We’re conditioned to see the present moment as “normal,” with all the banality that implies. This is not a banal moment. It’s the sort of intense, chaotic moment, full of strange things, that we previously only found in science fiction. “Right now” feels like all of science fiction happening at once, and needs to be considered in that context –Warren Ellis
working notes of Future Fabulators
“Any useful idea about the future should appear to be ridiculous” Dator’s 2nd Law of the Future (Dator 1995)
A lot of the scenario planning process has to do with Formalised Decision Making and how this is done in groups.
20140206 Having done several scenario workshops, it seems that the most powerful aspect of the process is the realisation that people usually live in multiple scenarios today - which makes them laugh in recognition, but also helps distill the issues very quickly. How 'futuristic' or accurate the scenario narratives end up being doesn't seem to matter so much. The realisation about their present situation already gives a sense of awareness what's going on and where they'd like to be. It makes the future more open or malleable in a way. So for us the question is how do we emphasise and support this renewed sense of agency? Prehearsals, scenario testing, 'how do we get from here to there' excercises are a good start, but more research is needed.
Here are a few possible research questions and directions (some quite broad, others very specific), collected from various debriefs
How to improve the prehearsal pocket guide? (notes from February 2014)
20140205 While editing scenarios it became apparent how tricky it is to keep a consistency in information and layout of the scenarios. The scenario database we're planning to make should make this easier. Components that seem to be needed in all scenarios:
should we try to contextualise the scenarios directly in the database?
or should we keep the database only as a 'short story collection'?
a rather bad example of a scenario database is the Millennium Project's Futures Matrix
Hanna Arendt and 'natality':
Voor Arendt is 'nataliteit' een heel belangrijk begrip - dat is het vermogen van de mens om iets nieuws te beginnen, niet iets dat reageert op een bepaalde context of omstandigheden, maar iets werkelijk compleet nieuws. (Het is net dat vermogen dat in haar analyse in een totalitair systeem vernietigd wordt en daarmee, wat haar betreft, de hele mensheid.) Ik bedoel maar: ik kan me voorstellen dat zo'n soort lectuur ook voedend kan zijn om het over toekomstige scenario's te hebben, zonder dat het er rechtstreeks over gaat. -Lies Declerck http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/arendt/#AreTheAct