry - wide initiatives were started to evaluate the future of the chemical industry. While in the US the focus was on technology there was in Europe a broader perspective. The European Chemical Marketing &
Strategy Association analysed the future success factors, the UK initiative developed a vision for a competitive chemical industry in the UK and the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) developed different alternative scenarios in order to objectify the dialogue with the EU Authorities. Despite the differences in the approach there is common learning and the understanding that industry-wide futuring is a valid step in order to create a sustainable future.