Futures studies and social research for policy: an introduction.

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  • This presentation was prepared for the Social Research Association’s seminar on futures studies and social research, London, 7 July 2009.
  • Quoted from Patrick O’Brian’s The Wine-Dark Sea, p. 147, exchange between Stephen Maturin and his guide.

    These two characters offer the thought to each other as a blessing, an expression encapsulating stability and thus safety, security. Yet stability is also stagnation, and new things -- while disrupting -- offer opportunities for further creativity, growth, transformation, even transcendence. How poor would London have been if no new things had arisen around Westminster and the city?
  • This slide emphasizes the point that the interrelationships between the linear and non-linear systems which compose reality generate uncertainty. Trends and their impacts are crashing into each other all the time. This creates turbulence and change, but also generates never before seen combinations of social impacts, of technologies, of ideas; the collision of trends generates bisociation or intersection: the perfect environment for creativity, for challenge AND opportunity.

    The collision of trends creates new possibilities, opening the door for alternative future contexts for any product, service, or brand.

    Assessing the probability that any given image of the future might actually occur must necessarily be an ongoing process: as trends and emerging issues of change grow, transform, plateau, or collapse over time, the probability of a possible outcome, or possible future, may vary. Hence the need for ongoing identification and monitoring of indicators of change.

    Secondly, organizations must also continually evaluate alternative possible futures to identify those that offer conditions most conducive to meeting goals to achieve the organizational vision, or preferred future. Note, however, that evaluating a possible future as offering conditions to achieve a vision is NOT THE SAME ACTIVITY as articulating a vision of a preferred future.
  • Change arrives bumpily. Tipping points and discontinuities arise when changes converge and amplify each other’s impacts. Discontinuities then challenge working assumptions, worldviews, and deeply rooted value sets,
  • Futures studies as an academic field emerged as scholars around the world found themselves asking the same kinds of questions about the long-term future. The paradigms and methods used in the field reflect this diversity of input from other, older academic disciplines.
  • All living systems are non-linear. The dynamics of living systems, and the interrelationships between the linear and non-linear systems which compose reality, generate uncertainty. Trends of change and their impacts are continually colliding. This creates turbulence and change, but also generates never before seen combinations of social impacts, of technologies, of ideas; the collision of trends generates bisociation or intersection: the perfect environment for creativity.
  • The collision of trends creates new possibilities, opening the door for alternative future contexts for any product, service, or brand.

    Assessing the probability of any given image of the future actually occurring must of necessity be an ongoing process: as trends and emerging issues of change grow, transform, plateau, or collapse over time, the probability of a possible outcome, or possible future, may vary. Hence the need for ongoing identification and monitoring of indicators of change.

    Secondly, organizations must also continually evaluate alternative possible futures to identify those that offer conditions most conducive to meeting goals to achieve the organizational vision, or preferred future. Note, however, that evaluating a possible future as offering conditions to achieve a vision is NOT THE SAME ACTIVITY as articulating a vision of a preferred future.
  • When we think about the future, it is often in relation to a specific issue, a question or plan or hope or worry that we have. That question, plan, hope, worry is mediated by -- informed, influenced, affected by -- the concerns and worldview of the organization in which we are involved: family, company, agency, non-profit, volunteer assocation, etc.
    In turn, the worldview, issues, concerns, operational terms of any organization are influenced by the worldview and culture of the environment within which the organization operates.
    What does that mean? If you are Exxon, you work within a culture distinct from that of, say, Shell, or BP; but you share the underlying concerns and concepts of the petroleum and energy markets. All of those cultures contribute to identifying and defining problems, like how we might manage future energy demand (in this instance, the inner, green circle).
    In strategic planning, when you engage in “SWOT” analyses – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, challenges – you are assessing both your organization’s internal environment (the middle, dark blue circle) and, usually, the organization’s immediate operating context (the third, pale blue circle).
    It is the macro environment where the futurist offers help (the outermost white circle), by identifying emerging issues of change – so-called “weak signals” – and monitoring their escalation or subsidence, as well as the growth of established trends of change. The futurist’s systems perspective assumes the interrelationship of all the systems: change echoes back and forth among them all, and up and down through various subsystems, via information flows, behaviors (actions and reactions), and other forms of feedback.
  • Prof. Slaughter champions ‘integral futures’ -- I would argue that in addition we should practice integrated foresight. Too often people choose just one foresight activity as a stand-alone project: horizon scanning OR scenario building OR visioning. This creates weak and ineffective foresight projects.

