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January 2007 Archives

January 26, 2007

Mike Love's Genealogy of Influence

Boing Boing reports that Institute for the Future researcher Mike Love has developed a Google "hack" that gives a graphical visualisation of Western key intelligentsia and their influence as a citation network. Love has a blog on the Genealogy of Influence project, its theories and practices.

Love's project would have interesting results if applied to the Futures Studies and Strategic Foresight fields. To-date the major integrative project that has done this is the multi-volume Knowledge Base of Futures Studies (KBFS) spearheaded by Richard Slaughter, now in its third edition with 80 new papers. Joseph Coates and Jennifer Jarratt's book What Futurists Believe (World Future Society, Washington DC, 1989) preceded KBFS yet mainly reflected the North American tradition of "pragmatic" futures, science and technology exemplified by the World Future Society. The major "genealogical" theory in Futures Studies is Sohail Inayatullah's interpretation of P.R. Sarkar's change cycle and macrohistory as the "search for patterns of change in social systems over long time periods", in which the "vipra" or intellectual class has a pivotal and relational role.

If Slaughter's scope and Inayatullah's theoretical framework became the basis for a "Genealogy of Influence"-type project on contemporary futurists, the results could be very interesting . . .

Scientific Renaissance Man on Future Generations & Sustainability

The Australian biologist and author Tim Flannery has been awarded Australian of the Year on 26 January 2007 for his contributions to environmental issues and the biosciences. Journalists and policymakers credit Flannery's book The Weather Makers (2005) with reviving the debate on global climate change.

Nassim Kaddim's profile for Melbourne's Age newspaper includes this quote:

"What distinguishes Tim is his ability to see through time," says Peter Cosier, fellow member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists. "He is able to see across generations and future generations will be thankful that Tim is on their side."

Continue reading "Scientific Renaissance Man on Future Generations & Sustainability" »

Stephen McGrail on Climate Change

Swinburne MSSF alumnus Stephen McGrail---who runs the Fore-sight and Members Circle programs for Melbourne-based consultancy Futureye---has written an Age article on how the "three L's"---legislation, litigation and liability---have cross-impacted to make a "low-carbon future" a priority for forward-looking businesses and legislators.

Continue reading "Stephen McGrail on Climate Change" »

First Post: Project Provisional Aims

This project emerged in January 2007 after discussions at the AusForesight 2006 conference about practitioner standards and communication/media strategies. Its provisional aims are to:

• Provide information on Futures Studies & Strategic Foresight for a pragmatic audience in a salon-type format similar to John Brockman's Edge and the popular blog/zine BoingBoing.

• Document how a Strategic Foresight community of practice (initially comprised of alumnus from Swinburne University's MSSF program) engages in researcher and practitioner work, and to capture their expertise.

• Explore how interviews that use dialogue---such as the practices developed by MIT's Society for Organisational Learning and philosopher of science Paul Feyerabend---can reveal the breadth-depth, integral, meta-disciplinary and different epistemologies/ontologies of Futures Studies & Strategic Foresight.

• Experiment with Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs and podcasts to communicate Futures Studies & Strategic Foresight to a diverse global audience.

About January 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Futuristics in January 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

February 2007 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.