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Article
Publication date: 24 May 2022

Kimberly Camrass

This paper aims to analyse both traditional and regenerative fields across four layers, litany, systems, worldviews and myth/metaphor. It aims to provide in-depth insight…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyse both traditional and regenerative fields across four layers, litany, systems, worldviews and myth/metaphor. It aims to provide in-depth insight into the beliefs, values epistemologies and assumptions that scaffold thinking and practice. As a result of this analysis, future implications for regenerative urban practice are also considered.

Design/methodology/approach

Prevailing sustainability approaches seek to mitigate further harm in urban centres by increasing efficiency and minimising resource consumption and impact. They are primarily underpinned by a reductionist worldview that separates human objectives from those of the natural world. In contrast, regenerative approaches to urban sustainability have emerged out of an ecological worldview and aim to achieve net positive outcomes as a result of co-evolutionary relationships between social and ecological systems. This paper explores both approaches in urban communities through futures thinking tool, causal layered analysis.

Findings

As a result of the causal layered analysis undertaken, this paper provides insights into regenerative thinking and practice in urban settings. These insights cover four main thematic categories: purpose, place, practice and progress. Moving to the deeper layers of worldview and myth metaphor analysis, in particular, has significant implications for ongoing practice, including facilitating processes by which communities can reflect upon, unpack and reconstruct their concepts of future “success”.

Originality/value

Anthropogenic climate change continues to deliver worsening ecological, social and economic impacts globally. Urban centres are particularly central to this crisis given their massive resource consumption and rapid population growth. This paper provides an alternative, deep analysis to consider thinking and practice required for urban regeneration. It reveals the need for a shift in purpose and a deeper understanding of place, illustrating the roles that futures tools may place in this transition.

Details

foresight, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 November 2021

Mohammad Majid Fouladgar, Ahmad Borumand Kakhki, Alireza Nasr Esfehani and Mohammadsadegh Sedighi

This paper aims to propose a policy prioritization framework in view of a layered scenario building along with key stakeholder analysis and has been applied in a case…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose a policy prioritization framework in view of a layered scenario building along with key stakeholder analysis and has been applied in a case study to determine the priority of Iran environmental policies at the horizon of 2030. A creative framework that covers future scenarios and allows for a more accurate and intelligent policy assessment and prioritization.

Design/methodology/approach

The general environmental policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran are evaluated, and observation policies in social area were identified. Causal layered analysis (CLA) is applied for policy prioritization based on layered probable scenarios and key stakeholder role consideration. The Multiple-criteria decision-making (MCDM) is also used for ranking General Environmental Policies by the technique for order of preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS).

Findings

Four uncertainties were obtained in different layers based on the CLA analysis, resulting in the creation of four main scenario and 16 discrete scenarios. Finally, Iran’s environmental policies were prioritized given the probable scenarios and the centralized policies on the social and political domains. The proposed model will be effective in policy-making in multilateral atmosphere to prioritize policies and alternative macro-strategies.

Originality/value

This paper shows that foresight and especially developed scenarios provide intelligent, efficient and effective planning and policy-making, and in addition to illustrating surrounding changes and probable future imagery, it generates common understanding and inter-subjective knowledge by increasing participation of various officials and stakeholders.

Details

foresight, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 October 2018

Mohammadali Baradaran Ghahfarokhi, Ali Mohaghar and Fatemeh Saghafi

Higher education and universities have faced unprecedented and ubiquitous changes. The University of Tehran or “UT,” as the leading university in Iran, is not immune to…

Abstract

Purpose

Higher education and universities have faced unprecedented and ubiquitous changes. The University of Tehran or “UT,” as the leading university in Iran, is not immune to these changes. The purposes of this study is to investigate the current situation and future of the UT and gain insights and possible responses to changes that suit its strengths and potential to progress in an increasingly competitive, complex environment with uncertainties. It identifies deep fundamental underpinnings of the issue and highlights them for policymakers to formulate strategies and future vision of the UT.