    If you are starting foresight for the first time, you must begin by sensitizing yourself to change, and identifying the change emerging around you; you can then consider and map out potential impacts of change; combinations of impacts create scenarios of alternative possible futures. Once you understand the expanded opportunities created by emerging change, you can articulate a truly creative, transformational vision of a preferred future, and plan strategies to achieve it.

    While an applied futures project may be structured in a variety of ways, and its activities scheduled in different order, this basic conceptual framework for foresight and futures studies is depicted assuming that you are starting from a blank slate.

    Today we are going to focus on the creative dynamic generated as we move from identifying change through critiquing its impacts to the imagination of alternative possible futures, and the creation of scenarios.
  • This classic diagram depicts the life cycle of a change, from emerging issue to full-blown trend, both in terms of number of observable cases, and in terms of public awareness.

    Note that perceiving weak signals of change requires monitoring publications and activities on the far lower left end of the curve: specialist and fringe publications, blogs, conferences, media output. In epidemiological terms, we are looking for “patient zero.” A robust scanning strategy will monitor change all along this curve, and discriminate between the uses and usefulness of data emerging from different points of the curve. As a change matures, more and more data points are available with which to analyse it: we can speak of the change as a variable which is displaying a trend in some direction. When a change is just emerging, and only a few data points exist with which to characterise it, we can only analyse it via a case study approach.

    Mark Justman’s set of on-line essays, “Emerging Issues Scanning Taxonomy | Getting a Handle on the Fringe,” speaks to the difficulties of researching down the curve, and offers some strategies for scanning practice. Available online at http://www.fortunecity.com/victorian/barchester/1341/emerging.htm.
  • How do we choose and document scan sources to ensure we spot weak signals of potentially disruptive or surprising change?
    • In science and technology, we look for sources that those communities themselves use to announce news.
    • For changes on the social and cultural fringe, we look for voices that express values and ideas bubbling among artists and youth (as an example).

    Unfortunately, intuitive recognition of a source as useful is not a transferable decision rule. So, in the best tradition of expert systems analyses, we need to ask ourselves what we are actually doing when we choose sources. To which the shortest possible answer is probably, “identifying opinion leaders.” Because our current social construction grants credibility to adventuring within formal structures, such as science, we label those opinion leaders “experts.” As innovative social and cultural ideas and behaviors challenge the status quo with the potential for transformation, they are generally marginalized – hence the usual scanning label of “fringe” for sources on emerging issues among youth, artists, social movements, the underclass, etc. Also, bear in mind that dissenting scientific opinion – which can potentially lead to revolutionary shifts in scientific paradigm, a la Thomas Kuhn – is often treated harshly; scientific dissenters are often stigmatized as “cranks.” Their work also needs tracking, if cautiously.
  • The left-hand list specifies criteria used to establish the credibility of facts and patterns of present observations that are cited as evidence in policy formulation and decision-making. A cultural contradiction arises because useful environmental scan “hits” often register on the opposite end of the continua these criteria represent.

