HUMAN FUTURES

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LETTERFROM THEPRESIDENT

DearMembers,ColleaguesandFriends,

HAPPYNewYeareveryone!Perhapsthemostexcitingyearsofarinthe21stcentury?

InthisnewissueofHumanFuturesMagazine,youwillfindalongrangeofinteresting perspectivesandtopicsspanningfromEnergyPoliciesoverScienceFictiontoscenariosforChinaʼs digitalsilkroad.

Asalways,theMagazinestartsoutwiththe“FuturesMatters”column.Inthisissueʼsversion,ClaireA.Nelson finditpuzzlingthat,sofewpeoplearefocusedoninnovationinsectorsthatarepurportedtobringpeaceand joytotheworld.Elaboratingaroundthissheasksthreequestions:1)WhatistheFutureofEthics?2)Whatisthe FutureofMorality?,and3)WhatistheFutureofReason?

TherearethreebrilliantFeaturescontributionsthistime.First,ValentínlooksintotheEnergyResources in2023-2033whereheclaims:“…amigrationfrominflation,notsecureenergysupplies,pollutionand contaminationtowardsmostefficientproduction,storage,distributionandcontaminationstopmymeans ofnewmaterials,newwaysofconstruction,AImanagementmakesakeyforachievingasuccessfulfuture transition”.Second,NimaGhasemi,presentsomeperspectivesonsciencefictionseenfromhisIranian backgroundandthereadingofthePersianpoetHafez,FrankHerbert,FredPolak,JohnManuelCook,Paul Ricoeurandmore.Interestinglyhemakesthefollowingstatement:“Narrationleads tothecreationofreality”.Third,KaitesiErtzgaard,presentsforusthreescenariosaboutthefuturesforChinaʼs digitalsilkroadineastAfrica,whichcouldputsomelightsonthecomplexChina-Africanrelations. Last,butnotleast,youwillalsointhisissuefindourPrognosis,Revies,TechnicalNotes,WFSFHappenings andAftermost.

IwishyouallahappyREADING!

SincerelyYours,

WorldFuturesStudiesFederation(WFSF)wfsf.org

president@wfsf.org

EDITORIALCOMMITEE

ErikØverland Editor-In-Chief

ClaireNelson Editor-At-Large

“Untilweseethevalueofsharingthefuture, wewillnotachievethefuturewemostvalue”

RalphMercer ManagingEditor

“Ifthefutureismeasurable,achievableandsafe,wefailedmiserably. Thefutureweneedisrisky,messy,amazingandpost-humanist.”

AmyFletcher

FeaturesEditor

HankKune

FeaturesEditor

Thefutureisnotwhatitusedtobe

ElissaFarrow

FeaturesEditor

Thefuturerequiresustobecomfortablewithuncomfortableness. Love,listenandrespecteachotheronourwaytothefuture.

MohsenTaheri

News&EventsEditor

KevinJae

CopyEditor

Historiaabscondita.Everygreathumanbeingexertsaretroactiveforce...There isnowayoftellingwhatmayyetbecomepartofhistory.Perhapsthepastisstill essentiallyundiscovered!Somanyretroactiveforcesarestillneeded!”-Nietzsche

CristopheBisson

CopyEditor

“Futurethatissustainablerequirestohybridize HumanandMachine”s

LeopoldMureithi

ReviewRoomEditor

RosaAlegria

PR&Marketing

“Hopeisthefuelthatdrivestheengineofthedesiredfuture”

ThomasMengel

ReviewRoomEditor

“Co-creativestorytelling,games,andfilmsareimportant waystoimaginemeaningfulfuturestogether”

