1st Edition

Transforming the Future Anticipation in the 21st Century

Edited By Riel Miller Copyright 2018
    300 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    300 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    People are using the future to search for better ways to achieve sustainability, inclusiveness, prosperity, well-being and peace. In addition, the way the future is understood and used is changing in almost all domains, from social science to daily life.

    This book presents the results of significant research undertaken by UNESCO with a number of partners to detect and define the theory and practice of anticipation around the world today. It uses the concept of ‘Futures Literacy’ as a tool to define the understanding of anticipatory systems and processes – also known as the Discipline of Anticipation. This innovative title explores:

    • new topics such as Futures Literacy and the Discipline of Anticipation;

    •    the evidence collected from over 30 Futures Literacy Laboratories and presented in 14 full case studies;

    • the need and opportunity for significant innovation in human decision-making systems.

    This book will be of great interest to scholars, researchers, policy-makers and students, as well as activists working on sustainability issues and innovation, future studies and anticipation studies.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781351047999, has been made available under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 IGO (CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 IGO) license.

    Foreword Audrey Azoulay, Director General, UNESCO  Introduction: Futures Literacy: Transforming the Future Riel Miller 

    Part 1 Discovering Anticipation in the 21st Century: Towards Futures Literacy?

    1. Sensing and Making-Sense of Futures Literacy: Towards a Futures Literacy Framework (FLF) Riel Miller  

    2. The Discipline of Anticipation: Foundations for Futures Literacy Riel Miller, Roberto Poli and Pierre Rossel 

    3.Towards a Formal Framework for Describing Collective Intelligence Knowledge Creation Processes that ‘use-the-future’ Andrée Ehresmann, Ikka Tuomi, Riel Miller, Mathias Béjean, and J-P Vanbremeersch 

    Part 2 Futures Literacy Laboratories: Design Principles and Case Studies 

    4. Futures Literacy Laboratories (FLL) in Practice: An Overview of Key Design and Implementation Issues Riel Miller  

    5.The Futures Literacy Laboratory-Novelty (FLL-N) Case Studies Stefan Bergheim

    (5.1) Cultural Heritage Research and the Future Martin Rhisiart 

    (5.2) The Future of Science in Society Cristiano Cagnin and Lydia Garrido 

    (5.3) Using the Future for Local Labor Markets Kacper Nosarzewski and Lydia Garrido 

    (5.4) Using the Future for Innovation Policy Learning in Norway Per M. Koch 

    (5.5) Imagining the Future of the Transition from ‘Youth’ to ‘Adult’: A Futures Literacy UNESCO Knowledge Laboratory (FLL) Kewulay Kamara 

    (5.6) Imagining the Future of Sports Jean-Jacques Gouguet 

    (5.7) All-Africa Futures Forum: Transforming Africa’s Futures Geci Karuri-Sebina and Riel Miller

    (5.8) Overcoming Fragmentation in Ecuador: The Manabí Será Initiative Orazio Bellettini and Adriana Arellano 

    (5.9) Young Citizens for a Sustainable Planet Matthew Giuseppe Marasco, Jennifer Rudkin, Geci Karuri-Sebina and Bayo Akomolafe

    (5.10) Future-Proofing an Entire Nation – The Case of Tanzania  Aiden Eyakuze and Edmund Matotay 

    (5.11) Africa Horizon 2035 Sandra Coulibaly Leroy, Ngarkidané Djidingar and Nicolas Simard

    (5.12) Rethinking Non-Formal Education for Sustainable Futures in Asia-Pacific Ace Victor Franco Aceron 

    (5.13) Water and Urban Renewal in North Africa Nisreem Lanhham 

    (5.14) Youth Leadership and the Use of the Future Ace Victor Franco Aceron and Shermon Cruz 

    Part 3 Parallel and Convergent Developments 

    6. Gaming Futures Literacy: The Thing From The Future Stuart Candy  

    7. An Extended Futures Literacy Process: Design Lessons from Measuring Wellbeing Stefan Bergheim  

    8. Gender and the Future: Reframing and Empowerment Ivana Milojević


    Riel Miller is Head of Futures Literacy at UNESCO, Paris, France.