Design/methodology/approach

Causal layered analysis (CLA) was applied as a framework and the data collected from different sources such as literature reviews, content analysis of rules, regulations and master plans of the university and coded interviews of four different groups of university stakeholders were analyzed. The current system of UT, as well as hidden beliefs, that maintains traditional perceptions about university was mapped. Next, by applying a new recursive process and reverse CLA order, new CLA layers extracted through an expert panel, the layers of CLA based on new metaphors to envision future of UT were backcasted.

Findings

The results from CLA layers including litany, system, worldview and metaphor about the current statue of UT show disinterest and inertia against changes, conservative, behind the times and traditional perceptions, and indicate that the UT system is mismatched to the needs of society and stakeholders in the future. The authors articulated alternative perspectives deconstructed from other worldviews so there are new narratives that reframe the issues at hand. The results show that to survive in this fast-paced revolution and competition in higher education, UT should develop scenarios and formulate new strategies.

Research limitations/implications

The authors had limited access to a wide range of stakeholders. As the UT is a very big university with so many faculties and departments, to access a pool of experts and top policymakers who were so busy and did not have time to interview inside and outside of university was very hard for the research team. The authors also had limitation to access the internal enactments and decisions of the trustee board of the UT and the financial balance sheets of the university.

Originality/value

In this paper, by mixing different methods of futures studies, the authors have shown how to move forward while understanding the perspectives of stakeholders about the future of UT by a new recursive process and reverse CLA order. A supplementary phase was added to improve CLA and to validate the method and results, which were ignored in previous studies.

Details

foresight, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 March 2019

Marcelle Holdaway

Social and environmental accountability by firms can be compromised by a lack of democracy within community engagement and decision-making processes. This is particularly…

Abstract

Purpose

Social and environmental accountability by firms can be compromised by a lack of democracy within community engagement and decision-making processes. This is particularly evident in potential conflict situations such as with unconventional gas (UCG) extraction. Dialogic engagement sits within dialogic accounting theory and offers a potentially valuable contribution to democratisation. This study aims to contribute to dialogic engagement as practice through the application of critical futures theory and methodology, causal layered analysis (CLA).

Design/methodology/approach

CLA was applied in field research firstly in interviews and then in a workshop setting involving participants with diverse perspectives on UCG. The workshop was planned around activities designed to: implement dialogic engagement as practice, critically unpack views on the present and future of UCG and energy needs through CLA; and evaluate the usefulness of the methodology.

Findings

Findings suggest that CLA enables access to multiple, complex and nuanced perspectives and facilitates, a deeper understanding of participants own views and of other differing views in relation to UCG, 1) a deeper understanding of participants own views, and of other differing views in relation to UCG, 2) a deeper analysis in the identification of key themes in discussions around UCG, and, 3) the identification by participants of “preferred futures” and “uncertainties” concerning energy needs.

Practical implications

CLA is a valuable tool for undertaking genuine community engagement and has wide-ranging application, one example being with interviews and focus groups. Moreover, with the inclusion of diverse perspectives, options and solutions emerging for consideration are increased. This in turn provides opportunities for creative decision-making through scenario identification and strategic development that potentially give rise to transformative possibilities.

Social implications

CLA may well assist in moving firms, and indeed civil society, closer to reaching preferable social and environmental outcomes.

Originality/value

This cross-disciplinary research applies an innovative approach and methodology, taking democratic engagement to new depths.

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2005

Joseph Voros

To outline and present a generalised scheme for using “layered methods” in foresight work.

2057

Abstract

Purpose

To outline and present a generalised scheme for using “layered methods” in foresight work.

Design/methodology/approach

A number of different approaches to “layering” in futures studies and foresight work are examined and synthesised into a generalised scheme. The place of layered methods in foresight work is also examined, and the role of perceptual filters in interpretation is discussed.

Findings

A schema of four major “strata”, each potentially containing multiple sub‐layers, is developed. The strata range from, for example, short‐term trends in the shallowest level, through to long‐term macrohistorical forces at the deepest level.

Practical implications

The generalised scheme enables the practitioner to progressively move to greater levels of understanding as new layers of meaning are uncovered or constructed, as appropriate to the specific nature of the particular foresight engagement. The scheme also represents a template from which purpose‐built interpretive frameworks can be constructed, as needed, in foresight processes and work.

