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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Sohail Inayatullah and Ivana Milojevic

The purpose of this report is to present the findings of a five-day course for AKEPT – the Malaysian Leadership Academy in the Ministry of Higher Education. The course was…

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838

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this report is to present the findings of a five-day course for AKEPT – the Malaysian Leadership Academy in the Ministry of Higher Education. The course was held from March 24-28th, 2014, for over 50 lecturers, professors, deputy deans and deans from Malaysian universities.

Design/methodology/approach

Senior lecturers and professors deliberated for the first three days on the futures of higher education in Malaysia. They presented their scenarios and recommendations to the deans. The deans used these findings to articulate their own preferred futures in the last two days. The future-oriented discussions were framed by the “six pillars” futures approach (Inayatullah, 2008; Inayatullah, 2015; Inayatullah and Milojevic, 2015).

Findings

The core of their recommendation consisted of a move by 2025 from the current fragmented university governance structure to a streamlined consortium model. Instead of the factory, a collection of linked longhouses or “rumah panjang” was offered as a way forward. This new model would have two immediate benefits: considerable cost savings and enhanced mobility for students and professors.

Research limitations/implications

This case study presents scenarios and strategies. Limitations include the willingness of the Ministry to act on these recommendations. However, as this course was part of a number of foresight processes in Malaysia, even if these particular recommendations do not realize, they are steps in creating an ecology of foresight and of possible university transformation.

Practical implications

This study links causal layered analysis, scenarios and visions to recommendations in the context of a multi-year foresight process.

Social implications

The study includes valuable discussions by leading Malaysian thinkers and administrators on the futures of the university.

Originality/value

This was one of the few workshop-oriented interventions used the anticipatory action learning “six pillars framework”. It is especially valuable as it is the third year of futures intervention in higher education. The study contrasts with traditional expert-based forecasting in Asia.

Details

Foresight, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2003

Sohail Inayatullah

Ageing is a fundamental issue for the future of the planet. An ageing society challenges basic assumptions of modern culture and political economy. This paper explores…

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1525

Abstract

Ageing is a fundamental issue for the future of the planet. An ageing society challenges basic assumptions of modern culture and political economy. This paper explores alternative futures of ageing in Queensland, understanding that certain assumptions about Queensland’s future are given. It is also focused on probable futures, and not on every possible future. Based on this map of the future‐developed through causal layered analysis and scenario planning – policy recommendations are developed for the Queensland Government.

Details

Foresight, vol. 5 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2002

Sohail Inayatullah

In this article, written as part of a consulting report for the insurance industry, key trends that are likely to impact the motor insurance industry are presented. These…

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3545

Abstract

In this article, written as part of a consulting report for the insurance industry, key trends that are likely to impact the motor insurance industry are presented. These trends include: globalization; the rise of the cultural creatives; customization; the rise of the info‐tailor; and ageing. From these trends sketches of three scenarios are presented. These are the great divide; smart cars and smart insurance; and from cars for all to mobility for all.

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Foresight, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

Sohail Inayatullah

To explore the alternative futures of work and the changing nature of the organization.

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2314

Abstract

Purpose

To explore the alternative futures of work and the changing nature of the organization.

Design/methodology/approach

Along with a long‐term macrohistorical approach, two futures methods are used: emerging issues analysis and scenarios.

Findings

Four scenarios are developed: business as usual (pendulum of labour versus capital); social and innovative transformation (moving toward the triple bottom line and flatter organizations); gut‐wrenching globalization (outsourcing of everything and the end of the nation‐state); and the unknown world (dramatic changes in the nature of work and organization, particularly because of AI technologies).

Originality/value

Novel approach in linking macrohistory to emerging issues to scenarios. Challenges litany approaches to work and the organization and links with deeper worldviews.

Details

Foresight, vol. 8 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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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

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 December 2003

Sohail Inayatullah and Colin Blackman

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Abstract

Details

Foresight, vol. 5 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2000

Sohail Inayatullah and Jennifer Gidley

States that four trends promise to dramatically change the university of the next century: globalization, virtualization, multiculturalism, and politicization, driven by…

Abstract

States that four trends promise to dramatically change the university of the next century: globalization, virtualization, multiculturalism, and politicization, driven by economy and efficiency, technology, values and rights, and power and politics. The article explores the impact of these trends on the future of the university, presents possibilities for structural change, and offers probable scenarios for the future. The conclusions suggest that the Web and globalism may end the monopoly of the traditional university and paradoxically place the transformed university simultaneously at the center of society.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Shermon O. Cruz

The purpose of this paper is to provide a critical and informative exploration of the emerging roles and rising influence of the Global South in shaping the future of…

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1222

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a critical and informative exploration of the emerging roles and rising influence of the Global South in shaping the future of global governance. Specifically, it inquires into the following questions: How is the Global South impacting the way we govern globally? What are the pushers, pulls and weights to the futures of global governance? Using Jim Dator’s alternative futures archetype, what is the future of global governance? What are the emerging issues and trends?

