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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Why futures inquiry and sustainability often don’t mix

In theory futures inquiry and sustainability are the perfect bedfellows. For starters they’re both fundamentally about the future. Additionally, areas of practice like strategic foresight and adaptation science both aim to build capacity to cope with uncertainty in decision processes, and researchers in both domains tend towards highly interdisciplinary and even trans-disciplinary research. So what’s …

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Sustainability impasses and futures practices

How can ‘sustainability impasses’ be best understood and dealt with (ideally broken)? This increasingly seems like one of the most important questions. Just look at the situations of (mostly) inaction and major, increasing conflicts around the management of the Murray-Darling Basin in Australia over the proposed ‘Basin Plan’ for more sustainable water use, over major …

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