Originality/value

This paper provides a new, generalised and integrated approach to the use of interpretive frameworks in foresight work.

Details

Foresight, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

Marcelle Holdaway

As a key element of corporate accountability, social and environmental accounting (SEA) has failed to yield significant results in terms of firms embracing goals other…

Abstract

Purpose

As a key element of corporate accountability, social and environmental accounting (SEA) has failed to yield significant results in terms of firms embracing goals other than financial profitability. Influenced by the work of critical accountants on dialogic accounting, the study rejects binary frameworks and aims to contribute to an essential element of SEA, stakeholder engagement.

Design/methodology/approach

Business concerned with unconventional gas (UCG) extraction was chosen from numerous vehicles suited to examining multiple views on contested issues. The research explores perspectives expressed by community, while also including perspectives of one gas firm. Research is viewed through the lens of critical futures theory and methodology causal layered analysis (CLA) in the analysis of the interviews at the case study site in Australia. In addition, to broaden the understanding of “accountability”, participants captured their own views through images that they interpreted in the interviews. This methodology is known as photovoice.

Findings

Findings suggest that CLA enables access to multiple, complex and nuanced perspectives and various ways of knowing, some of which are less conscious.

Research limitations/implications

Accessing multiple perspectives, including marginalized voices, gives rise to the potential to then collaboratively develop a more inclusive set of solutions to critically examine, and the CLA methodology appears to provide a fuller story, address “blindness” and enable a clearer “seeing”. This suggests access to new understandings. These two potentials should be further explored through follow up research.

Practical implications

This practice-based methodology involving civil society could provide SEA accounting practitioners with a greater range of possibilities; they would therefore benefit from incorporating “CLA thinking” as a basis in developing a pluralist, democratic and transformative approach to stakeholder engagement.

Social implications

The study is an initial contribution in an ambitious task of democratizing accounting and accountability.

Originality/value

The study addresses a gap in accounting and accountability research by applying a critical futures theory and a practice-based method.

Article
Publication date: 9 April 2018

Mohsen Mohammadi, Mohammad Rahim Eivazi, Gholam Reza Goudarzi and Einollah Keshavarz Turk

Various theoretical studies were carried out which attempted to identify impacting factors of cultural changes; however, these studies ignored the correlation among other…

Abstract

Purpose

Various theoretical studies were carried out which attempted to identify impacting factors of cultural changes; however, these studies ignored the correlation among other affecting factors all together. In this paper, the authors aim not only to discuss the hidden layers that trigger the cultural changes but also to answer the questions of how to identify the main factors in each layer based on casual layered analysis (CLA), which could have a strong impact in shaping other layers’ factors? What are the dominant metaphors and worldviews that human beings are telling themselves about our universe that influences the future cultural changes?

Design/methodology/approach

To answer the questions of “how to identify the main factors in each layer,” the CLA methodology was used to investigate the underlying reasons. CLA takes into account four layers (litany, social systems, dominant discourse and worldviews and metaphors), which could be a tremendous help in identifying the mentioned factors.

Findings

The analysis shows that there are some contributing factors such as economy, technology, politics, society, environment, mass media, globalization and migration at the second layer – “social systems layer” – which may trigger cultural changes in first layer “litany”; in addition, in the third and deeper layer two dominant worldviews – materialist/secular and religious affecting the contributing factors in the second layer – were identified. Such worldviews are, in turn, supported by metaphors or perfect stories/myths of the deepest layer.

Originality/value

It can be concluded that because the cultural changes as a reality is composed of different layers, it is important to dig into different layers of reality to comprehend the significant shaping factors of that reality to visualize and make the better future.

Details

foresight, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 February 2021

Tahereh Miremadi

The paper aims to complement the six pillars analysis with the multi-level perspective to make it more systematic and policy relevant.

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to complement the six pillars analysis with the multi-level perspective to make it more systematic and policy relevant.

