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Futurology

In this subdiscipline: 822 papers

Discipline summary

Properly known as 'futures studies'(broadly) and 'strategic foresight' (applied):

"Futures studies (also called futurology) is the study of postulating possible, probable, and preferable futures and the worldviews and myths that underlie them. There is a debate as to whether this discipline is an art or science. In general, it can be considered as a branch of the social sciences and parallel to the field of history. In the same way that history studies the past, futures studies considers the future. Futures studies (colloquially called "futures" by many of the field's practitioners) seeks to understand what is likely to continue and what could plausibly change. Part of the discipline thus seeks a systematic and pattern-based understanding of past and present, and to determine the likelihood of future events and trends.[1] Unlike the physical sciences where a narrower, more specified system is studied, futures studies concerns a much bigger and more complex world system. The methodology and knowledge are much less proven as compared to natural science or even social science like sociology, economics, and political science." (from wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Futures_studies)

"Strategic foresight is an approach to “forward thinking” that allows groups, organisations, businesses, and people the capacity to develop a grounded understanding of the social change affecting their lives. This allows people to then make decisions and develop strategies based on that “forward knowledge”. The end result is an adaptive capacity in the face of change, and a heightened awareness of emerging opportunities.Strategic foresight is an approach to “forward thinking” that allows groups, organisations, businesses, and people the capacity to develop a grounded understanding of the social change affecting their lives. This allows people to then make decisions and develop strategies based on that “forward knowledge”. The end result is an adaptive capacity in the face of change, and a heightened awareness of emerging opportunities." (from www.actionforesight.net).

Envisioning our preferred futures is also considered paramount in the field.







Popular papers

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  2. All ecosystems are exposed to gradual changes in climate, nutrient loading, habitat fragmentation or biotic exploitation. Nature is usually assumed to respond to gradual change in a smooth way. However, studies on lakes, coral reefs, oceans, forests…
  3. Climate change over the past approximately 30 years has produced numerous shifts in the distributions and abundances of species and has been implicated in one species-level extinction. Using projections of species' distributions for future climate…
  4. Identifying and quantifying planetary boundaries that must not be transgressed could help prevent human activities from causing unacceptable environmental change, argue Johan Rockström and colleagues.
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  6. Online social networking sites like Orkut, YouTube, and Flickr are among the most popular sites on the Internet. Users of these sites form a social network, which provides a powerful means of sharing, organizing, and finding content and contacts.…
  7. present a qualitative study of 35 United States households whose occupants have made significant accommodations to their homes and behaviors in order to be more environmentally responsible. Our goal is to inform the design of future sustainable…

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