    Any emerging issue unusual enough to be useful will probably lack apparent credibility;
    it will be difficult to document, as only one or two cases of the change may yet exist;
    it will emerge from marginalized populations, and be noticed initially by fringe sources;
    as emerging issues are by definition only one or two cases, they are also by definition statistically insignificant; (continued on next slide…)
  • the data will vary widely, converging over time only if the emerging issue matures into a trend;
    not only will consensus be lacking, but experts will often violently attack reports of emerging issues of change, as they represent challenges to current paradigms and structures of expertise, power, and entitlement;
    emerging issues of change often challenge previous theoretical structures and necessitate the construction of new theories;
    and the most interesting new change emerges where disciplines converge and clash. As the impacts ripple out across all the systems of reality, emerging changes and their impacts require a multi-disciplinary analytic perspective.
    Scanning specifically – and foresight generally – can contribute to risk, threat, and vulnerability assessment as well as opportunity management, but will face resistance in an evidence-based policy environment for these reasons. Clearly articulated strategies to validate both scan sources and scan data can increase its acceptance.
  • Andy Hines has presented a useful overview of the work of Slaughter, Inayatullah, and Voros in his review of their articles and monographs in On the Horizon: Hines, Andy. “Integral futures: breadth plus depth equals foresight with insight.” Source: On The Horizon - The Strategic Planning Resource for Education Professionals, Volume 12, Number 3, 2004 , pp. 123-127(5). Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited

    For articles on these approaches, see the following:
    Slaughter, Richard. “A New Framework for Environmental Scanning,” Foresight, Vol. 1 No. 5, October 1999; available online as a monograph in the Reading Room at Integral World: go to http://www.integralworld.net/, click on “Reflection and Debate” in the left-hand navbar, then choose “Reading Room”. Click on “Slaughter” in the alphabetical list of authors to access three of Richard Slaughter’s essays on integral futures and applied foresight and scanning.

    Inayatullah, Sohail. "Causal Layered Analysis: poststructuralism as method,” available online at http://www.metafuture.org/Articles/CausalLayeredAnalysis.htm, or
    … “Causal Layered Analysis: Unveiling and Transforming the Future,” in J.C. Glenn and T.J. Gordon, eds. Futures Research Methodology, version 2.0. Washington, D.C.: AC/UNU Millennium Project.
    You can also order a book describing CLA and offering case studies: http://www.metafuture.org/Books/causal_layered_analysis_reader.htm.
    A description of the methodology can be found at http://www.scenariosforsustainability.org/recipes/cla.html

    Voros, Joseph, ed. Reframing Environmental Scanning: A Reader on the Art of Scanning the Environment. Australian Foresight Institute Monograph Series 2003, No. 4. Available online at: http://www.swin.edu.au/afi/research/integral_futures.htm .
  • As I mentioned previously, these slides were produced in response to a request that I create a presentation introducing various futures tools and commenting on their weaknesses, for a post-graduate seminar on futures studies. The students participating were NOT graduate students in futures studies; they were graduate students from a variety of fields who wished to use futures research tools during their dissertation research projects.
    The required reading for the seminar the day I was present included three chapters from the Handbook of Qualitative Research (second edition), Norman K. Denzin and Yvonna S. Lincoln, eds., Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, Inc., copyright 2000. Those chapters were: 1. ”Introduction: The Discipline and Practice of Qualitative Research” (Norman K. Denzin and Yvonna S. Lincoln); 19. ”Grounded Theory: Objectivist and Constructivist Methods ” (Kathy Charmaz); 22. ”Participatory Action Research” (Stephen Kemmis and Robin McTaggart); and 29. ”Data Management and Analysis Methods” (Gery W. Ryan and H. Russell Bernard).
    Reading those chapters, especially the first, was a bit like visiting an alien culture – or, more accurately, like a culture I had once known in the distant past, but from which I had become alienated by years living in a very different culture: applied futures research. It wasn’t until I read Kemmis and McTaggart on participatory action research that I thought, ”Aha! Of course, this is why I use futures tools in interacting with communities.”
    This slide, and the next, represent my attempt to express the differences I perceive between much of traditional, positivist academic research, and the core concepts and approaches of applied futures research. QUALIFIER: in order to highlight those differences, I have exaggerated them and expressed them as polar opposites. I fully understand that in the real world, academic research is not wholly positivist, nor is futures studies as a field wholly lacking – or disinterested in – positivist research.
    While futures researchers do engage in theory formation, an underlying goal of the field is the identification or articulation of images of the future. As the past, the present, and any possible futures consist of interlocking
    [Continued on succeeding notes page…]
  • [continued from previous notes page…]
    systems and their interrelationships, the field is necessarily systemic and holistic in perspective. Because of the difficulties of gathering data in the future, futures researchers tend to gather descriptive data about change in the present, and people’s attitudes towards it, and images of the future, rather than design experimental protocols.
  • Futures studies and social research for policy: an introduction.