REVIEWROOM

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LETTERFROMTHEPRESIDENT 3 ErikOverland FUTUREMATTERS:CANYOUFINDPEACE ClaireA.Nelson 10 FUTURESBAROMETER:SANTAʼSLASTLETTER ClaireA.Nelson 16 ENERGYRESOURCESIN2023-2033.THEKEYTOTHEMIGRATION TOANEWFUTURE. Valentín 20 ONTHEKINSHIPOFHISTORICALNARRATIVEWITHSCIENCE-FICTION STORIES. NimaGhasemi 22 2023SCENARIOSFORCHINAʼSDIGITALSILKROADINEASTAFRICA KaitesiErtzgaard 26
FEATURES
TABLEOFCONTENTS
FOREMOST
MARVELSTUDIOSʼBLACKPANTHER:WAKANDAFOREVER ZabrinaEpps&AlvinSchexnider 33 CLA3.0:THIRTYYEARSOFTRANSFORMATIVERESEARCH SohailInayatullah,RalphMercer,IvanaMilojevic&JohnASweeney 36
HUMANFUTURES 7 PROGNOSIS ATALEOFMULTIPLEXFUTURES:THISISADIALOGUEINTHEMAKING RalphMercer&ClaireA.Nelson 45 ANTICIPATION2022 ChristopherBurrJones 37 UNESCOINAUGURALWORLDFUTURESDAY-DECEMBER2,2022K ClaireA.Nelson 39 SIMULATION-BASEDLEARNINGFORPUBLICPOLICY DanielSilva 50 TECHNICALNOTES AVIEWOFTHEFUTUREFROMDUBAIIN2022 LeopoldP.Mureithi 56 WFSFHAPPENINGS
AFTERMOST:2022INREVIEW RalphMercer,ChatGPTandGrammarly 62 AFTERMOST:2022INREVIEW RalphMercer,ChatGPTandGrammarly 67
AFTERMOST PHOTOCREDITS

FOREMOST

FUTUREMATTERS

CANYOUFINDPEACE

2022Gone.AttheSpeedoflight.Wearenowsettledin toliveandlovewithchronicCOVID,long-haulCOVID, stillmutatingCOVID.Justanotherdiseasewecan manage.Withboostershotsornot.Iamlookingoutat 2023onthewayto2050withsomewhatblurredvision.Ithas beenhardtostayoptimisticwithconstantonslaughtofnews abouttechnologicalmarvelsthatformeseemtobeharbingers ofdoom.Yes.Ididsaydoom.Despitemydetermined optimisticstanceinlife,Idotendtoseesecondandthirdorder fingersofhorrorlurkingbehindeverystoryofgloriousadvances intechnologyfromAtoZ--fromAIthroughblockchain, cryptocurrency,genome-splicing,quantumcomputing,Six(6)

G,xeno-biology(asub-sectorofthestudyofsyntheticbiology) andzenography(thestudyofJupiter).

EvenMcDonaldʼshasdecidedtoturntheirgoldenarches intoatestbedforcontactlessfoodservice.Manymightbe heldinthrallbytheprospectoffrench-friesthathavenotbeen touchedbyhumanhands.Butformethethrillisgone.Ihave longsuspecteditwascomingeversincetheheadlinestouted thatChinahadbeguntestingitsfirstrobot-runrestaurant inShanghaiin2018.Onewouldthinkwithapopulationof 1billion,therearesurelypeople-a-plentyinsearchofwork. Maybethisthenewwaytowagewarontheworkingpoor. Ifweremoveworkersandtheirwagesfromtheprofit-loss equation,notonlywillthesocialsafetynetsstartsaggingunder theweightofunmanageablenumbersoftheun-andunderemployed,butsaidworkersarelikelytospendtheirnew-found leisurehoursgettingboozeduponasteadydietofTikTok. Leftuncontrolledanduncensored,thehyper-happinessof unfetteredTikTokscrollingwillgivewaytoapathy,boorishness, cantankerousnessanddiscontent.Fromthereitsonlyone

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slipperyslopetoincreasedsocialdiscord,dissonanceand evengreaterdivisivenessbetweentheclasses,genders,races, communities,cities,andstatesandbeforeyouknowit…“Oops!

Thereliesthecarcassofdemocracy.”Thereisareasonwhy althoughtheyʼreownedbythesamecompany,TikTokinChina offersachild-friendlyversion,witheducationalvideosanda timelimit,thatisnotthesameastheTikToxofferedintheUSA, orelsewhereintheworldforthematter.

Guesswhoisontaptowintheculturewarsforthecontrolof thefuture.Unlesstherestoftheworldwakesuptheinsidious dangeroftoomuchinformationandtoomuchfreedom.Ithas beensaid,“Freedomisnotfree.Itisboughtatahighprice.It canbesquanderedcheaply.Thepriceoffreedomiseternal vigilance.Thefutureofdemocracylikewise.Thebanninglaw beingproposedbytheUSCongress,titled“AvertingtheNational ThreatofInternetSurveillance,OppressiveCensorshipand Influence,andAlgorithmicLearningbytheChineseCommunist PartyAct(ANTI-SOCIALCCPAct),”wouldprotectAmericans byblockingandprohibitingalltransactionsfromanysocial mediacompanyin,orundertheinfluenceof,China,Russia, andseveralotherforeigncountriesofconcern.CanAmericans giveupTikTokorwillweneedanotherdecadeofʻJUSTSAYNOʼ commercialstargetingthesocialmediaaddicted.

