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Futures visions for South-east Asia: some early warning signals

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... Works related with the exploration of futures are rather new in Asia and the Pacific with the exception of Japan, a pioneer country in Technology Foresight. In 1994, a workshop on Future Visions for Southeast Asia was held in Malaysia, developing visions based on scenarios (Inayatullah, 1995). But it is with the establishment of the APEC Technology Foresight Centre in Thailand in 1998, that a strong boost was given to this approach in several countries, focusing for instance on water supply and management, technologies for learning and culture, and mega-cities development issues such as sustainable transport and health (Jewell, Uchupalanan and Sripaipan, 2001). ...
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Part I The Participatory Prospective Analysis (PPA) Method The philosophy of the PPA method Methodological components Presentation of the method Definition of the system's limits Identification of variables Selection and definition of key variables Mutual influence analysis Interpretation of influence/dependence links Definition of the states of variables Building scenarios Using scenarios Implementing the PPA Equipment and resources Organizing group work The question of experts and expertise Part II The PPA Method at Work: The Case of Secondary Crop Research and Development Prospects in Asia and the Pacific Context Organization of the PPA System identification Creation of a working group and workshop organization Process and results Identification of key variables Influence/dependence analysis Building scenarios Analysis of implications Conclusion Key Words: decision making, analytical methods, tools
... Among other issues, participants asked what-if Malaysia was an educational hub for the Islamic world? (Inayatullah, 1995) More recently, the Universiti Sains Malaysia (in Penang) and Universiti Teknikal Malaysia (in Melaka) have conducted scenario focused foresight workshops with the intent of articulating their strategic vision and developing foresight capacity among professors and students (Nasruddin et al., 2012;Sirat et al., 2008;Azhari, 2008;Universiti Sains Malaysia, 2007). The focus on alternative futures and sustainability at Universiti Sains Malaysia led to them being appointed the nation's sole APEX (Accelerated Programme for Excellence) university (Universiti Sains Malaysia, 2007, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 2008. ...
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present the scenarios, visions and strategies that resulted from a five-day foresight workshop for AKEPT (Higher Education Leadership Academy), the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia. Design/methodology/approach – An anticipatory action-learning course/workshop with over 50 lecturers and deans framed by the “six pillars” futures approach. Methods given the most attention were: the futures triangle; causal layered analysis; and scenario planning. Lecturers deliberated for the first three days, and deans for the last two. After their debates, the lecturers and deans presented their findings and recommendations to each other, and to the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia. As well, they considered how they as individual scholars can also pursue specific actionable steps towards their preferred futures visions. Findings – The recommendations by lecturers and deans can be systematized in the following categories: establishment of a pilot project; enhancement of digital teaching and learning processes; customization of degrees; changing of the culture in higher education; enhancing collaboration; supporting research activities; rethinking of dominant frames of reference; and anticipating upcoming futures trends. Research limitations/implications – As the process included lecturers and deans as key participants, and not, for example, students or the community, stakeholder perspectives are limited. Specific actionable steps, as per recommendations, are being pursued by the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia, as well as by individual participants. Originality/value – Description of an action learning process in its second year. Year three will continue with a different group of participants who will reflect on the initial findings presented here. Description of the foresight process and findings of this case study may be of value to other ministries of higher education in the region and elsewhere.
... A weakness is its perceived subjectivity which can sometimes lead to excessive relativism. • The cultural-interpretive tradition arose in large measure from the work of those futures researchers who sought to include non-Western cultures and to invoke a deeper consideration of civilizational futures (Sardar, 1994;Inayatullah, 1995Inayatullah, , 2000Nandy, 2000;). This approach opens up the possibilities of alternative, particularly non-Western futures, and is a crucial part of the dimension that may be referred to as 'possible, or alternative, futures'. ...
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This paper points to the value of broadening the palette of approaches to climate change futures beyond the dominant methods of empiricist predictive trends and expert scenarios. The first half of the paper contextualizes the climate change discourse within the field of futures studies and explores potential points of dialogue between a number of futures approaches and the most prominent of the climate protection work. The second half of the paper introduces a case study of community based participatory approaches involving community scenario writing and community visioning, which enacts a collaborative engagement between futures researchers and climate-vulnerable communities. However, any participatory futures method chosen to facilitate climate change adaptation must be context aware in both its design and implementation if it is to facilitate adaptability and resilience in climate-vulnerable communities. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
... Perhaps it is snakes and ladders that are the more appropriate image of the future. Certainly many in Asia see this is their metaphor of the future [13]. Hard work, capital, savings have led to the rise, but since the problems of patriarchy, environment, and feudalism have not been resolved, the snake is next-the slippery road back to poverty. ...
... The next phase in my published research was in regional studies-articles on the Pacific Shift, South Asia and the Philippines [4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17]. Included in this phase were articles on the Indian philosopher P.R. Sarkar and his unique Tantra-based perspective on futures thinking. ...
... Some scholars have expressed their reservations about the existence of these signals claiming 'hindsight bias' e the tendency, in retrospect, to overestimate the amount of available information on a threat at the time of decision making (Dekker, 2002;Fischoff & Beyth, 1975;Gephart, 1993;Woods, 2005). Nevertheless, the concept of signals that warn about an emerging crisis (or opportunity) has been widely supported in the generic management literature under different terminology such as weak signals (Ansoff, 1984), wild cards (Hiltunen, 2006), early indicators (Petersen, 1999), early warnings (Inayatullah, 1995) and emerging issues (Stevenson, 2002). ...
