AFI Monograph Series

The Transformative Cycle
Pathways and Impediments to Social Foresight

AFI Monograph Series


1. Foresight in Everyday Life - Peter Hayward

The ability to use foresight in order to make wise or prudential choices is one of the most powerful capabilities of individuals. Theories of how this capability, however, arises in individuals appear to have been largely ignored. The monograph contributes to our understanding of the human capacities involved in foresight and it provides a foundation upon which the development of an applied foresight capability can be considered.

2. From Critique to Cultural Recovery: Critical Futures Studies and Causal Layered Analysis - Jose Ramos

This biographical monograph examines the life and work of Richard Slaughter and Sohail Inayatullah. It highlights and explores the innovative ideas and methods these individuals developed. The background and core arguments of many of the thinkers that influenced Slaughter and Inayatullah are unearthed and characterised. The ideas and methodology are situated in their cultural and historical contexts, or in the words of Inayatullah, to ‘locate methodology in epistemology – focused on the person, the situation and the episteme.'

3. Wider and Deeper: Review and Critique of Science and Technology Foresight Exercises in the 1990s - Andrew Wynberg

National science and technology foresight (S&TF) exercises have been used in many developed countries since the 1970s. This monograph presents an overview of the objectives and methodologies of science and technology foresight exercises in the 1990s. The concepts of S&TF are compared with some of the concepts and paradigms of futures studies, and suggestions are made to incorporate some concepts of futures studies into science and technology foresight work. Options are examined for incorporating some of the ‘wider and deeper' concepts and methodologies of futures studies into science and technology foresight (S&TF) work.

4. Reframing Environmental Scanning: A Reader on the Art of Scanning the Environment - Joseph Voros (ed.)

Environmental scanning is often conceived as a rational, analytical, programmed activity. The collected papers in this monograph challenge this notion by illustrating that the interior consciousness of the scanner is as important as the material being scanned. In order to gain the maximum benefit from environmental scanning one needs to ensure that the filters one uses whilst scanning are acknowledged and weighed. Chun Wei Choo introduces the reader to best practice in environmental scanning and situates it amongst a variety of similar intelligence gathering activities. Richard Slaughter argues for a much wider scope of viewing than is commonly practiced, as well as an understanding of the deeper layers of meaning and insight that is found ‘below the surface'. Building upon Slaughter's idea, Joseph Voros suggests that one also needs to understand the ‘mindspace' of the scanner doing the viewing and take conscious steps to open it up. That is to find models of human consciousness and use them to understand what filtering may be going on in a scanner's mind.


5. Futures in Education: Principles, Practices and Potential - Jennifer Gidley, Debra Bateman and Caroline Smith

Futures in education provide young people with essential motivation and a range of proactive skills. This monograph examines how equipping young people with the tools and concepts of futures creates the opportunity for a futures discourse as it is this discourse which underpins a society-wide capacity for foresight. Jennifer Gidley has reviewed what is already known about futures in education. Together with the most complete bibliography of works on this topic, she draws on examples and research from many countries, provides new insights and asks vital questions for further work. Debra Bateman and Caroline Smith survey what is actually happening in Australian schools in regard to teaching futures and incorporating it into the school curriculum. The two contributions in this monograph provide a fresh basis on which to reconsider the value and potential of this vital, yet all too often overlooked, area.

6. The Transformative Cycle - Richard Slaughter, Luke Naismith and Neil Houghton

Theories of change inform the development of a foresight capability based on reflexive understanding of the dialectical movement between context, theory and practice. This monograph illustrates the development of a concept into a tool, which is then developed as a meta-theory of change. Methodological renewal in Futures Studies is the cornerstone of the discipline's continued growth and development. The re-invigoration of Slaughter's Transformative Cycle (T-Cycle) exemplifies this. Richard Slaughter introduces his original concept and tool, with an updated conclusion based on nearly twenty years of reflection. Luke Naismith takes the T-Cycle and applies it to a number of topics, followed by a comparison with other theories of change through which synergies and distinctions emerge. Finally, Neil Houghton relates the T-Cycle to complexity theory, transdisciplinary and meta-theories of change. The three pieces illustrate the utility of a tool which can assist in the analysis of change at an individual, organisational, societal or global level.

7. Foresight Practice in Australia: a meta-scan of practitioners and organisations - Jose Ramos

Another in the series supported by the Pratt Foundation, which aims to create and sustain social foresight in Australia, this monograph reports on a "meta-scan" of foresight practitioners and organisations in the Australian context. The development of foresight practice in Australia has been gathering momentum over the past twenty years. At this point, there are at least fifty organisations and practitioners who are committed to looking at the future in a professional and rigorous way. This critical review of Australian foresight professionals analyses the social interests, methodologies, epistemological focal domains, capacitating foci, geographic locations and organisational types that characterise the practice of foresight in Australia. This deeper understanding of how foresight is practiced is a necessary first step in the development of a National Foresight Strategy for Australia.

8. Creating and Sustaining Foresight in Australia: a review of government foresight - Maree Conway and Chris Stewart

Monograph Eight, the final for the 2004 series, is a review of Government foresight work and its application to the development of a National Foresight Strategy for Australia. "Whether or not any government decides to take the lessons learned through previous foresight exercise...will depend on how many individuals within government recognise both the strength of their own foresight capacities and the imperative of accepting responsibility for future generations today".


9. Foresight and Philanthropy: Towards a New Alliance – Giovanna Braidotti and Serafino de Simone

The first paper presented here is based on an attempt to begin with the current state of philanthropy and to explore some of the many practical ways that philanthropists and foresight practitioners can begin the process of working toward the synergies outlined above. It draws on recent scholarship, practical knowledge and also on some explicitly futures-oriented work already carried out in the US The second paper takes a fresh look at the thinking that stands behind the usual, conventional, ways of understanding and evaluating what are termed ‘social problems.’ The author confronts the paradox that certain ‘solutions’ seem contradictory, both promising to solve and exacerbate such problems at the very same time. She makes a strong case for drawing on post conventional methods and resources that, thus far, have seldom been deployed in this or other social policy contexts.


10. Creating and Sustaining Social Foresight – Richard A Slaughter

This final monograph looks back over the whole project, reviews the core issues and findings presented in the monograph series and considers next steps (a) in the development of the discipline and (b) for the implementation of foresight practice in Australia.


SLAUGHTER, R. A. Foresight Monograph Series 1-10, published individually by the Australian Foresight Institute 2003- 2006. Re-issued as set in library binding, Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship, Swinburne University, Melbourne, (2008). 640 pp, ISBN: 85590819-X

Out of print.

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