Design/methodology/approach

Take the innovation system foresight as the exemplar; the paper asks if the other systemic approaches to innovation can function as the middle range theory and underpin critical future studies. To answer, the paper combines the six-pillar approach (SPA) with the multilevel perspective (MLP) and builds “transitional foresight”. Then it takes the fourth pillar; transitional causal layered analysis and applies it to a case study: water stress in Iran. The paper concludes noting that in transitional foresight, the borderlines, the players and the orientations of the foresight are clearer than the six-pillar analysis.

Findings

The SPA and MLP-integrated framework make a powerful research instrument for transitional foresight.

Research limitations/implications

The paper applied the integrated framework to a case “water system in Iran”. But the framework should be applied in different cases in different countries to test its applicability.

Practical implications

The suggested framework can be used as a heuristics for the students and researchers who want to engage with the emancipatory perspective of the six-pillar approach and need to have an academic methodology with rigor and granularity.

Originality/value

The six-pillar approach of Sohail Inayatullah and the multilevel perspective of Geels can combine to make a powerful heuristic for transitional foresight.

Details

foresight, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 August 2012

Sohail Inayatullah

Based on a report to the non‐profit organization, The Foundation for the Future, this article aims to review methodological approaches to forecasting the long‐term future.

Abstract

Purpose

Based on a report to the non‐profit organization, The Foundation for the Future, this article aims to review methodological approaches to forecasting the long‐term future.

Design/methodology/approach

This is not an analysis of the particular content of the next 500 or 1,000 years but a comparative analysis of methodologies and epistemological approaches best utilized in long‐range foresight work. It involves an analysis of multiple methods to understand long‐range foresight; literature review; and critical theory.

Findings

Methodologies that forecast the long‐term future are likely to be more rewarding – in terms of quality, insight, and validity – if they are eclectic and layered, go back in time as far as they go in the future, that contextualize critical factors and long‐term projections through a nuanced reading of macrohistory, and focus on epistemic change, the ruptures that reorder how we know the world.

Research limitations/implications

The article provides frameworks to study the long‐range future. It gives advice on how best to design research projects that are focused on the long‐term. Limitations include: no quantitative studies were used and the approach while epistemologically sensitive remains bounded by Western frameworks of knowledge.

Practical implications

The article provides methodological and epistemological guidance as to the best methods for long range foresight. It overviews strengths and weaknesses of various approaches.

Originality/value

This is the only research project to analyze methodological aspects of 500‐1,000 year forecasting. It includes conventional technocratic views of the future as well as Indic and feminist perspectives. It is among the few studies to link macrohistory and epistemic analysis to study the long‐term.

Article
Publication date: 27 April 2022

Marguerite Westacott

Career education and employability have become Australian university curriculum and pedagogy priorities to meet the changing world of work and federal government…

Abstract

Purpose

Career education and employability have become Australian university curriculum and pedagogy priorities to meet the changing world of work and federal government parameters linking higher education funding to graduate employment outcomes. This conceptual paper aims to present the hypothesis that emphasis on integrating career education in the curriculum can provide an opportunity to embed future-thinking concepts by reframing future-focussed career education practice to futures focussed. It proposes that using a Futures Senses lens to expand current career pedagogy liberates career education from individualised cognitive decision-making and self-analysis; to include the affective, collective imagining, ancestral voices and innate gifts.

Design/methodology/approach

A suite of five career education pedagogical tools that have been embedded by the author in the curriculum of an enabling education course in a regional Australian university; are described, analysed and reconceptualised using the Futures Senses. A Causal Layered Analysis provides a layered comparison of future-focussed and futures focussed career education.

Discussion

The discussion reflects on current pedagogical practice by the author and indicates pragmatic implications for applying a future-focussed approach to career education practice. Implementation of these reimagined activities provides an opportunity for future qualitative research.

Originality/value

Opportunity exists to leverage rising institutional demands and political agendas of integrating career education in the tertiary curriculum, as a means of embedding futures concepts, thinking and pedagogy. The reimagined activities are a pragmatic offering that can be used by educators to initiate and nurture futures thinking.

Details

On the Horizon: The International Journal of Learning Futures, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

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