Ifinditpuzzlingthat,sofewpeoplearefocusedon innovatinginsectorsthatarepurportedtobringpeaceandjoy totheworld.LikeChristmas.Whereistheinnovationthere?

WearestillsingingChestnutsRoastingonanOpenFire,even inthetropics,andsurelytherenditionofHandelʼsMessiahby orchestraandchoruscouldwithstandamoderninterpretation andimprovisation.Howisitthatdespiteallthetechnological marvelsandexperienceswecanbuy,westillarenothappier asaspecies?Thisweknowbytheincreasingpercentageof peoplewithmentalhealthchallengesandtherisingnumber ofdeathbytheirownhands.Andnooneisimmune.Eventhe seeminglyrichandfamousinpossessionofenviablenumbersof Twitterfollowers.Itusedtobethatwethoughtthatbeing“likedʼ wasasurewaytofindhappiness,nowwearebeingmadeto understandthankstoreggaesingerChronixxwearetodowhat wedoforʻloveʼofwhatwedoandnotforthesakeofsecuringa hailstormofʻlikesʼonsocialmediaʼ.Itmakessense.Forwenow knowthatlifeinthefuturepresentinthistheseconddecade ofthe21stcenturydoesnotseemanymoresecureforthoseof wholiveinfearoflosingʻitʼ(whateverʻitʼyoucaretoname)than thosewholivedthefuturepast-onehundredyearsago.The roaringtwenties(1920-1929)arisingoutofWorldWarI,andthe newfoundjoyssuchastherockets,theelectricblender,quick frozenfoodsinventedbyClarenceBirdseyewhosefrozenpeas andcarrotsstillfinditswayintoourkitchensandtheelectric stoplightinventedbyGarretMorgan,aBlackman(incase youdidnotknow).Weseemtobeslowlylosingourminds asmachinesbecomemoreandmoreintelligent.Despiteour abilitytosplicethegenomeand3-Dprintbodypartswestill

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donʼtseemtohavethetoolstohealourminds.

Maybeourseeminglyinexorablemarchinthedirectionof technologicaladvancementislikethesearchforFoolsGold. Themorerichesweseemtoget,themorefoolishwebecome. Howmightwegettofuturesofwellbeing?Wheremore peopledo“morebetter”?Maybeweneedinnovationsthat canimprovethequalityofourdecisionmaking.Notjustthe qualityofthedata?Butthequalityofourminds.Thequalityof ourethicsandmorals.Maybeweneedtoinnovatearoundthe principlesandphilosophiesbywhichwemaketherulebooks thatguideourhumancivilizationfromvillagetocitytostateto space.Maybeweneedtoreimagineoursharefuturethrough theSMARTValuesofSolidarity,Mutuality,Altruism,Reciprocity andTrustforthe21stCentury.

Giventhecomplexityofchallengesweface-fromdeciding howtodesignbathroomsthataddresstheneedsofbothour multi-genderedGenerationZaswellasthestuck-in-the-past boomersandreligiousadherentswhostubbornlyclingto thebeliefthatawomanmustbebornwithasetofovaries andafallopiantube,todecidinghowwewillsharetheMoon orcraftingthesustainabilitymetricsforclimateengineering neededtosaveusfromtheexcessesofourcarbonaddictionweneedhelp.

DespiteItbeingtheChristmasseason,Iwashopefulthat aheavenlymessengerwouldsoundaboutnewsofthebirth ofplanetaryconsciousnessthatwouldheraldgladtidingsof greatjoy.Indeed,goodnewsbearsseemtobeinhibernation. ThenightremainedsilentasnoMagicameforwardwithgifts. Buthark!OpenAIdelivereduntousCHATGPT,amodern-day oracleavailableatourfingertips.NoneedtovisittheDelphi onMountVesuvius.Andthus,itwastothisneworacleof knowledge,ChatGPTthatIturnedforguidanceontheFuture ofEthics,MoralityandReason,thebedrockforshapingthe SMARTvaluesweneed.

Myfirstquestion.

ME: “WhatistheFutureofEthics?”

Ididnottoomuchcareforthefirstansweritgaveme,asI feltitdidnotadequatelyaddressmyfears.So,Iaskedagain. Thisisthesecondresponse.

THEORACLE: “Itisdifficulttopredictexactlywhatthe futureofethicswillbe,asitdependsonthevaluesandbeliefs oftheindividualsandsocietiesthatshapeit.However,there areafewtrendsandissuesthatarelikelytoshapethefuture ofethicsinthecomingyears.

