Revisiting theory and practice in futures studies

The question of whether futures studies is sufficiently theorised was raised in an exchange between Sirkka Heinonen (Finland Futures Research Centre) and Sohail Inayatullah. Heinonen states that “currently in futures research there are a lot of futures methods and foresight tools available but not so many theories” and asks “what do you think should be …

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Rethinking the received wisdom on ‘foresight’ practices

Early in my PhD studies I reviewed the literature on so-called ‘foresight’ practices such as on scenario-building, scenario-based planning, and techno-economic modelling. What came through clearly is that there is a dominant set of ideas about these practices. These ideas can be termed the received wisdom. These ideas include that foresight methods and practices are …

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Has Paul Gilding lost the plot?

Former Greenpeace International Executive Director, Paul Gilding, has written a new blog post entitled “Don’t be Fossil Fooled – It’s Time to Say Goodbye”. He claims that “the fossil fuel energy industry [and not just in Australia, the global fossil fuel industry] is now entering terminal decline and will be all but gone within 15-30 years” …

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The management of expectations, ‘temporal work’, and the functions of fictional expectations in structuring action in the present

Recently I’ve been reading some papers in which sociologists take the uncertainty and indeterminacy of decision situations (such as most decision situations in economic contexts) as a key starting point for their analysis and theory-building. For example, because of the fundamental uncertainty that characterises many decisions in economic contexts Jens Beckert argues that the decision-making …

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