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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

George H. Kubik

To review the edited anthology Anticipatory Behavior in Adaptive Learning Systems: Foundations, Theories, and Systems.

Abstract

Purpose

To review the edited anthology Anticipatory Behavior in Adaptive Learning Systems: Foundations, Theories, and Systems.

Design/methodology/approach

Comments on the book's 16 articles that rapidly transition from introductory philosophy to specific research reports.

Findings

The consensus is that anticipatory behaviors are critical to performance in a variety of natural and built systems – especially adaptive learning systems. This outcome, with some disagreement among the authors, is demonstrated through a variety of exemplars.

Originality/value

The reviewer feels that this book is of seminal importance. The exploration of anticipatory behaviors as a legitimate and promising area of informed discourse and scientific research is novel and definitely a major contribution toward understanding and enhancing the performance of complex systems.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2010

A.H. Louie

This article aims to be an expository introduction to Robert Rosen's anticipatory systems, the theory of which provides the conceptual basis for foresight studies.

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to be an expository introduction to Robert Rosen's anticipatory systems, the theory of which provides the conceptual basis for foresight studies.

Design/methodology/approach

The ubiquity of anticipatory systems in nature is explained.

Findings

Causality is not violated by anticipatory systems, and teleology is an integral aspect of science.

Practical implications

A terse exposition for a general readership, such as the present article, by definition cannot get into too many details. For further exploration the reader is referred to the recent book More than Life Itself by the author.

Originality/value

The topic of anticipatory systems in particular, and methods of relational biology in general, provide important tools for foresight studies. It is the author's hope that this brief glimpse into the world of relational biology piques the interest of some readers to pursue the subject further.

Details

Foresight, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2010

Vesselin Petrov

The paper aims to investigate what is the best ontological framework of anticipatory systems. Its aim is to argue the thesis that the ontology on which anticipatory systems

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to investigate what is the best ontological framework of anticipatory systems. Its aim is to argue the thesis that the ontology on which anticipatory systems are based should be a dynamic one: a kind of process ontology. It seeks to include a demonstration of the fruitfulness of such an ontological framework for the investigation of anticipatory systems.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology of the paper is a process ontological one. The objectives are achieved by a comparative analysis of the static and dynamic approaches to the ontological framework.

Findings

A process ontological framework is a reliable basis for the substantiation of the thesis that there is no great gap between living and non‐living systems as far as anticipation is concerned.

Practical implications

An example is represented of an anticipatory non‐living system that is artificially created and is programmed as a self‐control system. In this respect the paper has some practical implications.

Originality/value

A new approach is suggested to the investigation of anticipatory systems. It could be of interest not only for philosophers, but also for scientists who work on ontology as technology.

Details

Foresight, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2010

J. Ferret

The study of anticipatory systems assumes the existence of two distinct types of systems in nature. Some systems anticipate the future and such anticipation forms part of

Abstract

Purpose

The study of anticipatory systems assumes the existence of two distinct types of systems in nature. Some systems anticipate the future and such anticipation forms part of the system itself, while other systems, however, do not anticipate and solely rely on past states. This article aims to argue that this distinction is inadequate given the current understanding of fundamental physics and it seeks to propose instead that all systems need to be considered fundamentally anticipatory.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis centers on showing how classical and quantum mechanics implies the concept of anticipatory system by showing how systems are relational and inherently anticipatory because of the potential interaction from a given reference frame of another system.

Findings

This article shows the fundamental relationship between the physical state of the system and its energy, first in classical mechanics and then in quantum mechanics. This serves, first, to remind that energy is arbitrary and so is the system, and second, that the role of potential energy is precisely one of anticipation of interaction with another system at the boundaries.

Research limitations/implications

This article shows there is a fundamental concept of anticipation built in the concept of a closed system, but open systems can get around the analysis presented.

Practical implications

Systems engineering and decision theory fields may benefit from a renewed understanding of the role of anticipation in systems.

Originality/value

This analysis contributes to the fundamental understanding of the concept of anticipation, systems, and their fundamental role in physics.

Details

Foresight, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2010

Roberto Poli

After summarizing the theories of anticipation proposed over the past century, the paper aims to distinguish between anticipation as an empirical phenomenon and the

Abstract

Purpose

After summarizing the theories of anticipation proposed over the past century, the paper aims to distinguish between anticipation as an empirical phenomenon and the conditions that make anticipation possible. The paper's first part seeks to show that many scholars from various research fields worked on the many nuances of anticipation. The paper's second part seeks to discuss the difference between the capacity of anticipation and the nature of systems able to exhibit anticipatory behavior. The former endeavor adopts a descriptive attitude, whilst the latter seeks to understand what it is that makes anticipation possible.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a theoretical and experimental analysis of anticipation and anticipatory systems.

Findings

Anticipation is a widely studied phenomenon within a number of different disciplines, including biology and brain studies, cognitive and social sciences, engineering and artificial intelligence. There is a need for relying on at least two different levels of analysis, namely anticipation as an empirical phenomenon and the idea of an anticipatory system or the study of the internal structure that a system should possess so that it can behave in an anticipatory fashion.

Research limitations/implications

The literature summarized by the paper is only part of a substantially larger body of documents. More extensive analyses are needed to firmly establish the conclusions suggested.

Practical implications

The paper allows better understanding of the complexity of anticipation and the differences between types of anticipation (e.g. between explicit versus implicit anticipation).

Originality/value

For the first time, the distinction implicitly present in the surveyed literature between anticipation as an empirical phenomenon and the idea of anticipatory system as the study of the conditions that make anticipation possible is raised explicitly.