Onetrendthatislikelytocontinueistheincreasing recognitionoftheimportanceofethicalconsiderationsin variousfields,suchasbusiness,technology,andpolitics.As technologybecomesmoreadvancedandsocietiesbecome moreinterconnected,theethicalimplicationsofcertain actionsanddecisionsarelikelytobecomemoreapparentand morewidelydebated.

Anothertrendthatislikelytoshapethefutureofethicsis

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theincreasingrecognitionofthevalueofdiversityandinclusion. Thisincludeseffortstopromoteequalityandfairnessforpeople ofallgenders,races,andbackgrounds,aswellaseffortsto protecttherightsofmarginalizedanddisadvantagedgroups.

Inadditiontothesetrends,therearealsolikelytobea numberofspecificissuesthatwilldriveethicaldebatesin thefuture.Forexample,theethicalimplicationsofemerging technologies,suchasartificialintelligenceandbiotechnology, arelikelytobeamajorareaofconcern.Theremayalsobe debatesaroundtheethicsofissuessuchasclimatechange, globalinequality,andthedistributionofresources.

Overall,thefutureofethicsislikelytobeshapedbya combinationoftrendsandspecificissues,aswellasthevalues andbeliefsoftheindividualsandsocietiesthatareinvolvedin shapingit.”

Ididthereconnaissance.Moreofthesamewithafewnew twists.Ilikedthementionofdiversity,equityandinclusion.

Ithenturnedtoquestiontwo.

ME: “WhatistheFutureofMorality?”

THEORACLE: “Itisdifficulttopredictthefutureofmorality withcertainty,asitdependsonanumberofcomplexsocial, cultural,andtechnologicalfactorsthatareconstantlychanging. However,somepossibledevelopmentsthatcouldshapethe futureofmoralityinclude:

Thecontinuedevolutionofsocialnormsandvalues:As societiesevolveandchange,sotoodotheirnormsandvalues. Forexample,inthepast,certainformsofdiscriminationor inequalitywereconsideredacceptable,butarenowwidely consideredimmoral.Similarly,thefuturemaybringnewmoral issuesthatarecurrentlyunimaginable.

Theimpactofnewtechnologies:Thedevelopment andwidespreaduseofnewtechnologies,suchasartificial intelligenceandbiotechnology,couldhavesignificantmoral implications.Forexample,thesetechnologiescouldraiseethical questionsabouttherightsofrobotsortheuseofgenetic modificationtoenhancehumancapabilities.

Changesinculturalandreligiousinfluences:Different culturesandreligionshavetheirownmoralframeworksand guidelines.Aspeoplebecomemoreinterconnectedand globalized,itispossiblethatthesedifferentmoralframeworks couldinfluenceoneanother,leadingtochangesinhowpeople viewandpracticemorality.

Theroleofeducationandcriticalthinking:Educationand criticalthinkingskillscanhelppeopledeveloptheirownmoral principlesandreasoningskills.Assuch,thepromotionof educationandcriticalthinkingmayplayaroleinshapingthe futureofmorality.

Ultimately,thefutureofmoralityisdifficulttopredict andwilllikelybeshapedbyacomplexinterplayofthese andotherfactors.

Finally,mythirdquestion.

ME: “WhatistheFutureofReason?”

THEORACLE: “Itisdifficulttopredictthefutureofreason withcertainty,asitdependsonanumberofcomplexsocial, cultural,andtechnologicalfactorsthatareconstantlychanging. However,somepossibledevelopmentsthatcouldshapethe futureofreasoninclude:

Theimpactofnewtechnologies:Thedevelopmentand widespreaduseofnewtechnologies,suchasartificialintelligence andmachinelearning,couldhavesignificantimplicationsforthe waywethinkandreason.Forexample,thesetechnologiescould assistwithtasksthatrequirecomplexreasoning,ortheycould potentiallyaugmenthumanreasoningabilities.

Changesineducationandcriticalthinking:Educationand criticalthinkingskillscanhelppeopledeveloptheirreasoning skillsandtheabilitytoevaluateandanalyzeinformation.Assuch, thepromotionofeducationandcriticalthinkingmayplayarole inshapingthefutureofreason.

Theroleofsocialmediaandonlinecommunication:The proliferationofsocialmediaandonlinecommunicationhas significantlyimpactedhowwecommunicateandaccess information.Thistrendislikelytocontinueinthefutureandcould impacthowwereasonandthinkaboutproblemsandissues.

Theinfluenceofculturalandsocietalfactors:Different culturesandsocietiesmayplacedifferentvaluesonthe importanceofreasonandcriticalthinking.Aspeoplebecome moreinterconnectedandglobalized,itispossiblethatthese differentculturalandsocietalinfluencescouldshapethefuture ofreason.

