Influences of forecasts

"While think tanks play many roles, an example that brings home their importance now and in the future is the increasing interest in long-range forecasting and thinking about the future. (...) What we must realize now is that as institutions assume the formal role of casting about in the future, they dramatically increase their influence on that future. Simply put, if a think tanks tells its sponsors and others willing to listen that X, Y and Z will occur by the year 2000, then X, Y, and Z are more likely to occur as policy and technological goals adapt to those predictions"

Paul Dickson, Think Tanks, Ballantine Books, 1972.