    1. 1. Exploring 7 July 2009 Long-Term Human London Dr. Wendy L. Schultz Infinite Futures Futures Futures studies and social research: Visions for progress in policy and planning Social Research Association
    2. 2. “May no new thing arise.”
    3. 3. Turbulence.
    4. 4. Watersheds.
    5. 5. • From mechanism to organism • Depression and revolution: planning economies • Post - WWII: • Re-visioning Europe • Re-defining national identity and charting its course • Operationalising the USA’s golden age • Developing the centrally planned economies History of FS in Brief
    6. 6. • From mechanism to organism • Depression and revolution: planning economies • Post - WWII: • Re-visioning Europe • Re-defining national identity and charting its course • Operationalising the USA’s golden age • Developing the centrally planned economies History of FS in Brief
    7. 7. • From mechanism to organism • Depression and revolution: planning economies • Post - WWII: • Re-visioning Europe • Re-defining national identity and charting its course • Operationalising the USA’s golden age • Developing the centrally planned economies History of FS in Brief
    8. 8. • From mechanism to organism • Depression and revolution: planning economies • Post - WWII: • Re-visioning Europe • Re-defining national identity and charting its course • Operationalising the USA’s golden age • Developing the centrally planned economies History of FS in Brief
    9. 9. • From mechanism to organism • Depression and revolution: planning economies • Post - WWII: • Re-visioning Europe • Re-defining national identity and charting its course • Operationalising the USA’s golden age • Developing the centrally planned economies History of FS in Brief
    10. 10. • From mechanism to organism • Depression and revolution: planning economies • Post - WWII: • Re-visioning Europe • Re-defining national identity and charting its course • Operationalising the USA’s golden age • Developing the centrally planned economies History of FS in Brief
    11. 11. Early FS post-World War II: Futures Primary Region Focus Key Thinkers approach Methods Images & visioning, F. Polak, Pierre Philosophical and Europe Re-building planning, la Masse, B. de visionary prospective Jouvenel, Resource Quantitative, Meadows, Kahn, Systems modelling, USA allocation and technical, Helmer, Gordon, Delphi, scenarios production method-based Glenn, de Geus Planning the Quantitative; trend Malitza, Novaky, Socialist Econometric central extrapolation; goal- Sicinski, Zeman, Economies forecasting economy based forecasting Markovic Visioning, Planning, trend Developing El Mandjra, Ahamed, Nation building econometrics, extrapolation, world Sardar post modernism critical analysis
    12. 12. Futures Studies Organizations. Early: Association Internationale Futuribles (www.futuribles.com); Club of Rome (www.clubofrome.org); World Futures Studies Federation (www.wfsf.org); World Future Society (www.wfs.org). More recent: Association of Professional Futurists (www.profuturists.com); Club of Amsterdam (www.clubofamsterdam.com); Club of Budapest (www.clubo$udapest.org); European Professional Futurists Conference Lucerne (www.european-futurists.org); The Kenos Circle (www.kenos.at).
    13. 13. Futures publications: Classic texts: - Dator’s “classics” bibliography at: http://www.infinitefutures.com/resources/bibliojad.shtml - Inayatullah’s annotated futures bibliography at: http://www.metafuture.org/bio.htm - Slaughter’s annotated bibliography at: http://foresightinternational.com.au/catalogue/ product_info.php?cPath=44&products_id=115 Journals and periodicals: – Foresight: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/fs.htm – Futures: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00163287 – Future Survey: http://www.wfs.org/fsurv.htm – Futures Research Quarterly: http://www.wfs.org/frq.htm – Journal of Futures Studies: http://www.jfs.tku.edu.tw – On The Horizon: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/oth.htm – Technological Forecasting and Social Change: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/ journal/00401625 – World Futures: http://www.gbhap.com/journals/titles/02604027.asp