Ultimately,thefutureofreasonisdifficulttopredictandwill likelybeshapedbyacomplexinterplayoftheseandotherfactors.

Welllookatthat,theOracleseemstoberepeatingitself.Is thatgoodorbad?RightorWrong?HastheOracledoneenough researchandpracticetogivethebestansweroristhebestas yettocome?Truthbetold,thesamenessofthesethreeanswers leadmetobelievethattheoraclemaynotbeaswiseasneeded justyet.Nonetheless,theoracleandIdidhavesomethingin common.Webothbelievethatultimately,thefutureofethics, moralityandreasonisdifficulttopredictandwilllikelybeshaped byacomplexinterplayofseveralfactors.

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FUTURES BAROMETER

SANTAʼs LASTLETTER…

AsinspiredbythefuneralpoetryofRabindranathTagoreandSeongSam-mun

LASTLETTER…

AsinspiredbythefuneralpoetryofRabindranathTagoreandSeongSam-mun

Farewellmyfriends.Faretheewell.

WhatshallChristmasbecomewhenIam deadandgone?

Willtherebemountainsofemptyshelves instorehousesallovertheworldheralding thebirthofdesolationandthedeathof dreams?

Aslogicbeatsthedrumsfortheendofmy much-storiedlife inallbutyourmemories

Asyoudiscoverthatwhenthesunsetson thischapteroftheAkashicRecordsthere willbenolighttoguideyourgiving-forthto abetterworld

WhatforyoushallChristmasbecome?

FareTheewell.FarewellMyFriends.

Ihavebeenasnecessarytothechurnof themarketplace

asIhavebeentotheexpressionofloveʼs longingforitself

throughgiftingsmadeinmyname

Ihavebeenasimportanttothemakingof friendshipsandfamilies

asIhavebeentothemilkingofopportunity byscampsandscammers

Ihavebeenasvitaltohumanbeings asIhavebeentohumandoings.

FareTheewell.FarewellMyFriends.

Wheredodreammerchantsgotowhen theydie?

Dotheygodown?downbelow?orup?up inthesky?

Myhopeis…thatwhenyouthinkofme thedetrituscausedbymydemise doesnotbecomethefodderfor

recurringnightmares.

FareTheewell.FarewellMyFriends. Wehavefollowedthecourselaiddown byThreeMagiacrossnearthreemillennia throughMyratotheLaplandandNorth PoleandnowthedesertofthisNewJudea.

Wehavekeptwatchinthefieldsoverthe darknightofsoul.

HaveNoregrets. Eventhoughnoangelswillcometoherald theoccasion.

Aboutmyexecutioninthenameofthe Godsofreasoning thereshouldbenopain.

Fortheartificiallyintelligentrealitiesof ever-presentjoyinthemetaverse areforeveravailableatthepushofabutton Likethesoundtracksofthebellsof reindeerslongextinctexceptfor attheholodecksofthemeparkswhere snowcapsaremadebymachines Andthecryogenically-frozen advanceguards wingingtheirwaythroughtimetothefar reachesofAlphaCentauri willawakenwithmypostcardsintheir memorypockets.

FareTheewell.FarewellMyFriends.

Tothosedearheartswhohavelovedand caredformethroughthemillennia wrappinggiftsthatswaddledthewellwishesforthosewhomyouloved aswellasthosewhomyouwishedyou couldlove Totheonesthatkeptmegoingoverthe

pastcenturies

holdingmeupasasymbolofthegoodand theholy

evenasmachinelearninglaidwaste tomystery

andthechildrenbegantostopbelieving inmagic

Tothosewhohavestoodsteadfast bymystory

tryingvaliantlytokeepoursoul firesburning evenasourworldhasbecomehellsof ourcreation

andourtechnologyhasovercomeour humanity.

Donotcryforme. Idonotneedyourtears.AllIneedare yoursmiles.

Arisingfromthememoriesthatlikestars cannotbeextinguished.

Faretheewell.Farewellmyfriends.

Wheredodreammerchantsgotowhen theydie?

Dotheygodown?downbelow?orup?Up inthesky?

Myhopeis…thatwhenyouthinkofme thesmilesengenderedbymylight becomethesong-linesforyoureverconstantdreamsofpeaceandgoodwill... andthetorchforyourtransfiguration.

AndIwilllive.

I,thedreammerchant,willlive. Foraslongasyoulive.

