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Concepts of Futures Studies 有關期中考 : 文中加 底線 部份為考 填充題 之重點 文中加“ Q&A” 部份為考 簡答 題 之重點. 張保興 副教授 淡江大學水資源暨環境工程學系 References. Bell, Wendell, Foundations of Futures Studies: Human Science for a New Era, Volume 1, Transaction Publishers, 1997. 淡江大學

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concepts of futures studies q a

Concepts of Futures Studies有關期中考:文中加底線部份為考填充題之重點文中加“Q&A”部份為考簡答題之重點

張保興 副教授


  • Bell, Wendell, Foundations of Futures Studies: Human Science for a New Era, Volume 1, Transaction Publishers, 1997. 淡江大學
  • ( 參見下頁
Futurology (futures studies) is the study of the medium to long-term future trends. Extrapolation (探查) is just one of many dozens of methods and techniques used in futures research (as scenarios, Delphi method, brainstorming, morphology (型態學的) and others). Futurology also includes normative (標準規格的) or preferred futures, but the real contribution is to connect both extrapolated (exploratory) and normative research to explore better strategies. [2]
      • The Delphi method is a technique aimed at building an agreement, or consensus about an opinion or view, without necessarily having people meet face to face, such as through surveys, questionaires, emails etc.
      • A normative statement, on the other hand, is a statement regarding how things should or ought to be.
what are the purposes of futures studies 1
What are the purposes of futures studies? [1]
  • “… to discover or invent, examine and evaluate, and propose possible, probable and preferable futures. The futures field is an integrative science of reasoning, choosing, and acting.”, p111
  • “… the study(of ethical foundations) and fostering of deep caring about the freedom and welfare of future generations are among the most important purposes of future studies.”, p88
lasswell s 5 tasks for projecting the future p49 1 q a
Lasswell’s 5 tasks for projecting the future p49, [1] , “Q&A”
  • The clarification of goals and values (價值觀)
  • The description of trends
  • The explanation of conditions (or, the description of assumptions)
  • The projection of possible and probable futures (or consequences) for intended policies
  • The value evaluation of consequences and selection of policy alternatives (in order to achieve the preferred goals) (不要忘記評估事件發生的機率)
what futurists seek to know
What futurists seek to know?
  • “… what can or could be(the possible) (可能發生的) , what is likely to be(the probable) (很有可能發生的) , and what is ought to be(the preferable) (更喜歡的) .”, p73
  • “… what causes change, the dynamic processes underlying technologicaldevelopments on the one hand and changes in the political, economic, social, and cultural orders on the other.”, p111
nine major purposes of futures studies bell p111 q a
Nine major purposes of futures studies, Bell , p111, “Q&A”
  • The study of possible futures(see p14)
  • The study of probable futures(see p15)
  • The study of images (心目中的形象;印象) of the futures
  • The study of the knowledge foundations of futures studies
  • The study of the ethical foundationsof futures studies
nine major purposes of futures studies q a
Nine major purposes of futures studies, “Q&A”
  • Interpreting the past and orientating the present
  • Integrating knowledge and values for designing social action(see p16~19)
  • Increasing democratic participation in imaging and designing the future
  • Communicating and advocating a particular image of the future
why many fields need futures studies
Why many fields need futures studies?
  • “In facts, one of the reasons that futures studies is needed is precisely for the purpose of improving the wisdom of human decision making and the effectiveness of human action by means more self-conscious and adequate futures thinking.”, p70, [1]
is futures studies a field
Is futures studies a field?
  • “Because of its diversity, it may be more correct to call futures studies a multi-field or trans-disciplinary field, rather than a field.”, p71, [1]
as other fields futurists make predictions p112 1
As other fields, futurists make predictions. p112, [1]
  • “Rather, the purposes are more complicated and more far-reaching than mere prediction and involve the construction and evaluation of alternative futures for the purpose of increasing human control over the future.”
  • “Rather, futurists’ predictions (forecasts, projections, prophecies, etc. --- whatever they are labeled) are usually multiple, conditional (以...為條件的), contingent(以經驗或觀察為依據的,empirical), corrigible(可改正的;有待修正的), and uncertain.”
conclusion for prediction p107 1
Conclusion for prediction, p107, [1]
  • Futurists can and do make predictive statements, but they cannot be certain that their predictions will be accurate.
  • In order to increase the effectiveness of decision making, futurists must consider not just one future outcome but a range of alternative possibilities for the future, assuming different conditions.
conclusion for prediction p107 113
Conclusion for prediction, p107, [1]
  • In order to encourage responsible action, futurists must evaluate possible and probable futures according to some scale of values so as to judge how desirable various alternative futures will be.
the study of possible futures
The study of possible futures
  • “… trying to look at the present in new and different ways, often deliberately breaking out of the straitjacket (限制) of conventional, orthodox (宗教的原則或立場), or traditional thinking and taking unusual, even unpopular, perspectives.”
  • “It involves creative and lateral thinking in order to see realities to which others are blind.”
the study of probable futures
The study of probable futures
  • It focuses on the question of what the most likely future of some specified phenomenon would be within some stated time period and under specified contingencies( 意外事故;偶然事件).
more on the 7 th purpose a sad example q a
More on the 7th purposea sad example , “Q&A”
  • Where: Armero, Colombia
  • When: November 13, 1985
  • What: the Nevado del Ruiz volcano erupted
    • Geologists successfully predict the probable coming eruption, and publish this prediction in many Colombian newspapers more than a month before the catastrophe.
more on the 7 th purpose a sad example q a17
More on the 7th purposea sad example , “Q&A”
    • Both Armero’s mayor, Antonio Rodriquez, and the local Red Cross recommended that the town be evacuated.
  • The result: no evacuation and 21,000 people died
  • Why: the social processes involved in putting that knowledge to effective use in designing and implementing remedial social action were inadequate.
more on the 7 th purpose p90
More on the 7th purpose, p90

In designing social action, futurist must do:

  • Seeing, integrating, and synthesizing many diverse knowledge and values we have of our complex physical, environmental, governmental, and social systems
    • A very difficult job to do!
  • Creating images, whether good or bad, of the future
    • These future images provide guidance mechanisms for social action.
more on the 7 th purpose p9019
More on the 7th purpose, p90
  • Inventing, evaluating, and selecting policy alternatives to achieve these future images
    • Details on consequences, values, and event probabilities must be carefully examined for each alternative. (Go back to p8.)