    14. 14. • University: • 10 Graduate Programs Globally • 90 Graduate Programs wth a Futures Focus or Courses • Endowments for Research Centers • Growing Consulting Field • Increasing Government Initiatives Courtesy John Smart http://www.accelerating.org/gradprograms.html A robust variety.
    15. 15. Diversity. Philosophical Futurists Planners and Prospective Quantitative Forecasting Operational Analysis and Systems Dynamics “21st Century Studies” Macrohistories and Macrohistorians Marxists, neo-Marxists, Critical Theorists Boomers, Doomers, and Trans-hum-ers
    16. 16. Convergence.
    17. 17. • Complex Evolving Systems Convergence.
    18. 18. • Complex Evolving Systems • Analyse Images and Narratives Convergence.
    19. 19. • Complex Evolving Systems • Analyse Images and Narratives • Explore Alternative Futures Convergence.
    20. 20. • Complex Evolving Systems • Analyse Images and Narratives • Explore Alternative Futures • Strategic and Accountable Convergence.
    21. 21. • Complex Evolving Systems • Analyse Images and Narratives • Explore Alternative Futures • Strategic and Accountable • Post-disciplinary Convergence.
    22. 22. • Complex Evolving Systems • Analyse Images and Narratives • Explore Alternative Futures • Strategic and Accountable • Post-disciplinary • A Global Dialogue: Convergence.
    23. 23. • Complex Evolving Systems • Analyse Images and Narratives • Explore Alternative Futures • Strategic and Accountable • Post-disciplinary • A Global Dialogue: • Focus: long-range future for humanity and the planet -- the global problematique; Convergence.
    24. 24. • Complex Evolving Systems • Analyse Images and Narratives • Explore Alternative Futures • Strategic and Accountable • Post-disciplinary • A Global Dialogue: • Focus: long-range future for humanity and the planet -- the global problematique; • Participatory and inclusive; Convergence.
    25. 25. • Complex Evolving Systems • Analyse Images and Narratives • Explore Alternative Futures • Strategic and Accountable • Post-disciplinary • A Global Dialogue: • Focus: long-range future for humanity and the planet -- the global problematique; • Participatory and inclusive; • Disturbs the present. Convergence.
    26. 26. Core Concepts and Assumptions
    27. 27. New paradigms TIMELINES SYSTEMS MAPS HORIZON SCANNING bracket uncertainty: TREND FORECASTS IMPACT MAPPING USED & DISOWNED FUTURES FUTURES TRIANGLE SCENARIOS INFLECTION POINTS From the From whole DECISION HORIZONS Newtonian systems analysis to clockwork to complex adaptive Heisenberg’s systems and chaos Uncertainty theory: beyond IMAGES of the FUTURE Principle: order and SYSTEMS THINKING SOCIAL CHANGE THEORIES the loss of randomness to TRANS-DISCIPLINARY predictability. emergence. CRITICAL TRANSFORMATIONAL PARTICIPATORY LONG-RANGE 13
    28. 28. Alternative possible futures...  Reality is a non-linear -- i.e., chaotic -- system, and thus impossible to predict;  Possible futures emerge from the turbulent interplay of emerging change with our complex evolving selves and societies.
    29. 29. Alternative possible futures...  Reality is a non-linear -- i.e., chaotic -- system, and thus impossible to predict;  Possible futures emerge from the turbulent interplay of emerging change with our complex evolving selves and societies. possibility one trends possibility two innovations …etc. revolutions, etc. possibility three
    30. 30. Alternative possible futures...  A basic assumption of futures studies: not one future, but many possible futures;  of those possible futures, some are more probable than others -- evaluate changing probabilities by monitoring trend growth;  of those possible futures, some are more preferable than others -- evaluate preferability by dialogue within community.
