Re-reading Slaughter and de Jouvenel

The last few days I’ve been re-reading some classic and important recent futures texts. In particular, aspects of Bertrand de Jouvenel’s The Art of Conjecture (TAC) and Richard Slaughter’s Futures Beyond Dystopia (FBD) stand out. de Jouvenel: change and foreseeability (a rationale for foresight work) de Jouvenel’s TAC makes the case that investments in foresight … [Read more…]

On sustainability interventions

The central focus of my thinking is shifting from futures work to sustainability interventions. What seems to matter is the efficacy of different tools and forms of future-orientation in sustainability interventions. This slight shift in focus is leading me to further consider: The field of ‘sustainability transitions’, which has a strong focus on guiding, shared … [Read more…]

Emerging fields to review in 2013

One final observation for 2012: lots of future-oriented and futures-related research fields have progressed significantly over the past few years. These ought to be examined by futures practitioners (and will be part of my PhD research). Here’s a couple to watch: 1) Sociology of Expectations The Sociology of Expectations (SoE) has primarily developed in the … [Read more…]

PhD intentions and motivations

The past few days I’ve been reading Useless Arithmetic: Why Environmental Scientists Can’t Predict the Future (Pilkey & Pilkey-Jarvis, 2007), and scanning Gareth Priday‘s Master’s thesis which reviews the recent growth in neuropsychology (along with other areas of psychological research) relevant to ‘mental time travel’ and explores what the implications for foresight might be. In … [Read more…]

Green movement an “abject failure”?

A great, provocative opinion piece appears in The Age today by the online editor of The Monthly, critiquing the green movement’s failure to-date “to convert scientific consensus [about global warming] into action”. The opening two paragraphs provide a sense of the overall message: IF THE civil rights movement were as unsuccessful as the environmental movement … [Read more…]

Mixed feelings following the Asia-Pacific Foresight Conference

Last week I attended the Asia-Pacific Foresight Conference, held in Perth, Australia. It was a wonderful opportunity to reconnect, expand our networks, etc. (like all good conferences) but on the flight back I was filled with mixed emotions and concerns about the conference and the futures field’s evolution. This reflection tries to capture some central … [Read more…]