shiftN has been heavily involved in one of Foresight UK’s key projects: the Mental Capital and Wellbeing project. The UK Government’s Foresight programme, alongside the Horizon Scanning Centre, uses science-based methods to provide visions of the future to enable policymakers to develop strategies to manage our future better. (The Foresight Programme and Horizon Scanning Centre are based in the Government Office for Science based within the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.)
The aim of this project is to produce a challenging and long-term vision for maximising Mental Capital and Wellbeing in the UK in the twenty-first century - both for the benefit of society, and for the individual. It surveys a particularly wide range of issues, ranging from mental health to learning difficulties, learning through life and mental wellbeing at work.
shiftN is responsible for two work packages in this project. First we work very closely with a wide range of top-level scientific experts to build cross-disciplinary visual models. The purpose of these models is to visualise systemic interdependencies across a wide range of issues surrounding mental capital and to make this complexity accessible to decision-makers and wider audiences. A second work package focuses on the development of a set of future scenarios to help assess the robustness of potential policy interventions in this area.
In a second phase, which has just started, we work closely with scientific experts who are engaging with their peers and stakeholders in thinking through the implications of the insights gathered in an initial phase of the project.
The projects’ second phase has just started and is scheduled to run from February 2008 to May 2008.