Wake-up calls for futures thinking and related sustainability research?

Harro van Lente (an STS scholar) recently observed that “socio-technical developments are saturated with formal and informal anticipations”. He argues that formal technology foresight exercises are consequently embedded in “a sea of expectations” and will “draw from the repertoire of circulating statements”, which he shows is evident in the case of technology roadmaps (Van Lente, …

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New theory for making sense of change and stability: ‘strategic action fields’

A Theory of Fields is a recent book published by Oxford University press and written by two influential American sociologists, Neil Fligstein and Doug McAdam. A friend, Alex Burns included it in his contribution to Roy Christopher’s Summer Reading list. It got my attention for three reasons: 1) social field theory is a core component …

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Foresight “industry” building and professionalisation – distraction or necessary processes?

Last night I attended a discussion that was notionally about a possible national foresight ‘Community of Practice’, under the auspices of the Centre for Australian Foresight (CfAF). Chris Stewart from CfAF said that CfAF hoped to play an industry building role, as well as doing consulting work. At the same time over in the United …

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