FarewellMyFriends.Faretheewell. St.NicholasakaSantaClaus

FEATURES

ENERGYRESOURCES IN2023-2033.THEKEY TOTHEMIGRATION TOANEWFUTURE.

TOcontrolAIanditssuperlativeforms(e.g., SuperintelligenceandPredictiveSuperintelligence) properlyby2033,wemustask,howdoachievemigration toacalmandstableenergymarket?

Tothinkaboutachievingthisgoalby2033,weshouldthink abouttheassetswehavethatareapplicabletomanysolutionsto generateadominoeffect--achainofsolutions.

Withsufficientenergyalljobsandtaskscanbeperformed, soenergyistheleadingfacettorework.Butunfortunately,the worldenergymarketisshowingacuteweaknessinresponse tothewarinUkraine.Thelessonfromthisisthatthefuture mustnolongerdependonasingleactuatorcausingachainof defeatingconsequences.

Theworldactuallyconsumesaround176,000TWhwithan increasingpaceof2,000TWhperyear.Inthefuture,wewill consumemoreenergythanwedotoday,tocompensatefor desalinatingwaterandnewwaysoffoodproduction,tonamea few.ConsideringthattheWorldpopulationincreasesby1billion peopleperdecade,by2033,wewillneedaround15%moreenergy thanin2023,andby2050,wewillneedapproximately50%more.

Astablefuturealsorequireofabundantenergyatareasonable costavailableforallcountriesandforallactivities,otherwisea calmedworldmarketwillnotbeachievedin2033andbeyond.

Themigrationfromfossilfuelstorenewableenergyis anecessitynotonlydemonstratedbywar.Thepriceofoil fluctuationsshowsatendencytogetmultipliedbyfiveevery 30yearswhenexaminingdatafrom1980tothepresent.So,the costsofnewlyproducedfoodanddesalinatedwatermustbe independentofapowersourcewhosepricetendstoescalate everydecadeorishighlysensitivetopoliticalinstability,andit needsapowersourcewithastablepriceandavailability.

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GraphicprovidedbyMr. AdrianNixonandusedwith hispermission,fromNixene JournalandBoardmemberof ISEChttps://www.isec.org/

Theexpectedneedtodesalinate waterbyusingenergydemonstrates thatrevertingclimatechangeisurgent tostopdraughtprogress.Whilethe desalinationofaliterofsaltywater needsapproximately1Whofenergy,a projectionto2050indicatesthatwewill needtospendaround400TWhthisyear toensuredrinkablewatertohumanity. Thisis20%ofwhathumanityconsumes peryeartoday.

Lookingtothefar-termfutureinXXI Century,weforeseethattheenergy marketwillmigratetospace-origin-based sourcesbeyond2050.GalacticHarbour infrastructureswillmounthugesolar arraysinGEOtopowerEarthand establishawaytodriveLunarHe3for fusionreactors.Thesewouldbemanaged byPredictiveSuperintelligentcontrollers thatmatchavailabilitywithnecessityat thetimeitisneeded,thusachievingafull efficientuseofenergyandtechnology.

GalacticHarbours,Fusionreactors andPredictiveSuperintelligentsystems areexpectedtostartearlyoperations in2040andareexpectedtobemature technologiesaround2050.

Currently,thesesystemsarenot available--,whatcouldbedonebetween 2023and2050?

Suggestedconsultations:

Duringtheperiod2023-2050one mayexpectthatthepriceofprospecting, extracting,storinganddistributingfossil fuelswillnotceasetoincrease.Nuclear fissionreactorswillhavemuchhigher maintenancecostsandthermaldealing withwaterrefrigerationscarcity.Aglobal draughtwillalsoimpacthydroelectric productionwhilefreshwateravailability hasdiminished40%since1990.

Thepriceofsolaremergyhas decreasedandhastendedtostabilize sincethecostofsolarPVmodulesis20 timescheaperthanin1990.Transparent solarcellsincreaseoptionsfor integration.Solarinstallationscomein awidevarietyofscalesfromthosesmall enoughonlytopoweraclocktothose abletopowerprojectsmuchlarger.Itis alsoimmediatelyreactivetoAIcommands andmonitoring.

Grapheneiscalledamaterialkeyfor asuccessfulenergytransition.Moreover, itismoreenergeticallyefficientthan copperandisakeyfordeveloping SpaceElevatorsandGalacticHarbours. Itisalsomoreenergeticallyefficient thancopperandislighterweightlighter thancurrentlyusedelectricmaterials andverylikelytobuildhighefficient batteries.Moreoverthanthis,itcanbe

SpaceElevatorsandGalacticHarbours,courtesybyISEChttps://www.isec.org/ https://www.isec.org/studies

Energytrends,courtesybyOurWorldinDataTeamhttps://ourworldindata.org/

usedtofiltersaltywaterandobtain cheapdesalinatedwater.

