A foresight toolkit for the drugs field

This toolkit aims to support the EMCDDA’s stakeholders, other actors and researchers in the drugs field to implement their own foresight exercise in the form of an introductory trend-based workshop. It describes briefly the foresight and trend analysis approach and general principles of how both can be applied effectively in the drugs field. It defines all the steps needed in preparing, implementing and documenting such a workshop. It draws heavily on the works of the Joint Research Centre foresight team and the results of the EMCDDA’s foresight activities to date.

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How to run a trends workshop: user guide

Download the full guide How to run a trends workshop: An EMCDDA foresight toolkit for the drugs field. This version includes detailed instructions with all the steps needed in preparing, implementing and documenting such a workshop, as well as tips and tricks for each step, focusing in particular on the delivery of the workshop. The templates needed for the workshop, trend cards and working agendas of the meeting are included in the guide and available for download in the toolkit under Templates and Trend cards.


Cover of the foresight toolkit guide

Key phases of the process

  • Phase 1: Preparation of the trends workshop — critical issues to consider such as the definition and communication of a clear and realistic aim (i.e. answering the question 'What do we want, and can we realistically achieve, with this workshop?').
  • Phase 2: Mapping and prioritising of the trends — use of trends cards set, and additional trends. Participants then identify and prioritise trends regarded as especially critical.
  • Phase 3: Analysis of the implications and impacts — an overview of the respective implications for the drugs field as well as the organisation.


More information on foresight phases in the user guide.

Trend cards set

These cards are intended to be used with the templates for running this workshop.

Megatrend cards

14 megatrends identified by the EU Joint Research Centre as relevant for the future of Europe.

Images showing the megatrends

EMCDDA trend cards

A set of cards featuring the emerging trends that are specific to the EU drugs arena as identified within the EMCDDA's foresight activities.

Slide showing the main megatrends and trends in the drugs field

Trend card templates

A set of adaptable templates to be used in a foresight workshop.


More information

References on foresight and trend analysis

For detailed information on all 14 JRC megatrends: Joint Research Centre (JRC) (2017), The megatrends hub

For a short introduction to environmental scanning: European Foresight Platform (EFP) (2010a), Environmental scanning

For a short introduction to horizon scanning: EFP (2010b), Horizon scanning

For an introduction to trends and megatrends: EFP (2016), Megatrend / trend / driver / issue

For more on horizon scanning and research integration: Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (2015), Models of horizon scanning: how to integrate horizon scanning into European research and innovation policies, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, Karlsruhe

For information and resources from the Future Agenda: Future Agenda (2011), The World in 2020, Oxford 2011

Gidley, J. (2017), The future: A very short introduction, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2017.

Kahn, H. (2021), Forecasting the Future, Hudson Institute. Originally published 13 September 1984, accessed June 2021

For information and resources from The Millennium Project: The Millennium Project (2017), State of the future 19.1, The Millennium Project, Washington.

Rohrbeck, R. (2013), ‘Trend scanning, scouting and foresight techniques

References on other foresight toolkits

Cranfield University (2018), Horizon scanning toolkit, Smarter regulation of waste in Europe: LIFE SMART waste project

Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC) (2019), Megatrends engagement tools

UK Government Office for Science (2017), The futures toolkit: Tools for futures thinking and foresight across UK government

References on foresight implemented within the EU system

European Commission (2021), European Commission (2021), Foresight

European Political Strategy Centre of the European Commission (EPSC) (2021), European Political Strategy Centre

Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC) (2021), Competence centre on foresight

Reports relevant to foresight in the drugs area

Science and Technology Options Assessment of the European Parliament (STOA) (2017), Technological innovation strategies in substance use disorders, Panel for the Future of Science and Technology

Global Initiative (2021), The global illicit economy

Karlsen, J. E., Gual, A. and Anderson, P. (2013), ‘Foresighting addiction and lifestyles in Europe 2030+’, European Journal of Futures Research 1, 19

UK Government Office for Science (2005), Drugs Futures 2025