ASU/Future Design/FEAST Workshop on intergenerational futures “Opening and Enacting New Futures”

ASU/Future Design/FEAST Workshop on intergenerational futures “Opening and Enacting New Futures”


Whether the concern is economic equality, cultural hegemony, energy transitions, automation or climate change, working through the fundamental contests of our times requires a clear read on the range and desirability of plausible futures. What are the variety of ways to (re)conceive different futures? How does (and ought) society align disparate visions to create better pathways? What theories of change animate research in and practices of anticipation?

Rather than slipping into dystopic despair or utopic fantasies, a balanced assessment of visions and prospects, of risks and roadblocks, is needed. This task involves more than creativity- we must take stock of the ways existing vital systems include openings for change, but also how they become locked in and resistant to change. Such systems are material and concrete, as well as immaterial, including our ideas, institutions, economic forms and relationships to the environment. That is, we live within hardened technological and institutional infrastructures that constrain our behavior yet also live within cultural constructs and embrace worldviews that become entrenched and constrain our thinking. The fundamental question then, is how to loosen over-determined systems in order to let better futures come to light.

In this workshop, we pursue ways of opening up our current ways of, explicitly or implicitly, envisioning and enacting the future—opening and pursuing symbolic and cognitive systems alongside obdurate, constraining, infrastructures of economics, politics and technology. We explore the role of imagination and play, how conceptual time travel enables new forms of governance and behavior, and how different methods to open the future can coalesce into new forms of action.

In this forum, we strive to (1) share and explore future-focused research and practice, mixing theoretical reasoning and case studies, and to (2) identify synergies across different fields of inquiry to stimulate longer-term development of research; and (3) discover new collaborations and joint research projects.


Day 1 (November 7) : Imagining, enacting & governing alternative food futures

Time Title Speaker
10:00 – 10:15 Welcome Tetsuzo Yasunari (Director-General, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature)
10:15 – 10:30 General introduction Cynthia Selin and Sander van der Leeuw (Arizona State University)
10:30 – 11:15 Participant introductions (Interactive)
Thinking about the future and scenarios
11:15 – 12:15 “Sufficiency futures worth living & how to get there: niche development, practice-based scenarios, & the social imaginary” Steven McGreevy (RIHN)
“Scenarios for multiple pasts, multiple presents, and multiple futures in anticipatory governance” Joost Vervoort (Utrecht University)
12:15 – 13:15 Lunch
Reflecting on future-oriented FEAST research
13:15 – 14:30 “Multispecies futures: the future does not belong to humans alone” Christoph Rupprecht (RIHN)
“Modelling Japan’s food futures: diets, land use scenarios & policy tools” Kazuaki Tsuchiya (The University of Tokyo)
“New pathways for governing food system transformations: a pluralistic practice-based futures approach using visioning, back-casting and serious gaming” Astrid Mangnus (Utrecht University)
14:30 – 15:00 Break
Reflecting on future-oriented FEAST research (cont.)
15:00 – 16:45 “Lifeworld-level scenarios: Re-crafting social practices for food in Bangkok” Steven McGreevy (RIHN)
“Multi-stakeholder Workshop: The future of food and agriculture in Bhutan” Mai Kobayashi and Max Spiegelberg (RIHN)
“Building imaginative capacity with rural municipality policy planners: empowering distributed futures” Norie Tamura (RIHN)
“Play and decision making: Embracing two future perspectives” Kazuhiko Ota (RIHN)
16:45 – 18:00 Lessons Learned from FEAST research: Next Steps
18:00 Day 1 Close
18:30 Workshop Dinner (Location TBD)

Day 2 (November 8): Future Design

Time Title Speaker
9:00 – 9:30 Welcome & Reflections from Yesterday
Theoretical perspectives on Future Design
9:30 – 10:30 “The fundamental framework of future design.” Tatsuyoshi Saijo (RIHN and Research Institute for Future Design at Kochi University of Technology (KUT))
“Intergenerational expectations and deflationary equilibrium.” Keiichiro Kobayashi (Keio University and The Tokyo Foundation of Policy Research)
“Identifying uncertainties from the perspective of future generations.” Yoshinori Nakagawa (Research Institute for Future Design at KUT)
10:30 – 11:00 Break
Case studies on Future Design
11:00 – 12:15 “Future Design in Matsumoto – Excitement, Far-sighted, and Objective Thinking” Naoko Nishimura (Shinshu University)
“Judging policy measures from the perspectives’ of imaginary future generations – a case study.” Keishiro Hara (Osaka University)
“Limited Time: Scenario Planning and Intergenerational Future Design” Lauren Lambert (ASU)
12:15 – 13:00 Lunch
13:00 – 14:00 Open Space: Making New Connections (Walk & Talk)
14:00 – 14:15 Reflections on Open Space
The Mind and the Self and Futures
14:15 – 15:00 “Probing the neural bases of motivations towards intergenerational sustainability.” Ryuta Aoki (Tokyo Metropolitan University)
“A Creative Approach to Emerging Problems from the Future Vision – The Self-Nonself Circulation Principle Beyond Complexity” Masatoshi Murase (Kyoto University)
15:00 – 15:30 Break
Effects of Futuring
14:15 – 15:00 “Perceptual Shifts in Future-Focused Deliberation” Cynthia Selin (ASU)
“The effects of scenario planning on participant psychological capital” Thomas Chermack (Colorado State University)
16:15 – 17:00 Discussion of the Day: Lessons Learned
17:00 Day 2 Close
18:00 Open Dinner (self-organized)

Day 3 (November 9) : Narratives & in the Anthropocene

Time Title Speaker
9:00 – 9:30 Welcome & Reflections from Yesterday
Narratives & in the Anthropocene
9:30 – 10:45 “Canonical pasts, present experience and the (de) construction of narratives” Sander van der Leeuw (ASU)
“Digital Futures” Stéphane Grumbach (Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique, INRIA)
“Climaginaries: Exploring climate futures and societal transformations through integrated assessment models and future fiction.” Lisette van Beek (Utrecht University)
“Creating Better Futures through Better Dreams” Ruth Wylie (ASU)
10:45 – 11:00 Break
11:00 – 12:15 Taking Stock: New Discoveries, New Questions
12:15 Day 3 Close / Lunch