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The quest for competences of a future-oriented entrepreneur

By: Anna Sacio-Szymańska (originally published at LinkedIN)


Whoever imagines mental deep permeable barriers which actually do not exist  and then thinks them away, has understood the world.”

(Friedrich Rücker)[1]


Source: Heiner Benking, Futures of learning and negotiation, policy-making, and awareness/consciousness,

Recently, we have been carrying out an exploratory research with the aim to distinguish competences of a future-oriented entrepreneur. The activity has been performed within beFORE project, which is one of the Erasmus + Knowledge Alliances. The first step in the research was to screen the literature in the fields of futures studies, innovation management and entrepreneurship. The database of potential papers for analysis included scientific journals, popular economic press and social media sites (such as LinkedIn Pulse articles), and books. The reference list, that our internal project team decided to focus on is listed below.

On the basis of this analysis we extracted the following set of competences characterizing future-oriented entrepreneurs:

  • being able to study a given situation;
  • being able to watch and notice signs of upheavals – positive or negative – to be able to start preparing for them in good time;
  • being able to consider possible scenarios and working out solutions;
  • being able to lay out how to implement the best course of action in a given situation;
  • being able to restate the situation as future demands;
  • being able to combine existing elements and change their goal, according to where the combination leads;
  • being able to connect, inspire, empower and engage key stakeholders towards change.

With regard to sector-specific knowledge and personal traits the characteristics recommended by cited sources were:

  • being knowledgeable in a given field of professional interest;
  • being able to identify connections with other fields of interest and create value stemming from these interrelations;
  • being able to learn, to see, to explore, to listen, to understand and respond to the unseen assumptions of others, one’s organization, culture and self.

The above list was merely a tiny fraction of the overall 1500+ competences [sic!], which have been gathered so far by all consortium members of beFORE Knowledge Alliance project.


In our quest for the exhaustive set of competences we visited two conferences:

The first conference was co-organized by the Foresight Europe Network, FEN. Whereas, the second event was fully run by the International Society for Professional Innovation Management, ISPIM. Both networks, are the associated partners of our project.


Presented below, are sets of competences, which we have brought back from the two conferences:

  • A set of personal capabilities for the future (Fig. 1) derived from selected presentations from the Futures of a Complex World conference session on “Futures of education, learning and work” and
  • A set of competences of a future-oriented entrepreneur (Fig. 2) brainstormed by the participants of the Futures Literacy and Entrepreneurship workshop organised by beFORE project at ISPIM conference.


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[1] Source:

Research areas

tekst alternatywny dla flash

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