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The need of populations and society

26 July 2018

Man in front of projected image
Dr Bahman Rostami-Tabar gets conference proceedings underway

Academics and industry practitioners have tackled the imbalance surrounding scholarship on forecasting at a unique workshop in Cardiff University.

Forecasting for Social Good, the 24th International Institute of Forecasters Workshop, was held at Cardiff Business School on 12-13 July 2018.

Society over profit

Traditionally scholars have focused on forecasting as a planning tool which helps organisations use historical information and judgment to determine the direction of future developments.

Woman in front of projected presentation
Professor Rachel Ashworth introduces delegates to the world's first public value business school

But as the workshop organiser, Dr Bahman Rostami-Tabar, explains: “I had this idea to conduct research on forecasting, where attention is not really given to profit but rather to its societal implications.

“As part of the workshop, we had a group discussion during which I asked participants to help me define this type of forecasting...”

“So forecasting for social good enables the sustainable future of equal opportunity and incorporates the need of populations and society rather than emphasising a pure financial performance.”

Professor Bahman Rostami-Tabar Professor of Data-Driven Decision Science

“It has two main elements: i) it informs decisions that are not directly driven by profit and ii) it gives priority to those who are generally external to the organisation.”

A comprehensive definition on forecasting for social good is still being developed by Dr Rostami-Tabar and colleagues. It will appear alongside selected presentations from the event in a special issue of the International Journal of Forecasting and Foresight: The International Journal of Applied Forecasting.

The workshop brought together researchers and practitioners from 10 countries representing organisations including: NHS, Welsh Government, International Committee of Red Cross, United Nations and the Australian Government.

Cardiff by boat

On top of two days of conversation and debate, delegates saw Cardiff by boat as they traveled along the River Taff from Bute Park to Cardiff Bay where they enjoyed a conference dinner at Old Custom House.

For full details of the programme and live streams of all presentations visit the conference website.

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