Anticipating the Nature: Environmental Sciences and the Earth Future

Life, mind and possibly society are based on self-organizing complexity, related to the anticipation capacity. Today, we have to face global and local environmental crisis and the questions themselves are unknown; we need holistic and anticipatory approaches for more integrated science.

Different scientific disciplines dealing with environment (including physics, biology, biomedicine, landscape ecology and sustainability science, to mention but a few) attempt to figure out the possible futures of the nature and social-ecological systems. The issue of the future is scattered across many different research fields. An explicit focus on the future might improve scientific support to decision and policy making in environmental management, and in facing uncertain environmental changes (comprising e.g. natural calamities).

We are interested in creating a profitable conversation about methodological proposals, reviews of applications, forthcoming progresses related to anticipation produced by environmental sciences focused on the future. We further invite presentations on multidisciplinary studies and theoretical investigations into the interrelation among disciplines in thinking about the future (and preparing for the desirable one).

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

o    Environmental sciences and anticipation: approaches, assumptions, time ranges, consideration of uncertainties

o    Case studies: impacts of anticipation on real decision making

o    Anticipation capacity building and support to resilience of ecosystems and of social-ecological systems

Proponents

  • Emanuele Eccel (IASMA Research and Innovation Centre, Fondazione Edmund Mach)
  • Alessandro Gretter (IASMA Research and Innovation Centre, Fondazione Edmund Mach)
  • Rocco Scolozzi (University of Trento, Futurables.com)

Relevant information

  • To submit an abstract to this workshop send a mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before June 15, 2015.
  • Further information on the conference is available from www.projectanticipation.org
  • Workshop speakers should register and pay the conference fee:
    • Early registration (before 1 September 2015): € 150
    • Late registration (from 1 September 2015): € 200

Important dates

  • Abstract submission: 15 June 2015
  • Final program: 30 June 2015
  • Early registration: Before 1 September 2015
  • Deadline registration: 20 October 2015

The registration is now open: https://webapps.unitn.it/Apply/en/Web/Home/convegni

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Anticipation as Deep Driver for a New Paradigm

Paradigm change is driven by circumstances and events shaped in the past. But a deterministic view of history overlooks the immense importance of anticipation as a driver for evolutionary and revolutionary change. Paradigm change actually occurs only when a new vision emerges of the nature of reality -- whether physical, social or intellectual -- which is translated into a new organization of values, ideas, knowledge, or social activity. At the same time, paradigm change is impeded by the inordinate importance accorded to current centers of power, prevailing forms of social organization, vested interests and the momentum of pre-existing conditions. These forces tend to blind us to the very possibility of radical change until after it has already occurred.

This session explores the potential applications of the emerging discipline of Anticipation to advance the research program on social paradigm change conducted over the past three years by the World Academy of Art & Science. It will examine the role of anticipation in framing the movement toward a new paradigm in human development capable of effectively addressing the pressing challenges confronting humanity today. Topics will include

  • The power of ideas to change the world
  • Values of drivers of change
  • The revolution of rising expectations
  • The role of the visionary individual as catalyst for change

Conveners

  • Garry Jacobs -- Chief Executive Officer, World Academy of Art and Science; Chairman of the Board of Directors, World University Consortium; Editor, Cadmus Journal; Vice President, The Mother’s Service Society, a social science research institute (India).
  • Winston Nagan -- Samuel T. Dell Research Scholar Professor of Law, Levin College of Law (University of Florida); Founding Director, Institute for Human Rights and Peace Development; Chairman of the Board of Trustees, World Academy of Art and Science.

Relevant information

Presentations

NP1 NEW PARADIGM 1 – Chair: Winston Nagan (University of Florida)

  • JACOBS, Gary (World Academy of Arts and Science), Anticipation as a trans-disciplinary driver of social evolution

  • SAAVEDRA-RIVANO, Neantro (University of Tsukuba), First Elements Towards the Foundations on an Anticipatory Approach in Economics

  • HOEDL, Eric (European Academy of Sciences and Arts), European Union's long-term anticipation studies 2025, 2030, and 2050

  • GAVRANKAPETANOVIĆFaris and Bojan ŠOŠIĆ (Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina), Are we losing individual leadership potential in the current global trends?

