The objective of this paper is to make a case for a scenaric stance that holds high road and low road futures in mind at once. Opening with regrets about the total eclipse…
The objective of this paper is to make a case for a scenaric stance that holds high road and low road futures in mind at once. Opening with regrets about the total eclipse of Utopian thinking, the paper aims to move on to embrace both aspirational futures and a forthright recognition of the many ways in which things could go wrong. Adopting a scenaric stance amounts to a new, fourth attitude toward historical time and the future. The ancients lived in an ahistorical, cyclical time. Second, modernity embraced a progressive and optimistic approach to the future. Third, post‐modernity turns pessimistic about the future. Fourth, a new scenaric stance vindicates Utopian optimism by pairing it with a forthright recognition of pessimistic possibilities.
This is a reflective, almost philosophical paper that articulates a new attitude toward the future, which demonstrates the significance of scenario planning for attitudes toward the future.
A scenaric stance can restore the liberatory potential of Utopian thinking by yoking optimistic, aspirational futures together with a clear‐eyed recognition of the several ways that plans can misfire.
This is a philosophical, reflective piece that does not rely on any quantitative evidence or rigorous modeling.
The practical implications are major: to the extent that the health of the economy relies on confidence and a willingness to take risks, a lemming‐like race to the bottom will result in a Japan‐like endless recession. A vindication is needed for aspirational scenarios.
Everyone is better off when fewer people are living in crouch.
After three decades of reviewing and contributing to the literature on future studies, the author has seen nothing that remotely resembles the argument of this paper. Its value consists in its potential for lifting people's sights. One stands in danger of a loss of confidence and an endless recession. One needs to restore a sense of possibility and optimism, but can do so responsibly only if one holds on to an honest sense of the real dangers one faces.
This article aims at showing that the relationship between Chinese classical wisdoms and managerial practices should not be reduced to the establishment of an “art of war”…
This article aims at showing that the relationship between Chinese classical wisdoms and managerial practices should not be reduced to the establishment of an “art of war” applicable to management practices, but should rather be understood as an ever‐evolving work of critical reinterpretation, so as to liberate the creative and strategic potential that this tradition embodies.
It does so by critically deconstructing the question of the “relevance” of Chinese wisdom for managerial practices, by assessing the way contemporary Sinology understands and interprets the concept of “Chinese wisdom”, and by designing a strategy for applying these insights to managerial education.
It thus shows that only historical contextualization and textual studies can ground an understanding of Chinese tradition applicable to managerial education.
By doing so, it helps educators to re‐anchor managerial education into the field and methodologies of humanities studies.
It thus goes against the utilitarian and over‐simplified syntheses of Chinese thought that are currently dominant in the managerial literature about China, and proposes new ways for making the study of China a channel through which to develop in our students a sense of relativity, complexity and empathy applicable to an array of cultural contexts.
Green intentional communities are easily dismissed as irrelevant to wider academic and political debates. In the first instance, they comprise small vanguards, fringes or…
Green intentional communities are easily dismissed as irrelevant to wider academic and political debates. In the first instance, they comprise small vanguards, fringes or minority groups. Surely then they interest only the readers of rarefied anthropological journals or viewers of voyeuristic television shows?1 Secondly, they are part of the green movement, itself often cast (derogatorily,2 positively,3 or otherwise4 as ‘utopian’). Are they not excessively idealist and romantic: wishful day-dreamers? Drawing on the literal meaning of the word utopia, which combines eu (good), ou (non) and topos (place), this chapter explores the idea that green intentional communities are indeed utopias, whereas challenging two common interpretations of that term. The first views it negatively (as unrealistic, unrealisable, excessively wishful thinking) and can be found on the pages of English Dictionaries and in colloquial parlance. The second views utopias as perfectionist: seeking to provide perfect blueprints that map the road to the good life. I shall explore some of the key ways in which these groups perform key utopian functions, suggesting that they are indeed utopian but that their utopianism is deeply imperfect and pragmatic, rooted in the real concerns and material limitations of the now.
The purpose of this paper is to explore conceptions of radical change and utopianism in the work of Philip K. Dick and Fredrick Jameson in order to challenge the…
The purpose of this paper is to explore conceptions of radical change and utopianism in the work of Philip K. Dick and Fredrick Jameson in order to challenge the neo‐liberal orthodoxy that historical change is no longer possible. The paper relates this orthodoxy to the dominance of the realist novel as a literary genre and contrasts this with the fantastic and delirious world found in Dick's science fiction.
Jameson's dialectical criticism is combined with aspects of a Benjaminian montage to explore the relationships between ideology, material social organization and the forms of specific literary genres. This approach simultaneously denaturalises the present and opens up the future to the possibility of radical change without delimiting that future by prescribing its form. In this respect the paper is concerned with utopianism rather than representations of Utopia.
The paper shows how the realist novel functioned within a conservative social ideology to prevent change. In contrast works of fantasy like Dick's science fiction open up new possibilities for change and a future that is not entirely delimited by the present but, by denaturing the present, opens it up to a virtual indeterminacy that is the space of freedom.
Theoretically, the paper extends conceptions of radical social and organizational change by considering the limits of dominant conceptions of change and of radical conceptions that seek to represent Utopia. Methodologically the paper contributes to readings of novels in organization studies by introducing Jameson's dialectical criticism and through a critique of the dominant preoccupation in the discipline with realist novels.
This chapter examines the ecotopian activist tradition through an exploration of existing literature, within a context of the processes of activism, identity and place…
This chapter examines the ecotopian activist tradition through an exploration of existing literature, within a context of the processes of activism, identity and place which arise from the communitarian impulse. The initial part of the chapter sets out utopian communitarianism into separate phases. Each phase is examined for the exogenous and internalised motivations that compel people in different eras to participate in intentional living projects be they religious, autonomous, or environmental. The chapter develops these themes further by applying Sargisson's study of intentional communities to the discussion. The chapter attempts to ground this discussion within the context of the wider understandings of green utopian practice, such as Barry's ‘Concrete Utopian’ realism or de Geus's ‘utopia of sufficiency’.
Utopia, a term first coined by Sir Thomas More in the sixteenth century, referred to a place of unattainable social perfection. But the appeal of a concept that embraces…
Utopia, a term first coined by Sir Thomas More in the sixteenth century, referred to a place of unattainable social perfection. But the appeal of a concept that embraces rather than mocks the imagination has broadened its meanings and uses. In the early twentieth century, Anatole France wrote, “Out of generous dreams come beneficial realities. Utopia is the principle of all progress, and the essay into a better future.” In contemporary vernacular, utopia has come to refer not only to imagining perfection but cures for imperfection. By this definition, any struggle for rights could be conceived as utopian to the extent that it represents a desire to make the world a better place for the would-be beneficiaries. The utopianism of rights envisions conditions in which human dignity can be ensured and vulnerability minimized.