Details

Foresight, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 17 July 2009

Leon S. Fuerth

The purpose of this paper is to lay a theoretical basis for discussion of the ways by which organized foresight can be employed in the service of pro‐poor objectives. This

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to lay a theoretical basis for discussion of the ways by which organized foresight can be employed in the service of pro‐poor objectives. This is in line with the fundamental mandate of the Rockefeller Foundation, dating from its establishment.

Design/methodology/approach

The objective was to capture concepts that the author has been developing and teaching under the heading of “Forward engagement”. Forward engagement is a particular approach to anticipatory governance, drawing upon complexity theory for assessment of issues requiring government policy; network theory for proposed reforms to legacy systems of governance to enable them to manage complexity under conditions of accelerating change; and cybernetic theory to propose feedback systems to allow ongoing measurement of the performance of policies against expectations. For more detail, visit www.forwardengagement.org.

Findings

The paper sketches out some core elements of a system for anticipatory governance.

Originality/value

In addition to the primary findings of forward engagement (see web site), this paper argues that foresight and anticipatory concepts can play a vital role, not only for governance in the United States, but for governance in developing countries: perhaps even more so, because such countries have narrower margins for response to significant changes of circumstance.

Details

Foresight, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1974

A.B. ENGEL

The classical idea of model, as a system that can anticipate, in a finite time interval, the full behavior of a real system, is shown to lead to serious contradictions. An…

Abstract

The classical idea of model, as a system that can anticipate, in a finite time interval, the full behavior of a real system, is shown to lead to serious contradictions. An alternate formalism is proposed, in which only general features of the real system can be projected. From this new formalism, optimal experiments on the real system are derived. A discussion of the problem of uniqueness in modelling theory is included. As an area in which the classical idea of model is applicable without contradictions, anticipatory systems are analyzed. Some general features of these systems are considered. Finally, the projective system of an anticipatory system is fully described in terms of the state system.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2015

Sonya Remington-Doucette and Sheryl Musgrove

The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a classroom assessment aimed at determining the extent to which five key sustainability competencies develop in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a classroom assessment aimed at determining the extent to which five key sustainability competencies develop in students during an introductory transdisciplinary sustainability course. University sustainability programs intend to provide integrated education that fosters the key competencies students need to solve real-world sustainability problems. Translating sustainability competencies into effective pedagogical practice in integrated academic programs is not straightforward. This work builds on a previous study by both expanding the competencies evaluated and considering additional demographic characteristics.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper summarizes previously identified key sustainability competencies and describes teaching methodologies used to foster these competencies in students. Development of competencies in students during a semester-long course is assessed using a pre-/post-test based on two case studies. The implications of the findings for teaching practice and overall program structure are discussed.

Findings

Based on the assessment methods used here, four of the five sustainability competencies evaluated in this study developed differently in students according to gender, disciplinary affiliation and age. Females improved interpersonal competence more than males. Systems thinking competence improved for students associated with the three disciplinary affiliations considered in this study: sustainability major, sustainability minor and business major. Anticipatory competence improved for sustainability and business majors only, but not for students minoring in sustainability and majoring in other disciplines. Finally, normative competence improved for younger students only.

Research limitations/implications

Insights for teaching practice and overall program structure are based on assessment of one introductory transdisciplinary sustainability course. Much additional work is needed to draw strong conclusions about general teaching practices and program structure for sustainability education. This study provides a flexible and field-tested rubric for further evaluative work in other sustainability courses or degree programs.

Practical implications

Universities incorporate sustainability into their undergraduate curricula in many ways, ranging from certificates to entire degree programs focused on sustainability. The results of this study suggest that educators pay attention to gender diversity, classroom teaching practices, disciplinary perspectives and student attitudes and developmental stages as they figure out how to make sustainability part of undergraduate education. This information may help create more effective sustainability courses and academic programs, which may maintain the viability of current sustainability programs and promote the institutionalization of sustainability in higher education.

Originality/value

This research contributes to undergraduate sustainability education by providing insight into how sustainability education might thoughtfully be integrated into academic programs. It also offers an assessment approach for use by other sustainability educators to evaluate effectiveness of teaching practice and overall program structure based on five key sustainability competencies commonly cited in the literature.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1993

Peter M. Senge and Robert M. Fulmer

Discusses “organizational learning”, and thecontribution of simulations and system dynamics to the improvement ofmanagers′ “mental worlds” in accelerating anticipatorylearning.

Abstract

Discusses “organizational learning”, and the contribution of simulations and system dynamics to the improvement of managers′ “mental worlds” in accelerating anticipatory learning.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 12 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2015

Rocco Scolozzi and Roberto Poli

– This paper aims to present an overview of deep issues flanking the ideas of system and complexity, and an overview of the mentioned course as a proposal for systems thinking.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present an overview of deep issues flanking the ideas of system and complexity, and an overview of the mentioned course as a proposal for systems thinking.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides a discursive overview of systems and philosophical concepts related to the described course.

Findings

The review offers a perspective of a super-system that includes the students, the lecturers and the context of their interaction, in which one may recognize a relational framework for social learning of a systemic sustainability.

Research limitations/implications

The overview concerns only the actual intervention in the University of Trento.

Practical implications

The described concepts and related philosophical discussion may contribute to the integration of system thinking in the future studies.

Originality/value

The described intervention is a new Italian context and the integration of systems concepts with futures studies seems not to be commonly established.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

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