Futures Studies is the study of the theory and practice of anticipatory systems and processes. It is the foundation of the capability that UNESCO is calling Futures Literacy. Hopefully in the future every university has a Futures Studies program and related degrees.
UNESCO Chairs in Futures Studies/Futures Literacy are further evidence of the desire to work together towards building a shared theoretical foundation that can help orient research, teaching and community engagement.
World renowned and emerging futurists in September 2019 found ways to all get together in Mexico City in order to promote the field, and share current research and findings with each other.
In September 2019 the 23rd World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF) Conference was held for the first time in Latin America. Mexico City and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) had the privilege of receiving people from all over the world who belong to the diverse and plural World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF).
Just as there is a wide range of futures, such as people on the planet, their uses are also varied. Futures concern us all. From those who make decisions in the highest spheres of power, those who only handle quantitative methods to investigate, those who teach time in various ways, to those who love to create fantastic and creative stories about becoming.
This event provided a space to discuss an overview of these uses:
- business as usual or Traditional Uses,
- our duty as cosmopolitan citizens or Planetary Uses,
- future and beyond or Creative Uses,
- futures studies as a whole or Holistic Uses
We were privileged in receiving a diversity of people of different nationalities, professions, ages, ways of thinking, lifestyles, and points of view. Multiple realities, multiple futures.
More than just a network of contacts, the WFSF is a planetary social fabric that has been a meeting point for people studying futures since its foundation, with people truly interested in visualizing and building a better place for the entire humanity.
The conference included a variety of spaces and moments to address the issues from different angles: opening speeches, plenary and creative parallel sessions, round tables, workshops and theatrical performance.
We were taken with the grace, care, and hospitality of our hosts in Mexico City and the Latin America region.
It was a highly worthwhile event in terms of content, a range of presentations, workshops, and engagement outside of the classrooms in the hallway. As always, WFSF conferences are equally about networking, connections, and being with family.
Many cultural exchange components were provided--signature parts of the WFSF conference experience. We achieved valuable and creative synergies, that will be important for the further development of the Futures Studies. It was a wonderful week with a lot of new experiences, connections and invaluable lectures.
Many decided to make the turn to greater “disciplinarity”. Participations are now highly motivated to work on the construction of a shared framework around anticipatory systems and processes. From a UNESCO perspective this resonates with the historical relationship linking the WFSF to UNESCO and the role of UNESCO as a global laboratory of ideas.
More information can be found on: https://wfsf.org