Electricmaterialsusedtoday,suchas cables,batteries,andothers,arenotdesigned tomakeatopefficientuseofenergy.Also, thereisnotaworldwideimplemented educationforusersofdevicestomakean efficientuseofthem.

Approximately,30%ofproduced energytodayiswastedinonewayor another,orexample,itiswastedinthe formofheating,lighting,andfansturned onwhennotnecessary,thiswhilethe futurewilldemand+30%ofenergyto compensatetheeffectsofclimatechange onfoodproductionandwateravailability. Energymisusemustmigrateto profitableenergybyusingappropriate materialsandmanagingit.

AIandSuperintelligentcontrollers haveaveryprofitablejobtodohereby replacingthebadhumanmanagement ofenergy,properlymanagingthesources andstorageandswitchingitoffandon whenreallyneeded.

Insummary,wemustmoveawayfrom non-secureenergysupplies,pollution,and contaminationtowardsefficientenergy production,storage,anddistribution,AI managementmakesakeyforachievinga successfulfuturetransition.

https://ourworldindata.org/energy-production-consumption https://ourworldindata.org/electricity-mix https://ourworldindata.org/water-use-stress https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/solar-pv-prices https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/crude-oil-prices

HUMANFUTURES 21

ONTHEKINSHIPOFHISTORICALNARRATIVE WITHSCIENCE-FICTIONSTORIES

WHEN PaularrivesontheplanetArrakiswithhis fatherandhisfatherʼscommanders,hehearsthe crowdattheairportshouting:LisanalGaib!His motherexplainsthat“LisanalGaib”issynonymous withtheconceptof“Messiah”forthesepeople;Thatis,theone whoappearsandsavespeoplefromsufferingandmisery!“People saywhattheyaretoldtosay”,saysPaulunderhisbreath.

LisanalGaibmeanssomeonewhocancommunicatefrom thehiddendivineknowledgeaboutthefutureevents.Lisanisthe ArabicforTongue.AlGaibistheArabicfortheUnseen,thedivine realm,thehiddenknowledgeofthefuture.

So,itliterallymeansthetonguethatinformsusaboutthe unseenandthefuture.LisanalGaibisalsothepennameofthe

NOTES:

greatPersianpoetHafez,someonewhoisinformedaboutthe future!ManyconsiderHafezʼpoetryadoorintothehiddenor unseenrealmofthedivineandknowledgeofthefuture.People liketouseHafezʼpoetryasawaytoobtainGodʼsknowledgeofthe futurewhenmakingtoughdecisionsfacingbiguncertainty.

FrankHerbertgivesPaulthetitleLisanalGaibduetothis reason.ToknowhowFrankHerbert,theauthorofthesuccessful novelDunewhichwaspublishedin1965knewthisparticular termandwhyhewantedtoturnitintooneofthekeywordsof hisepicsciencefictionrequiresreadingthenovelitself.Butthe characterthatthepeopleoftheArrakisplanetcalltheLisanal Gaib,accordingtothestory,hastheabilitytoseethefuture.

Thestorybeginsintheyear10191!Thatis,inafutureextremely

22 HUMANFUTURES
TranslatedbyGoogleTranslatewitheditsbyVictorVahidiMotti OriginallypublishedinPersianinPhoenixCulturalCentreofToronto,Canada PhoenixJournalhttps://phoenixnews.ca/

ONTHEKINSHIPOFHISTORICALNARRATIVE WITHSCIENCE-FICTIONSTORIES

farfromourtime.Inthisworld,notonlyhavethemaincharacters ofHerbertʼsstory(includingPaul)theabilitytoseevisionsofthe future,butthestoryitselfisactuallyavision,aninsight,ora“image ofthefuture”.

FredPolakputstheterm“imageofthefuture”onthetitleof hisfamousbook.Underthecategoryofutopia,hestudiedallthe imagesofthefutureproducedbyhumansindifferentcivilizations. Accordingtohisresearch,thestoriesthattakeplaceinacertain time,butinanunknownplace,areclassicutopias,becausethe Greekword“utopia”itselfmeans“noplace”.TheplacethatHerbert depictswhichthelatestfilmadaptationbringstooureyesis surprisinginmanyways.

