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Type: Journal article
Title: Three maps for navigating the ocean of alternative futures
Author: List, Dennis H.
Citation: Future Studies, 2003; 8 (2):55-64
Publisher: Tamkang University
Issue Date: 2003
ISSN: 1027-6084
Organisation: Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre
Abstract: This paper presents three maps or extended metaphors of the human future: as a hemisphere,as a bamboo thicket, and as fish in a river. The hemispherical model, inspired by Inayatullah's Causal Layered Analysis, plots drivers of change on four levels of successively greater inertia: events, intentions, values, and worldview. The thesis here is that events are influenced by intentions, intentions by values, and values by worldview. Events change constantly; intentions change every few years; values change perhaps over ten years, and new worldviews, being a permanent characteristic of individuals, emerge once in a generation. Because each successive level changes more slowly, the general direction that a human future will take-if not its precise details-can be known in advance. The "bamboo thicket" map reveals the collectivity of human futures by displaying the interlinking of holonic systems. As the future of an entity is mediated through the future of its neighbour, studying the actors through which this mediation occurs is an aid to anticipating the entity's future. The "fish in the river" map places futures as three independent dimensions: time, uncertainty, and striving. An entity can be represented in this river-space in multiple ways, through the perceptions (actual or believed) of related actors or stakeholders. The implication of using this approach to multiple maps is that, by switching their attention between the different view points illustrated in these maps, participants in futures workshops are helped to attain greater insight into the shared aspects of their futures.
RMID: 0020076602
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Appears in Collections:Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation, and Innovation Centre publications

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