    "Transforming the Future is a critically important antidote for the tired and ineffective ‘strategic planning’ behavior that ironically hasn’t undergone a rethink about how to navigate both recurrent and unknown complexities facing our collective future. This contribution provides a must-read paradigm shift of ideas about creative anticipation for those who aspire to become effective leader-navigators."Charles E. Pascal, Professor of Applied Psychology & Human Development at OISE/University of Toronto, former Deputy Minister of Education, Ontario, Canada

    "Drawing on the many contacts he's made in his distinguished career at UNESCO and the OECD, Riel Miller has assembled a stunning anthology. Indispensable for any and all who are interested in futures literacy and anticipatory systems thinking."Jay Ogilvy, Dean and Chief Academic Officer, Presidio School of Management, USA and Co-founder Global Business Network 

    "The key idea of the wise authors on futures edited by Riel Miller, is Future Literacy. Concepts, words, speech, are conditions for the futures we want, not drifting into them as slaves of technologies.  Add Past Literacy, a sense of history, for a full life in all of time, as human beings. Thanks, Riel Miller, for this gift!"Johan Galtung, Founder, Peace Research Institute, Oslo, Norway

    "Dr. Miller and his colleagues offer powerful tools for anticipation and transformation. This book presents theoretical and practical approaches to Futures literacy as a capability, providing an important step forward in understanding how the future enters into what we see and do. Rather than simply extrapolating from the present and past, Futures Literacy diversifies why and how we envision opportunities and our role in creating them. The book’s many case studies, from around the world, illustrate the power of Futures Literacy for innovation."Liisa Välikangas, Professor of Innovation Management, Aalto University & Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland

    "In a world in constant flux, and with new and demanding challenges, we need to think systematically and creatively about different futures and how to prepare for them. This book gives us tools to do that. Innovation Norway has used the futures literacy framework in its development of innovation policy advice. The method has helped us think differently and more creatively about challenges and opportunities and how to handle them."Anita Krohn Traaseth, Chief Executive Officer, Innovation Norway

    "The book provides a much-needed overview of the state of the art in futures literacy. In particular it reveals the progress that has been made in strengthening the scientific underpinnings of approaches to anticipating the future, rendering much more explicit the processes that underlie our understanding of the future and its role in the today. Moreover the case studies on futures literacy labs are rich and diverse both in subject matter and in their geographic coverage, and they offer fascinating insights into how the frontiers of the imagination about the future can be expanded in very different and varied contexts.  The book is evidence of the traction that futures literacy has gained in recent years, but is also a demonstration of its potential for strategic decision making in the years to come."Barrie Stevens, former Head of the International Futures Programme, OECD

    "Riel Miller and his colleagues have accomplished quite a tour de force in providing us with a robust narrative and an articulate and powerful instrumentation to help social science practitioners to make the highest and best use of futures literacy in their work. The meaningful outillage mental they have forged promises to inspire fruitful inquiries and to improve thereby governance design and practical policy work."Gilles Paquet former Dean of the Faculty of Administration and Founding Director of the Centre on Governance, University of Ottawa, former President of the Royal Society of Canada

    "Transforming the Future highlights the importance of science and culture in futures thinking and shows how diverse communities of practice are learning ‘with’ the future to shape new and better future developments."Angela Wilkinson former Head of Strategic Foresight, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Paris

    "Transforming the Future at last fills a long-missing piece of synthesizing and expanding the research space around Futures Literacy. Thorough in its analysis yet broadly illustrated in its various applications, the book provides a deep yet practical overarching view of the field, and provides many tools for the reader to apply in their specific settings. The authors made the convincing argument that Futures Literacy should be a natural part of any modern curriculum."Charles Fadel, Founder, Center for Curriculum Redesign

