Futures Thinking can be defined as a strategic approach to explore and critically consider future scenarios in order to define the most preferable ones for people and society. The aim of Futures Thinking is to provide policy-makers, and more broadly decision-makers in any field, with the capacity to proactively anticipate changes, recognize opportunities, and ease the transition toward desirable futures. Indeed, Futures Thinking allows not only to acknowledge changes in the long term but also, and above all, to inform today’s decision-making activities. Thus, Futures Thinking must not be considered as a meaningless attempt to predict the future, which is unpredictable by definition. Rather it provides individuals with the ability to cope with uncertainties and handle complexity empowering people to shape and design their preferred future scenario. Additionally, its human-centered and participatory nature makes it an approach based on both qualitative and quantitative research which requires involving people and stakeholders. This entry starts with the definition of Futures Thinking, its origins, and features before proceeding with a brief excursus on the literature and the research on this subject linking it to Design. The entry’s focus is then to highlight the relationship between Futures Studies and the theme of the Possible. What is yet to come holds countless possibilities that need to be anticipated, acknowledged, and managed.

Futures thinking

M. R. Canina;C. Bruno;E. Monestier
2022-01-01

Abstract

Futures Thinking can be defined as a strategic approach to explore and critically consider future scenarios in order to define the most preferable ones for people and society. The aim of Futures Thinking is to provide policy-makers, and more broadly decision-makers in any field, with the capacity to proactively anticipate changes, recognize opportunities, and ease the transition toward desirable futures. Indeed, Futures Thinking allows not only to acknowledge changes in the long term but also, and above all, to inform today’s decision-making activities. Thus, Futures Thinking must not be considered as a meaningless attempt to predict the future, which is unpredictable by definition. Rather it provides individuals with the ability to cope with uncertainties and handle complexity empowering people to shape and design their preferred future scenario. Additionally, its human-centered and participatory nature makes it an approach based on both qualitative and quantitative research which requires involving people and stakeholders. This entry starts with the definition of Futures Thinking, its origins, and features before proceeding with a brief excursus on the literature and the research on this subject linking it to Design. The entry’s focus is then to highlight the relationship between Futures Studies and the theme of the Possible. What is yet to come holds countless possibilities that need to be anticipated, acknowledged, and managed.
978-3-319-98390-5
Preferable futures
Strategic approach
Anticipation
Possibilities
Uncertainties
Human-centred
Transition
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1220928
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