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Thursday, September 15 • 3:00pm - 5:00pm
(REF 15432) Science Futures: Be Prepared it's Time

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Science Futures: Be Prepared it's Time
Among the specific proposals the Secretary-General announced are several strategic foresight initiatives under the UN's "Be Prepared Cluster":
  1. A Futures Lab.
  2. A Declaration on Future Generations.
  3. A United Nations Special Envoy. To ensure that policy and budget decisions closely reflect their impact on future generations.
  4. A regularly issued Strategic Foresight and Global Risk Report;.
  5. A Summit on the Future in 2023
For many, the future seems unimaginable and insurmountable, yet it is possible to envision these futures and empower people and organizations to take action to enable the desired outcomes. Based on facts and modeling by professionals, these possible futures can dispel the myths and clear the fog for pragmatic, action-based dialogue.
Current thinking tells us that inching along in two to five-year planning is enough. We don't often recognize the conversations around what already exists, and we have been taught that social science, such as futures practices, is too 'soft' sciences but this limits potential.
Let us reimagine our time horizons. On the understanding of time horizons and futures, a common belief (and often a very Western one) is that time moves uni-directionally forward. Yet every culture, spanning the globe, has its own sense of time. Through a constellation of problems or questions to solve and multiple potential solutions we examine the concept of time from different cultures, creating future artifacts that tell the story of the notion of time and its relationship to the future. Futures practices such as foresight and futurecasting bring together the intersection of wicked problems, experts, practitioners and storytelling. Creating opportunities to learn, use imagination, collaborate, create, and grow; providing space for the construction of applied outcomes such as policy, centers, labs, summits, reports, and interactive experiences.
You can build great data with both hard (quantitative) and social sciences (qualitative). But we must ask ourselves now - what will we need to know for the future?
Effective Futures practices use a combination of science/technical inputs to create structured data sets, effects-based models and understanding of culture and empathy to develop scripts for worldbuilding. These are trainable skills creating value and vital preparations of future generations. These digital natives will naturally understand the brilliance of code but this leaves a gap for the insertion of human power skills such as empathy.
Futures practices require empathy to construct the data. The outcomes produce growth mindsets and cultivate opportunities for non-traditional scientists and ancient knowledge to enter the field. Equity and Inclusion are mandatory for the field of futures practices as the future is imagined by humans and all humans must have the agency to shape their future in the design phase. Science is creative. Futures work should disrupt the idea of who believes they are invited,included or allowed. The future is a permission space to share ideas, gather data and engage in meaningful ways while building action-driven applied outcomes.
  • Engage with Time
  • Construct Artifacts form the Future
  • Inspire community through Science Futures

avatar for Alisha Bhagat

Alisha Bhagat

Alisha Bhagat is a futurist and strategist whose work focuses on the creative use of futures tools such as strategic foresight and scenarios planning to impact long term positive change, particularly around social justice. She is based at Forum for the Future, a non-profit, and is... Read More →
avatar for Nour Batyne

Nour Batyne

Nour Batyne (she/her)Nour Batyne (she/her) is a creative producer, facilitator, and artist — her work lies at the intersection of immersive storytelling, futures thinking, and social innovation.Nour is a Next Generation Foresight Practitioner Fellow at the School of International... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Claire Nelson

Dr. Claire Nelson

Dr. Claire Nelson is Chief Ideation Leader of The Futures Forum, a research and education practice specializing in bringing the power of strategic foresight, and the discipline of sustainability engineering to challenges facing organizations and communities. Nelson, named on Forbes... Read More →
avatar for Cyndi Coon

Cyndi Coon

Producing Director, Applied Futures Lab
Cyndi Coon serves as a Producing Director at the Applied Futures Lab, the Chief of Staff at the Threatcasting Lab, Producing Director at the Weaponized Narrative Initiative, and a producer for the office of the president at Arizona State University. Cyndi is the Founder and CEO of... Read More →
avatar for Mansi Parikh

Mansi Parikh

Mansi Parikh - Founder - Foresight & Innovation Strategy, Future Tense Inc.Passionately Curious, a Reverse Superhero (in defiance of the superhero norm, she attempts her worldbuilding/ saving by day), Mansi is the Founder of Future Tense, an award-winning futurist and NGFP Fellow... Read More →

Thursday September 15, 2022 3:00pm - 5:00pm EDT