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Wfs Conference Dr Elisabeth Dostal

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Dr Dostal on the Ideal Future

Dr Dostal on the Ideal Future

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  • 1. World Future Society Conference The role of the ideal future and how to get there © Dr Elisabeth Dostal 7 May 2010
  • 2. challenge we know what caused the finance crisis, but we don’t know what to do about it (G-20 Summit, March 2009) we can also replace “finance crisis” with  climate change,  poverty,  crime,  terrorism,  unemployment,  population explosion,  etc. ©
  • 3. summary of my talk we need: (1) a worldview that can deal with complexity systems thinking (2) change our future course ideal future designs (1) new thinking about governance stakeholder governance ©
  • 4. (1) changing our worldview ©
  • 5. fundamental problems with our worldview  the logic of the problem is not the logic of the solution  the problem does not contain the solution  “more of the same” reinforces the problem  problems have multiple causes ©
  • 6. problems and cofactors poverty ©
  • 7. fundamental problems with our worldview  the logic of the problem is not the logic of the solution  problems have multiple causes  issues are interrelated  interrelating problems make each other worse ©
  • 8. issues are interrelated population climate explosion change health crisis poverty education crisis inadequate infrastructure unemploy- ment energy violence shortage ©
  • 9. fundamental problems with our worldview  the logic of the problem is not the logic of the solution  problems have multiple causes  issues are interrelated  interrelating problems make each other worse  solutions in one area can give rise to problems in another  vicious circles
  • 10. solutions in one area can create problems in another e.g. solving poverty through more economic development reinforces climate change (or energy shortages, etc.) poverty economic climate development change ©
  • 11. fundamental problems with our worldview  the logic of the problem is not the logic of the solution  problems have multiple causes  issues are interrelated  the current situation has momentum  it tends to get worse over time  we don’t notice gradual deterioration
  • 12. current future • momentum • forecasting • current future scenarios • current logic • gradual deterioration current situation current futures time ©
  • 13. (2) how do we change our future course? ©
  • 14. systems have a conceptual and physical reality  conceptual reality in-forms physical reality in-forms  if the current situation is undesirable, it indicates that conceptual reality there is need for changing conceptual reality (i.e. redesign) physical  redesigning its conceptual reality reality trans-forms the system indicates ©
  • 15. role of the ideal future • redesign conceptual reality as an ideal future • the ideal future represents a different (higher order) logic • one can backcast strategies from the ideal future • acting according to the new strategies brings about a gradual improvement of the system towards new and more desirable outcomes ideal • problems get dissolved future backcasting current situation current futures forecasting ©
  • 16. current versus ideal future the future is created by default or design default: current future design: ideal future either way we are responsible for our future ©
  • 17. how do we redesign the future? summary: • choose a design framework • analyse the current situation • create an ideal design • generate alignment around the design • make implementation plan • implement • monitor results ©
  • 18. framework: multiple levels planet co-factors society institution organisation group individual cell molecule ©
  • 19. framework: multiple levels and dimension psychological technological physiological ecological economic physical political cultural planet international society X national society X institution organisation X group X X individual X X cell © etc.
  • 20. analyse the current situation and create an ideal design multi-level and multi-dimensional design ideal future multi-level and multi-dimensional analysis current current situation futures ©
  • 21. aligning stakeholders around the design St 9 aligning stakeholders St 8 involves design St 1 St 2 iterations St 3 St 7 IDEAL DESIGN St 10 St 4 St 12 St 6 St 5 St 11 ©
  • 22. implementation plan Outcomes Based Education 1. redesign curriculum 2. new schoolbooks 3. train teachers ideal 4. administer system 1 future 5. etc. 2 3 Primary Health Care current current 1. build clinics situation futures 2. staff clinics 3. equip clinics 4. administer system time 5. etc. ©
  • 23. strategic plan: cascading aims in time ideal future current situation current futures ©
  • 24. (3) who should redesign the future and implement the designed strategy? ©
  • 25. current governance government cabinet government government government department department department private sector private sector private sector NGOs NGOs NGOs function specific strategy function specific strategy function specific strategy©
  • 26. transversal (multi-functional) strategic design housing health education strategy environment employment energy ©
  • 27. stakeholder governance government cabinet Ideal Design of a Transversal Issue government government government department department department private sector private sector private sector NGOs NGOs NGOs function specific strategy transversal / cooperative strategy ©
  • 28. implement the plans  each stakeholder implements the strategies it is responsible for  the sum total of even seemingly insignificant strategies dissolves the problems associated with the transversal issue ©
  • 29. homework  what is your contribution  (from your functional perspective)  to the dissolving of our collective problems? ©

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