NP2 NEW PARADIGM 2 – Chair: Gary Jacobs (World Academy of Arts and Science)

  • NAGAN, Winston (University of Florida), Anticipation, law, prediction and problem solving

  • ZUCCONI, Alberto (IACP-Istituto dell’Approccio Centrato sulla Persona), The anticipatory value of the person-centered and people-centered approaches

  • KINIGER-PASSIGLI, Donato (ILO), Crisis risk management: anticipating change / counteracting fragility

  • ALVAREZ-PEREIRA, Carlos (Innaxis Foundation), Untying the gridlocks: changing our hermeneutics to bifurcate for good

NP3 NEW PARADIGM 3 – Chair: Alberto Zucconi (IACP-Istituto dell’Approccio Centrato sulla Persona)

  • SKINNER, Angus (FRSA), Linking Capabilities and Strengths: Consilience

  • LASZLO, Andras (GlobalVisioning.net), The Human Being of the Future – Manifesto for an InnerTransmutation

  • THOMSEN, Knud (Paul Scherrer Institut, Switzerland), Anticipation as the central element for the working of individual minds and whole societies

  • FOWLER, Gregory (Portland State University and Geneforum), Public Health Genomics: Anticipating the Future of Global Health Care

 

The registration is now open: https://webapps.unitn.it/Apply/en/Web/Home/convegni

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Anticipation in Communities of Vision

Anticipation as an activity is one suffused with expectation and hope. When an individual or a group of like-minded individuals anticipate a desired outcome they may quickly and easily move towards implementation of a desired future. However, in a complex society with many differing perspectives, values and cultures, one's vision of the future may be another's worst case scenario. Environmental challenges on a global scale currently underscore the necessity of navigating and negotiating these complexities in ways that enable a sustainable and resilient future for all.

How might we move toward a shared vision of the future that takes into account complex and interconnected perspectives, a multiplicity of cultures and tolerance for a wide range of values? How do recent theories of affect and materialism play into this discourse, both through exploring possible ethical and technological structures and by experimenting with possible futures?

  • Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
  • Visualising the future via multi-stakeholder communities
  • Methods, strategies and case studies for building communities of vision (at various levels of scale)
  • Uses and issues in policy-making and public discourse
  • Issues of complexity, affect and sensing in long-term vision-crafting
  • The role of data in sense-making among diverse and distributed stakeholder groups

Conveners:

Heather A. Moore (The Shape of Things, Berlin)

Magnus Boman (KTH & SICS, Sweden)

Relevant information

  • To submit an abstract to this workshop send a mail to Heather Moore (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
  • Click here for further information on the conference
  • The registration is now open: https://webapps.unitn.it/Apply/en/Web/Home/convegni
  • Session’s speakers should register and pay the conference fee:
    • Early registration (before 1 September 2015): € 150
    • Late registration (from 1 September 2015): € 200

Important dates:

  • Abstract submission: 15 June 2015
  • Final program: 30 June 2015
  • Early registration: Before 1 September 2015
  • Deadline registration: 20 October 2015

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Anticipation through Migration?

Migration processes and policies as a source of critical insight on anticipation

International migration is a promising field for the development of interdisciplinary research into anticipation, at a number of levels and on different scales.

At a micro level, migrant’s life experience is a rich and complex terrain for exploring the potential for social agents’ anticipation, as well as the interaction between aspirations, imagination and anticipation. Migrants’ evolving constructions of their own future are revealing in both respects. Indeed, migration is tantamount to the shift of more positive connotations of the future onto another country, expected to provide for “better days ahead”, economically at least. How migrants’ capabilities to anticipate that future affect their life trajectories, and how such capabilities evolve over the course of migration, are empirical questions, on which we invite original contributions.

At a meso level, anticipation can be explored through the developmental processes of several agencies that are involved in managing migration flows and should somehow anticipate the underlying trends. The long-term trajectories of institutions such as immigrant labour employers and recruiters, agencies of border control, or welfare agencies, can be fruitfully revisited along these lines.

Last, a macro level pertains to immigration and immigrant policies. This calls for analysis of the technical and political potential to “anticipate” the evolution of migration and refugee flows, as well as their composition and directionalities, as a requirement for decision-making and policy provision. Why is it that the “anticipatory potential” of migration-related policy-making seems to fall often short of declared statements and expectations?

How these levels of analysis and practice intersect with each other, and how the potential field of anticipation varies accordingly, is still another issue on which we invite theoretical and empirical contributions. Overall, our session aims to provide an innovative map of the prospects for anticipation and future studies to feed into migration studies, and on the mutual connections between these two broad research fields.

