In the field of futures studies, signs and signals of the future are called emerging issues. Emerging issues are issues that would bring huge changes to society in the future, although insufficient data regarding emerging issues have appeared at present. In order to identify emerging issues in advance and prepare for them, major futures research institutes around the world put a lot of effort into emerging issue analysis under various names such as weak signals, wild cards, and early warnings.
The National Assembly Futures Institute collaborated with Professor Min Song's research team at the Department of Library and Information Sciences, Yonsei University to collect 1.5 million academic literature items and applied its own computer algorithms and machine learning to derive emerging keywords. Emerging keywords are ones that are receiving new attention from experts and are expected to be mentioned more frequently in the future. About 100 domestic experts were provided with emerging keywords and asked to pick out emerging issues using the keywords, and about 70 emerging issues were identified. Researchers at the National Assembly Futures Institute rearranged these into 36 emerging issues and sent them back to 42 experts to evaluate them based on their potentiality and social impact.
For example, The escalating conflict between the United States and its global allies and China, new space appeared in response to climate crisis, radical energy transition in transportation and logistics, the increase in asocial behavior, and the appearance of the mosaic family have been raised as emerging issues that will have a great impact on society.
In addition, emerging issues such as Robot autonomy and social consensus, emphasis on the public nature of land, entering life in space, and eco-fascism, which are relatively unlikely to occur, but that may have ripple effects on society, were also identified.
Emerging issues research can be said to be important in terms of promoting and enhancing the capability of citizens to think about and formulate responses to various changes regarding the future by assessing issues that society has not yet determined the nature of – whether they are problems or opportunities.