The Center for Engaged Foresight will present at the 4th APFN Conference this August 2018.
This time in Bangkok, Thailand. The 4th APFN conference takes a two-track approach to cater foresight practitioners and researchers. This years’s conference seeks to understand emerging and distruptive futures of Asia. This conference focuses on how Asia is imagined in the long-term and explore how might the shift to solar energy and intelligent/autonomous cars transform the design of Asian cities? Will Asian cities become green, smart, and clean? How might disruptions in capitalism – the shift toward the sharing economy, for example, transform the economic landscape of Asia? Will advances in AI create new jobs or ensure a jobless future for all? Will meditation and yoga by integrating our various selves not only lead to inner bliss but enhance productivity? As policymakers often desire precise answers to these questions, futurists have learned that these are best answered as alternative futures, as scenarios of the possible, plausible and preferred.
Along with alternative futures, case studies of foresight in practice from government, the private sector, and the community arena will be highlighted.
To imagine Asia’s future; explores disruptions, and seeks to create alternative futures
To share important methods, tools and innovations for futures thinking and foresight
Through case studies, to motivate and enable the participants to apply the appropriate methods
To promote cooperation and networking among participants as well as share experiences between members of different organizations and backgrounds
To increase the profile of futures thinking and foresight in the Asia-Pacific.
Create awareness for the need of creating future literacy with future (younger) leaders
For more about conference fees, venue, accommodation, how to participate and present please visit the official 4th APFN Conference web link.
Is the future colonized? Are Asian leadership, management systems and innovation informed by patriarchal worldviews? What would governance and Asian leadership look like beyond the rule of big men? Can gender or women narratives disrupt how Asians perceive the future? What are the ties that binds, that unites Asia in the 21st century? Can Asia innovate or would it remain, despite technological growth and economic advances, a copy cat? Can Asia disrupt the factory model and create a socio-politic-economic model that champions a non-linear, emergent model of society (i.e philosophy, values, diversity, community, heterogeneity, culture, women, children and family that drives social transformation)? How do Asian futurist imagine the futures of Asia? What are the alternative, plausible futures of Asia? Can Asia create a new story for Asia?
These among others the participants of the 3rd Asia Pacific Futures Network explored through lectures, paper presentations, workshops and games, keynotes for three days. The conference dubbed as “Creating New Stories for Asia: Beyond the Factory and Rule of Big Men” deconstructed and explored alternative and plausible discourses and worldviews that might disrupt or challenge the so-called factories and rule of big men. The big men concept could might as well be a product of a belief or society subscribing to the Chinese narrative “Let the father act like a father and the son act like a son” , “Great One”, “The Great Leader”, “The Chosen One” types of societal, political, economic, leadership and organizational models. This created a tradition some sort of closed elitism in Asia.
Organized and sponsored by the Science and Technology Policy Institute of South Korea, the Asia Pacific Futures Network and the Korean Association of Futures Studies, the 3rd APFN conference was participated in by futurists and development managers from Iran, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Philippines, South Korea, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Dubai to Thailand, Japan, the United States and Singapore to name a few. The conference was held at the National information Society Agency in Seoul South Korea.
The conference was opened by a welcome and keynote speech from Jong-kuk Song, President STEPI and Sohail Inayatullah, UNESCO Chair in Futures Studies.
The conference kickstarted with a plenary on why we got together in South Korea and politics for Asia? Jeanne Hoffman, Tamkang University presented her paper on Taiwan Trap: Rethinking Taiwan and China Futures, our very own Shermon Cruz, Center for Engaged Foresight, on the Futures of the South China Sea and Data-Driven Future Strategy: Korean Approach by Jong Sung Hwang, National Information Society Agency, South Korea.
Morning parallel sessions tackled Alternative Futures to Technology-driven Asia and Doing Different Asia. Varied topics on Artificial Intelligence, Mobile Gaming, Ethereum and Singapore Ready projects were presented in the afternoon session by Michael Jackson, Naohiro Shichijo, Keke Hsian Mei Quei, Cheryl Chung, Shubangi Gokhale and Patricia Kelly.
Afternoon sessions. Shermon Cruz chaired the panel Young Foresight in Asia and featured the works of Nur Anisah Abdullah, Dennis Morgan and Shakil Ahmed on futures studies in UAE and South Korea. Shakil work delved on questioning the factory model in Bangladesh and envisioning alternative education futures.
The parallel afternoon session was moderated by Meimei Song. Ivana Milojevic, Yuzilawati Abdullah, Puruesh Chaudary presented their works on on Brunei and Pakistan Futures Initiatives.
Lesson learned on the first day. To thrive and make futures as a discipline, a profession and as an art, to make it relevant and significant to various sectors and industries in Asia requires constant effort, communication and campaign to demonstrate that futures and foresight enables people and organizations, nations and actors to imagine alternatives, recognize blind spots, to design new opportunities for organization and social transformation. Futures thinking like design while playful and iterative is prototype-driven, anticipatory and collaborative.
These are some of the questions, insights and keywords that came up at the end of the first day sessions that may require further study/discussion:
Ethical Authoritarianism – “father knows best”, “confucian worldview”, “the tao perspective of leadership”, “datu”
Peer to peer platform in Asia – is it possible?
International day of failure – overcoming the fear of failure can inspire creative work
Refresh and invigorate – as futurist how can we refresh and invigorate the work of others?
Are we futurist learning, perceiving in a better way?
Can we leave up to the expectation?
The 2nd day begun with the welcome and congratulatory remarks from Kwang Hyung Lee, President of the Korea Futures Studies Association and Byung-jo Suh, President of the National Information Agency of South Korea. Their remarks focused on the critical role of futurist and futures studies to an emerging Asia; that new discourses and imaginings are crucial to creating a better or perhaps an Asia that drives global peace, human-centered or driven robotic, AI technologies and progress.
Parallel sessions were held to discuss city futures, the 4th industrial revolution, futures and foresight at the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies including hands on workshops on the integrated visioning methods, civic education and community building and game futures.
To conclude, this conference sought to bring about a greater clarity and understanding on the different phases of development, worldviews, priorities and leadership futures in the Asia Pacific. As all Asian nations aspire to reinvent the wheel, new futures and new possibilities also emerge.
Below are the conference acton photos courtesy of STEPI –