    31. 31. Foresight question & context Demographics Economy Lifestyles Problem / question Politics Organisation / community Art, play Profession, field, market Environment Technology Science
    32. 32. TIMELINES Foresight: SYSTEMS MAPS 4 Modes & 5 Key Activities HORIZON SCANNING TREND FORECASTS IMPACT MAPPING USED & DISOWNED FUTURES FUTURES TRIANGLE SCENARIOS INFLECTION POINTS DECISION HORIZONS 4 Thinking 5 Foresight Activities: Modes: Identify and monitor change; Logical Map and critique impacts; Creative Imagine alternative outcomes; IMAGES of the FUTURE SYSTEMS THINKING Systemic Envision preferred futures; SOCIAL CHANGE THEORIES TRANS-DISCIPLINARY Intuitive Organise and act to create change. CRITICAL TRANSFORMATIONAL PARTICIPATORY LONG-RANGE 17
    33. 33. Five Key Activities of Integrated Foresight Identify & Critique Imagine Envision Plan & Monitor Change Change the Possible the Preferred Implement Identify Examine Identify, Identify, Identify patterns of primary, analyze, and analyze, stakeholders, change: secondary, build and resources; trends in tertiary alternative articulate clarify goals; chosen impacts; images of images of design variables, inequities in the future, preferred strategies; changes in impacts; or futures, or organize cycles, and differential ’scenarios.’ ’visions.’ action; create emerging access, etc. change. issues of change. Inte*grated* Foresight
    34. 34. Information sources Information sources Framework Forecasting •• texts texts Research •• experts experts •• organizations Impacts Impacts organizations •• periodicals Baseline future Baseline future Implications periodicals Implications •• websites Scanning websites S Current conditions Current conditions •• social social T A K Forces of change Forces of change Response Response •• ongoing trends •• technological technological E H ongoing trends •• policy policy } •• economic O •• potential events potential events economic •• environmental environmental L D E •• emerging issues emerging issues •• plans plans •• new ideas •• political political R S new ideas •• actions actions Courtesy Uncertainty Uncertainty Prof. Peter C. Bishop History History •• previous eras previous eras Leading Leading MS Program in Futures Studies separated by events/ separated by events/ indicators indicators discontinuities discontinuities University of Houston •• the current “era” Impacts Impacts the current “era” beginning with the Alternative futures Alternative futures Implications http://www.tech.uh.edu/futureweb beginning with the Effects Implications most recent most recent discontinuities Information  Dr. Peter Bishop, 2000 discontinuities Dr. Peter C. Bishop, Studies of the Future, UH-Clear Lake A Futures Framework
    35. 35. Change: issue life-cycle. Mapping a trend’s diffusion into public awareness from its starting point as an emerging issue of change. global; multiple dispersed cases; trends and megatrends WILDCARD!! government newspapers, institutions number local; news magazines of cases; few cases; layperson’s magazines, degree emerging websites, documentaries of issues specialists’ public journals and websites awareness scientists; adapted from artists; radicals; mystics Graham Molitor TIME
    36. 36. Identifying Sources TIMELINES SYSTEMS MAPS HORIZON SCANNING of Surprise: TREND FORECASTS IMPACT MAPPING USED & DISOWNED FUTURES FUTURES TRIANGLE SCENARIOS Source acquisition: opinion leaders. INFLECTION POINTS – Science, technology, innovation: sources in DECISION HORIZONS which those communities themselves announce news. – Social and cultural change: sources expressing values and ideas bubbling among artists, youth, marginalised communities; often ‘fringe’ IMAGES of the FUTURE publications or media. SYSTEMS THINKING • Sources of surprise: SOCIAL CHANGE THEORIES TRANS-DISCIPLINARY – Look for challenges to scientific paradigms; CRITICAL TRANSFORMATIONAL – Look for challenges to the status quo. PARTICIPATORY LONG-RANGE 21
