What is Forecasting for Social Good?
What is the point of forecasting? If asked this question, most academics and practitioners would say ‘to inform better decisions’, or words to that effect. This immediately prompts two further questions: i) what do we mean by better? and ii) better for whom? Most of the organisations in which a more professional and analytical approach to forecasting is employed have economic and financial goals, such as minimising costs or maximising profits. Alternative goals may also be served by improved forecasting. We defined ‘Forecasting for Social Good (FSG)’ as: a forecasting process that aims to inform decisions that prioritise the thriving of humanity over the thriving of economies by enhancing the social foundation and ecological ceilings that impact the public as a whole on both global and local levels.
Forecasting for Social Good may call for different perspectives on what constitutes success, and on the means of achieving success. Introducing these new perspectives in practice is not always straightforward and requires research and education.