    "Transforming the Future is simultaneously a clarion call for futures literacy, a wide-ranging introduction to futures studies, and an excellent field guide to engaging in anticipatory activities."Ziauddin Sardar, Director, Centre for Postnormal Policy and Futures Studies, former Editor-in-Chief of Futures: The Journal of Policy, Planning and Future Studies

    "In these troubled times, this book offers a powerful framework for mixing knowledge and realism with bold and ambitious imagination for action. It invites us all to engage in the social construction of the best of possible futures."Carlota Perez, Honorary Professor, Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex, and at the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP), University College London (UCL), UK

    "Scientists, decision makers, practitioners and activists around the world are engaged in the pursuit of a globally agreed agenda, acting today in order to shape a more sustainable, equitable future for all. Yet we rarely question our reasons and methods for ‘using-the-future’. Transforming the Future opens an innovative window on why and how humans anticipate, making the case for the development of Futures Literacy as a critical human capability. Changing what people see and do by advancing Futures Literacy might be one of the keys to realising the goals of Agenda 2030 in ways we did not and could not anticipate."Heide Hackmann, Executive Director, International Council for Science (ICSU)

    "Transforming the Future: Anticipation in the 21st Century represents a genuine and well considered approach to improve futures thinking and to increase the legitimacy and value of stakeholder groups working collectively on ideas about their futures. Legitimacy is enhanced in two ways. Firstly by engaging with the emerging conceptual and theoretical area of anticipation. Secondly by demonstrating Futures Literacy Laboratories (typically forward-looking group events over a two or three days) in multiple contexts that follow a common pattern using a variety of methods. The range of value created by these is described by the rapporteur authors of the case studies. The book also represents a huge effort by a wide network of academics and practitioners to elaborate Anticipation and to organise, facilitate and evaluate 14 workshops in as many countries. The editor is to be applauded as the central motivating force in this process, as is UNESCO in supporting the innovative project. The results should be required reading for all those active in the field of foresight and futures studies. The chapters explain innovative aspects of futures thinking and anticipation and provides practical examples from which to learn. The book also shows that much is left to do in improving and legitimising democratic futures thinking as a key activity in equality, governance and social transformation."Ted Fuller, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategic Foresight, Lincoln International Business School, and Editor-in-Chief, Futures: The Journal of Policy, Planning and Future Studies

    "On the basis of the concept of Futures Literacy, deployed in many workshops organized around the world, Riel Miller offers an original framework for exploring the future, liberating us from conventional ways of thinking. This anticipatory book will contribute to the invention and construction of the future."Hugues de Jouvenel, President of Futuribles International and Editor in Chief of the journal: Futuribles

    "This collection of essays, reflecting the full range of human diversity, provides a global conspectus of the power of anticipatory thinking. It demonstrates the conceptual reach and experimental value of both the theory and practice of ‘Futures Literacy’ and makes a trenchant case that both should be recognized as indispensable dimensions of public policy-making today." Yudhishthir Raj Isar, Professor of Cultural Policy Studies, The American University of Paris, Education Director, Aga Khan Trust for Culture

    "This is a milestone in futures studies. To be sure, discussions of possible futures (especially threatening ones), of techniques for forecasting (especially technologies), and of organisation of foresight programmes (especially by governments) have proliferated. This book, in contrast, foregrounds the vital topic of our futures literacy – our capabilities to determine how and when to use anticipation to inform and guide decisions in the present. A diverse and international set of contributors illuminate this in the light of their extensive experience and reflection. This may well prove to be a turning point in Future Studies."Ian Miles, Executive Director, Innovation, Management and Policy Division, The University of Manchester, UK; and Head, Laboratory for Economics of Innovation, National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE), Moscow, Russia

    "Now that we know that so called ‘rational’ homo economicus does not exist, we can also dispense with an excessive faith in extrapolatory prediction. Taking one of its cue from these advances in economic thinking, Transforming the Future invites readers to explore a range of reasons and methods for conscious human anticipation. The authors of this volume, led by Dr. Riel Miller, fill a gap in the field. This book will be a mind-opening read for people who want to be change makers."Elif Cepni, Professor Doctor, Economics and International Executive Director, Nisantasi University, Turkey