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The vulnerability of the tourism industry to a range of crises has attracted many scholars to investigate the crisis strategies and practices employed by destinations and tourism organizations mainly with regards to crisis preparedness, containment and damage limitation, crisis recovery and subsequent learning. One over-looked area has been that of crisis signal detection. This paper proposes a three-stage conceptual framework for crisis signal detection consisting of signal scanning, capture and transmission to the crisis response centre. With this framework as a basis, 16 corporate level executives of international tourism organizations were interviewed in order to explore the significance of signal detection in their crisis management practice and the challenges faced in each of these three stages. The findings offer insights into the design of crisis management mechanisms and open areas for further research.
... arose in large measure from the work of those futures researchers who sought to include non-Western cultures and to invoke a deeper consideration of civilizational futures (Inayatullah, 1995Inayatullah, , 2000Milojevic, 2005;Nandy, 2000;Sardar, 1994). This approach opens up the possibilities of alternative, particularly non-Western and feminist futures, and is a crucial part of the dimension that may be referred to as 'possible, or alternative, futures.' ...
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In this paper I articulate a new meta-level field of studies that I call global knowledge futures—a field through which other emerging transdisciplinary fields can be integrated to cohere knowledge at a higher level. I contrast this with the current dominant knowledge paradigm of the global knowledge economy with its fragmentation, commodification and instrumentalism based on neoliberal knowledge capitalism. I take a big-picture, macrohistorical lens to the new thinking and new knowledge patterns that are emerging within the evolution of consciousness discourse. I explore three discourses: postformal studies, integral studies and planetary studies 3 —using a fourth discourse, futures studies, to provide a macro-temporal framing. By extending the meta-fields of postformal, integral and planetary studies into a prospective future dimension, I locate areas of development where these leading-edge discourses can be brought into closer dialogue with each other. In this meeting point of four boundary-spanning discourses I identify the new meta-level field of global knowledge futures, grounded in human thinking capacities, such as creativity, imagination, dialogue and collaboration.
... The cultural-interpretive tradition arose in large measure from the work of those futures researchers who sought to include non-Western cultures and to invoke a deeper consideration of civilizational futures. This approach opens up the possibilities of alternative, particularly non-Western, 17 feminist, 18 and youth futures 19 and is a crucial part of the dimension that may be referred to as "possible, or alternative, futures." Strengths of this approach include its creativity and engagement with multiple perspectives. ...
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This article explores the breadth of the futures studies field by creating a dialogue with some prominent approaches to climate change. The first half of the article takes an evolutionary perspective on the development of the futures studies field. I show how developments in the field parallel the broader epistemological shift from the centrality of positivism to a plurality of postpositivist approaches particularly in the social sciences. Second, I explore the current scientific research on climate change including issues related to mitigation, adaptation, and coevolution. Finally, I apply my futures typology that includes five paradigmatic approaches to undertake a dialogue between futures studies and climate change.
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This article focuses on how cultures are embedded in diverse ways of knowing and how individuals teach (formal, action research, spiritual) and learn the world (action, science, technique or gnosis) differently. We present case-studies or stories of teaching and learning futures and futures generations. These stories tell the fundamental difficulties we face in teaching, communicating and learning across civilization, profession, worldview and pedagogical style. We offer a futures method, causal layered analysis, as one way to enter different knowing spaces. The educational challenge ahead of us is to pass on the rich diversity of culture and ways of knowing to future generations.
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Through case studies of futures workshops and courses, the importance of decolonizing the future and creating authentic alternative futures is highlighted. Futures studies, it is argued, is about understanding the human condition, what it has become, and how we can participate in changing it. An ideal futures studies is multileveled, empirical, interpretive, and critical in its research focus. Offered in this article is causal layered analysis, a futures method that takes a multicultural and multidisciplinary approach to the future.
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School education seems to be mostly stuck in an outdated industrial era worldview, unable to sufficiently address the significance and increasing rapidity of changes to humanity that are upon us. An integrated forward-looking view should, now more than ever, be of central importance in how we educate. Yet there is little sign that - unlike corporations - school systems are recognising the true value of futures studies. A brief history of futures in school education shows the significant role played by the World Futures Studies Federation in its evolution to date. The article also introduces integral analysis as a way of opening up new possibilities to help school education develop due foresight and to more fully realise its potential as a prime facilitator in individual and cultural evolution.
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Future University? This is a question on many minds today and with the onslaughts of social upheaval, economic constraint and the WWW, the question demands close attention. Seeking an alternative to `one right way of knowing' is nothing short of a finding the modern-day equivalent of an alternative to the monastery (from which today's Universities emerged). This article seeks to explore several of the dimensions of this question and concludes that the concept of University needs to move from a monophonic one with `one way to know' to a polyphonic one where diversity is harmonised.
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In this chapter, I (1) revisit scenarios on the futures of terrorism written after the events of September 11, 2001, (2) analyze what has changed and what has remained the same, and (3) conclude with longer-term perspectives on the futures of the world system.
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The field of Futures Studies has been sculpted for 2500 years. Heraclitus, Plato, Aristotle, Parmenides, from ancient times, in addition to Jacques Bernoulli, Von Clausewitz and Von Moltke and many other authors have an invaluable intellectual contribution to the development of the field of Future Studies. The developments during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries showed multiples authors with differential theoretical and empirical proposals, but they shared the notion of collective construction of the future and the social action as key issues in the field. However, at the present time the field of Futures Studies must introduce new epistemological and ontological elements to understand the new phenomena that should be studied. Therefore, this chapter hopes to help the reader recognize the conductive threads and milestones that have shaped and will give a new shape to the field of Future Studies.
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