Design/methodology/approach

It uses Sohail Inayatullah’s futures triangle to map the drivers – the pushes, pulls and weights of global governance and Jim Dator’s archetypes – continued economic growth, collapse, conserver and transformation – to imagine and construct alternative futures of global governance.

Findings

The futures triangle analysis maps and reveals three diverse but causally linked Global South narratives of global governance. The pulls of the future include the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa leading the way, and emerging economies reinforcing the pluralization of global governance discourses and systems. New governance regimes create new global governance dynamics and North – South relations. Their increasing social, political and economic clout leads to new governance structures. The Global South’s rising human development index, economic growth, decreasing financial reliance, the rise of minilateralism and South – South cooperation is a push of the present. Weights are recurring financial constraints, their lack of technical capacity, existing international laws, stagnating bureaucracy, poverty, domestic issues and state centrism (among others). Four alternative global governance scenarios emerge: a harmonious world is everybody’s business – a state-centric and economic growth global governance future. Here, the dynamics of global governance remain the same as zero-sum thinking informs the rules of the game. In dangerous transitions and the rise of the rest, however, the status quo is disrupted as power shifts rapidly and detrimentally. Then, in mosaic of the old structure, the South embraces protectionism, and the old vanguards return. Finally, in all boats rise substantially, power is redistributed as emerging states gain larger, formal (and informal) leadership roles in global governance. The global world order is re-designed for the Global South. A world parliament is created and stronger regional confederation or unions emerge.

Research limitations/implications

This paper extensively utilizes existing and emerging literature, official reports, blogs, interviews, books and other digital texts on global governance. The sources relevance is analyzed using the futures triangle tool and dissected to present four detailed scenarios using Dator’s alternative futures archetype. This study seeks to initially explore alternative futures of global governance from the perspective of the Global South. While some studies have approached the topic, only a few authors have addressed global governance using futures tools and methods. The goal of this research is to map and explore some alternative futures of global governance. The paper is less useful in predicting what lies ahead. Its intention is to highlight the “rise of the different” and to create a space for more meaningful conversations on global governance.

Practical implications

This research could provide futurists, policy-makers, international relations scholars and global governance advocates some alternative narratives, frameworks and images of global governance. While it does not offer any specific structures and solutions, it offers a number of emerging issues and perspectives from the Global South that decision-makers and institutions might want to consider as they rethink global governance.

Social implications

This paper highlights the emerging roles and perspectives of the Global South in global governance. It identifies some “trading zones” and “emerging issues” that may inspire actors to create new global governance spaces, innovate alternative narratives and design new frameworks of global governance.

Originality/value

It maps and constructs some plausible scenarios of global governance that emphasize Global South perspectives while using futures tools and methods.

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2004

Andy Hines

The Australian Foresight Institute has brought out a collection of essays that provide a wonderful introduction into the realm of integral thinking as being brought into…

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452

Abstract

The Australian Foresight Institute has brought out a collection of essays that provide a wonderful introduction into the realm of integral thinking as being brought into foresight and futures studies. They suggest a broader, more‐encompassing framework for understanding the future and providing context for what's going on today. Two essays explore foresight in everyday life and conclude that “foresight is something that can be improved with practice.” The second entry looks at how two leading practitioners, Richard Slaughter and Sohail Inayatullah, are applying critical thinking to foresight and challenging the taken‐for‐granted and probing for hidden assumptions. The third brings integral thinking to critique national science and technology foresight exercises. The final entry is a collection of three papers on the topic of “Reframing environmental scanning” that makes the case for a new approach and then lays out early progress in that direction.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2013

Chris Riedy

The purpose of this paper is to explore metaphors of human awakening in four recent futures works and propose a research agenda on the nature and future trajectories of awakening.

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333

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore metaphors of human awakening in four recent futures works and propose a research agenda on the nature and future trajectories of awakening.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews metaphors of awakening in Slaughter's The Biggest Wake‐up Call in History, the Great Transition Initiative, Gilding's The Great Disruption and Inayatullah's “Waking up to a new future”. It identifies seven characteristics of awakening and uses these to create an environmental scanning framework. It reports on a preliminary application of the framework and proposes a future research agenda.

Findings

The paper identifies seven signals of awakening: futures literacy, shifting values, activism, collective agency, engaged dialogue, distributed leadership and inspiring visions. While evidence for most of these signals can be found, it is often weak and dominated by other trends.

Research limitations/implications

The environmental scanning framework needs to be expanded using additional literature and testing. The question of when confrontation with apocalyptic future images can deliver positive outcomes remains unresolved.

Practical implications

Perhaps the single most important thing that could be done to help rouse sleeping humanity is to begin to make connections between the diverse movements identified in the paper and to see them as pieces of the larger puzzle of how we wake up. Maybe an “awakening movement” could provide a common goal in the twenty‐first century.

Originality/value

The paper is an original exploration of the metaphor of awakening in four prominent works on sustainable futures. It will have value to foresight practitioners and change agents who are building movements for sustainable futures.

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