    "Working across expected, desired and possible futures allows us to make decisions in the present which in turn shape our future. Transforming the Future is a valuable contribution to the future literacy leaders and communities need in a shifting, pluralistic, ambiguous and novel world."Kristel Van der Elst, CEO, The Global Foresight Group, and Former Head of Strategic Foresight, World Economic Forum

    "A truly collective effort, Transforming the Future deepens our theoretical and practical understanding of the future in order to build the discipline of anticipation. This book transforms the way to study the future by distinguishing two kinds of anticipation: for the future and for emergence. Walking on both legs is the lesson. The phrase is clear and convincing: "the future does not exist in the present but anticipation does." Guillermina Baena Paz, Vice-President of World Futures Studies Federation, Latin-American Region

    "How to improve decision-making in the face of complexity, irreversibility, controversy and uncertainty? Transforming the Future: Anticipation in the 21st Century makes a major contribution to addressing this challenge by providing a theoretical framework and 14 practical examples that illuminate the nature and importance of agent’s anticipatory assumptions. Futures Literacy Laboratories provide an analytical tool that is crucial for strategic decision-making, particularly in the present context as humanity faces threats to its very survival. Indeed, the book shows how revealing agents’ anticipatory assumptions can significantly improve our grasp of opportunities in the present and thereby enhance our ability to cope with uncertainty. This book deserves to be read by anyone interested in the future of humanity and innovative approaches to a desirable future."Jean-Jacques Gouguet, Emeritus Professor, University of Limoges, France, and Scientific Director of Economic Studies

    "Policy making goes prospective! "Anticipatory Governance", "Government Foresight" – these are new flag words indicating a profound reorientation in policy maker’s discourse. This is good news. Also good news is that Transforming the Future: Anticipation in the 21st Century provides orientation and theory guidance for practitioners. How to get prepared in the face of strategic shocks? Anticipation is the key. And this book is a milestone."Norbert Reez, Foresight-Commissioner of the Federal Academy for Security Policy, Berlin, Germany

    "As governments around the world strive to adapt policies, organizations and skills to new and ever accelerating challenges, elaborate methods and processes are scarce. Riel Miller and international foresight experts provide unique in-depth knowledge, based on practical experience which already showed Germany and many nations and organizations new ways to embrace complexity, engage in dialogue and improve collective intelligence." Andrea M. Schneider, Deputy Head of Staff for Policy Planning, German Chancellery

    "For those of us who have been involved in Futures Studies and foresight for many years, Transforming the Future represents a unique presentation of global perspectives on anticipation. Riel Miller’s work with UNESCO demonstrates the relevance and importance of Futures Literacy within the field of policy oriented futures thinking. What is extraordinarily interesting is that the book addresses both the theory and practice of organising Futures Literacy Labs as well as some of the results arising from these processes. For readers interested in policy related futures thinking this book is an outstanding contribution to the field and should be high up on the "must-read" list."Erik Øverland, President, World Futures Studies Federation

    "UNESCO has always strived to be a truly global laboratory-of-ideas, but not just by bringing together a range of distinctive voices – even if such efforts often foster fascinating harmonies and dissonances. UNESCO, at its best, nurtures the co-creation of new knowledge, sourced from authentic local experience. Transforming the Future embodies this ideal and demonstrates the merit of such joint-creation because it identifies a strategic problem and opportunity. The problem is poverty of the imagination – an inability to find hope in the future. The opportunity is to change the conditions of change by developing people’s Futures Literacy. As the book’s title suggests – by becoming better at Anticipation in the 21st Century, we may be able to transform the future. Everyone who cares about humanity’s future in general and the evolving role of United Nations in particular should read this book."Lalla Aicha Ben Barka, Coordinator of the UNESCO Chair, ISFRA/University of Mali, and Former Assistant Director General for Africa, UNESCO, Paris