Pioneers of the new public sector

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Something is bubbling in society. They do not want to wait for the government to set targets and take action. Sustainability initiatives like Urgenda are born that way. Self organised actions to change the status quo. Grass roots initiatives that reach thousands of people. But don’t think that people working … Continue reading

Watch your genes

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The June edition of magazine Wired features an interesting article about the threats of DNA hacking in the near future. The author argues that the rapid advancements in the sequencing of DNA will have considerable implications for bio-crime. Costs for the mapping of a complete personal genome have dropped very … Continue reading

Three maxims for essential futures thinking

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Futures thinking seems essential in our times. With so many uncertainties about water, food and energy for 9 billion people in the next forty years, and so many exciting new technologies on the way, futurists can help to see new possible futures and support decision makers. However, futurists are not … Continue reading

Searching for unknown unknowns

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In future studies one of the ultimate results is becoming aware of things that were previously unknown to most people. Especially in horizon scans, like the current STT project in the Netherlands, we want to know what is beyond the horizon. What are the unknowns that are unknown to most … Continue reading

4 Pitfalls for Foresight Practitioners

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Thinking about the future and practicing foresight is no cakewalk. This is made very clear in the book Foresight in Action. The authors have done ethnographic research on how foresight practitioners proceed in practice, with respect to the policy practice. The study took place at several Dutch ministries and planning … Continue reading

Paving the way for the circular economy, keynote by Prof. Herman Wijffels

Prof. Herman Wijffels

Herman Wijffels, professor of sustainability and societal change at Utrecht University and one of the most authoritative economists in the Netherlands, presented his view on the transition towards the circular economy. New principles and a new way of working are the only way to get out economic crisis. Prosumers (consumers … Continue reading

A socio-cultural framework for scenarios

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Recently, I have become very enthusiastic about using socio-cultural perspectives as a framework for scenarios. This framework is well suited for complex societal issues and is often used for scenarios in the field of environment, sustainability issues and water management.  It’s point of departure is the idea that individuals, communities, … Continue reading

Scanning the Dutch Horizon to 2050

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Jacintha Scheerder is exploring what challenges await the Netherlands in the next four decades. She is the projectleader for the project ‘2050 Horizonscan’. The project is initiated by The Netherlands Study Centre for Technology Trends (STT). This is the second time that STT is involved in horizon scanning. In 2007, STT … Continue reading

Can you please predict the future?

Photo credits: Thinkstock

There is this great temptation that futurists always have to resist: “can you please say something about the future? Just tell us some of your insights of what the year 2050 might look like?” It could make you feel appreciated professionally, or even powerful as a futurist to give such … Continue reading