Convenors

Paolo Boccagni - Dipartimento di Sociologia e Ricerca Sociale, Università di Trento

Milena Belloni – Scuola di Scienze Sociali, Università degli studi di Trento

Relevant information

To submit an abstract to this workshop send a mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  before June 15, 2015.

Further information on the conference is available at http://www.projectanticipation.org

  • Presenters should register to attend the conference:
  • Early registration (before 1 September 2015): € 150
  • Late registration (from 1 September 2015): € 200

Important dates

  • Abstract submission: 15 June 2015
  • Final program: 30 June 2015
  • Early registration: Before 1 September 2015
  • Deadline registration: 20 October 2015

The registration is now open: https://webapps.unitn.it/Apply/en/Web/Home/convegni

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Anticipatory Engineering: more than business as usual?

What might the explicit acknowledgement of anticipation contribute to existing engineering practice and theory? Whenever an engineer creates a model of a system the purpose is almost certainly to anticipate scenarios of the form “will the system perform as designed in some future imagined situation?” A good example might be designing a city’s flood defences against some estimated future state of sea level. Engineering generally seems to be very good at this type of anticipation across all its separate concerns; civil, mechanical, aero, ICT etc. The reach of Engineering is more often than not bounded by the limits placed by economic value; e.g. the height and extent of flood defences actually built will likely be a trade-off between performance and available budget. However, this narrow view of value is also one of the problems facing engineering. What is actually valued by a wide group of stakeholders is also likely to be contested. The messier the problem, the more diverse and contested will be the values. We suggest that engineering currently either (i) ignores this diversity of values and their contested nature, or (ii) handles the situation in an ad hoc informal non-systematic way. Both approaches are at the cost of being trapped in a functional role of instrumental rationality. The explicit study of what other disciplines understand by anticipation and engaging in dialogue over these meanings potentially offers engineering one way out of this bind.

We welcome topics exploring how anticipation could illuminate problems in engineering, including but not limited to

  • Engineering and social theory

o It has been suggested that studying the works of Habermas, and other social theorists, should be part of the engineering curriculum, especially systems engineering. Is this desirable and/or feasible?

  • The role of modelling

o Do we need more complex models in engineering that include diverse and contested values, and that deal with specifying uncertainty (e.g. probabilistic models)?

o How can engineering leverage modelling and explicitness (e.g. general models of known limits – time, space, certainty; models of behaviour trajectories; models of change; models of potential side effects – undesired, desired – of introducing a system to an environment; models of how a system and its environment change each other)?

  • The treatment of time

o The way in which time is modeled in engineering (linear, objective) is different from the human experience of time. Is the failure to recognize and appreciate this difference a critical lack in engineering practice?

o Engineering makes much use of hindsight and the fact that most complex problems engineers deal with are not entirely new and not entirely unsolved previously. How should engineering capture knowledge, patterns, past experience that will likely recur?

o What is the difference for engineering between near-term (lifetime of engineering programme artefacts) versus long-term (e.g. LongNow timescales) anticipation?

  • Experimentation and prototyping

o How can engineering leverage exploration, experimentation, prototyping and simulation in the new artificial or natural laboratories for instrumenting and capturing data?

  • Engaging in dialogue

o What avenues exist for improving the dialogue between engineering and in particular the social sciences? What new methods of collaboration can we devise and implement?

Proponents

  • Mike Yearworth (Faculty of Engineering, University of Bristol, UK)
  • Janet Willis Singer (International Society for the Systems Sciences, Santa Cruz, USA)
  • Rick Adcock (Cranfield Defence and Security, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, Shrivenham, UK)
  • Michael Singer (International Society for the Systems Sciences, Santa Cruz, USA)
  • Duane Hybertson (The MITRE Corp, Washington DC, USA)

Relevant information

  • Session's speakers should register and pay the conference fee:
    • Early registration (before 1 September 2015): € 150
    • Late registration (from 1 September 2015): € 200
  • To submit please send a two-pages abstract to Mike Yearworth before June 15, 2015: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Further information on the conference is available from www.projectanticipation.org/

Important dates

  • Abstract submission: 15 June 2015
  • Final program: 30 June 2015
  • Early registration: Before 1 September 2015
  • Deadline registration: 20 October 2015

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