    37. 37. Sources of Challenge Government desire for Horizon scanning: advanced warning. • Beginning of research, not end; Political culture: need to • “N of 1”; look responsible, authoritative NOT • Unearths contradictions; tentative; • Subjective, not objective; Scientific culture: need to • “Unscientific” sources; assemble credible, objective, data-based • Systems-based; arguments • Unfamiliar concepts. 22
    38. 38. Research vs. scanning… Research criteria: • Scanning: Credible; – Questionable credibility; Documented; – Difficult to document; Authoritative; – Fringe sources; Statistically – Case studies -- statistically insignificant. significant; 23
    39. 39. Research vs. scanning… Research criteria: • Scanning: Coherent: data agree; – Incoherent -- data varies widely; Consensus: experts – Experts disagree or agree; attack outright; Theoretically – Demands new grounded; theories; Mono-disciplinary. – Multi-disciplinary. 24
    40. 40. TIMELINES Analytic Depth SYSTEMS MAPS HORIZON SCANNING TREND FORECASTS IMPACT MAPPING USED & DISOWNED FUTURES FUTURES TRIANGLE Integral Futures (Slaughter, 1999) SCENARIOS INFLECTION POINTS DECISION HORIZONS Melds FS with Wilbur’s integral philosophy Four quadrants: individual exterior world; collective exterior; collective internal; and individual internal IMAGES of the FUTURE Causal Layered Analysis (Inayatullah, various) SYSTEMS THINKING SOCIAL CHANGE THEORIES TRANS-DISCIPLINARY Four layers: litany/events; systems/ CRITICAL structures; values/worldviews; and myths/ TRANSFORMATIONAL metaphors. PARTICIPATORY LONG-RANGE 25
    41. 41. TIMELINES SYSTEMS MAPS CLA HORIZON SCANNING TREND FORECASTS IMPACT MAPPING USED & DISOWNED FUTURES FUTURES TRIANGLE “Litany” SCENARIOS INFLECTION POINTS events, trends, problems, “word on the street,” DECISION HORIZONS media spin, official positions. “Causes” structures, inter-relationships, systems, technical and policy explanations “Worldview” IMAGES of the FUTURE culture, values, how language frames/constrains SYSTEMS THINKING the issue SOCIAL CHANGE THEORIES TRANS-DISCIPLINARY “Myth/Metaphor” CRITICAL Collective archetypes, emotional responses, TRANSFORMATIONAL visual images PARTICIPATORY LONG-RANGE 26
    42. 42. Integral Futures | Causal Layers INTENTIONAL BEHAVIORAL Subjective Objective i m “WORLDVIEWS, n e t “LITANIES” MENTAL MODELS” e a s r Individual u p r Collective r a e “MYTHS, t b l “CAUSES, METAPHORS” e d e SYSTEMS” Inter-Subjective Inter-Objective CULTURAL Interior Exterior SOCIAL
    43. 43. Integral Futures | Causal Layers INTENTIONAL BEHAVIORAL Subjective Objective i m “WORLDVIEWS, n e t “LITANIES” Evidence MENTAL MODELS” e a s -based r Individual u Policy p r Collective Comfort r a e Zone “MYTHS, t b l “CAUSES, METAPHORS” e d e SYSTEMS” Inter-Subjective Inter-Objective CULTURAL Interior Exterior SOCIAL
    44. 44. ‘Science’ vs. FR/S: design differences theory formation vs. • predictive vs. futures articulation exploratory reductionist vs. systemic • reproducible results & holistic vs. insights experimental vs. • one hard ’truth’ vs. multiple soft descriptive ’alternatives’ linear systems vs. complex • value-neutral vs. & chaotic systems value-loaded 28
    45. 45. ‘Scientists’ vs. Futurists: researchers’ roles objective vs. subjective • Futures studies observer vs. facilitator/ assumes that the point participant of exploring multiple possible outcomes is to knowledge revealer vs. help people create the change agent futures they desire: active, value-focussed reporting vs. research. performing 29
    46. 46. Enhanced multidisciplinarity.
    47. 47. Enhanced creativity.
    48. 48. Dr. Wendy L. Schultz Infinite Futures: foresight research and training Oxford, England http:// www.infinitefutures.com Thank you.

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