Iam,however,interestedinreconstructingtemporal consciousnesswiththeadverb“future”inthisworkfroma philosophicalperspective.Itisremarkablethattheauthorʼscreative mindimaginesadistantfuturewithveryoldelements!The conceptofthePromisedMessiah,andtheterm“LisanalGaib” arejusttwosimpleexamples.Theindigenouspeopleofthe Arrakisplanet,calledFremen,wearturbansaroundtheirheads andnecks,reminiscentoftheclothingthatancientGreekwriters andartistsdepictedofAchaemenidsoldiers.Inbothcases,this clothissupposedtoprotecttheeyes,earsandmouthfromthe desertsand.

InthetitleofShaddamCorrinoIV,thegreatemperorofthe galaxy,thereisaPersianwordPadishahwhichmeansKing.It showsthegreatnessofthisgreatemperor,reflectingtheimage thattheancientGreekshadofPersisemperors.IntheFoundation series,whichisanadaptationofIsaacAsimovʼsnovelofthesame name,youalsoseegreatemperors,whichwesternliterature considersspecifictoAsianpoliticalsystems,butitisinterestingthat inthereconstructionofthefarfuture,politicalsystemsareledby emperorsoncemore.

Infact,notonlyintheliteraturefocusedonthepast,but alsointheliteraturesetinthefuture,Westernwritersimagine andportraycomprehensivepoliticalsystemsofgovernance ledbyasingleruler(e.g.,empires).Oneistemptedtosaythat newadvancedtechnologiesandtheextraordinarypossibilities ofcontroloverpeopletheyhaveenablednaturallyleadstothe

HUMANFUTURES 23

emergenceofsuchempiresystemsofgovernance.

Inthiscase,thelikesofHerbertandAsimovhavebeen followingthelogicthatnewtechnologieswillpossiblyimpose onthefuturesociallifeofhumans.Butitisnotjustaboutthe re-emergenceofoldpoliticalsystemsinthedistantfuture. Thisfuturereconstructionofthepastispracticallyacollage (mixture)ofveryoldelementsofhumanlifeandnewemerging elements;eventhedesignofthecharactersʼcustomsissubject tothesamelogic.

Literaturedirectedtothepastisoftencalled“history”and literaturedirectedtothefutureiscalled“utopia”or“science fiction”.Theword“history”inthemeaningweusetodaywas naturallynotrelevantfortheGreeksofHerodotusʼtime.Thisword wasoftenusedinpluralform(histories)andthereforecomesfrom story.Therefore,theHistoriesbyHerodotus,forhiscontemporary Greek,probablyevokedsomethingintheelementsofstories.But HerodotusʼstoriesareinagenrecalledPersica,whichbasically meansthestoryofPersiskings!Therehavebeenseveralauthors (suchasCtesiasafterHerodotus,andDionysiusofMiletusand CharonofLampsacusbeforeHerodotus)whoalsowrotePersica. Soherewecanseethatifhistoryisaknowledge,likemostother branchesofknowledge,itwasexpandedfromaconcretesample andactuallyhadaprototype.

JohnManuelCookwritesinThePersianEmpirethatfor theancientGreeks,historywasonlyrelevantinthesenseof describingtheactionsofthePersiankingsandthewarsthey hadwiththeGreeks.IfpartsoftheGreekcoloniesdidnotfall underthepoliticalandmilitaryinfluenceofthePersianEmpire, therewouldbenosuchgenrefromwhichtheknowledgeof

historywasabstracted.Itshouldbementionedthatoutofthe twelvevolumes,ninevolumesofHerodotusʼtheHistoriesarethe descriptionofthewarbetweenthePersiansandtheGreeks.

Infact,inordertomakesuchnarratives,thePersicawriters wereindebtedtocompletelyrealbloodyeventsthattheyeither participatedinorheardfromtheirfathers!Thatis,livingelements connectedtothepresentwereavailableanditwasenoughto createanintroductionwithalittleimagination.Theywouldgo backintimetoexplain,forexample,thatthePersianEmpirewas foundedbyCyrusandhowitwastheturnofDariusIandhisson XerxesI.Whatexactlyhappenedinthefareastwasbeyondtheir meanstofindout.

PaulRicoeurwritesinTimeandNarrativethattherelationship

24 HUMANFUTURES

ofthehistorianwiththehistoricaleventas itactuallyhappenedisliketherelationship oftheresearcherwiththenoumen (thinginitself/DinganSich)ofKant;the phenomenonasthemanifestationofthat thinginitselfisrecognizabletoacertain extent,butitisnotpossibletoaccessthat thinginitselfinthepast.

Inevitably,historiographyisabout findingtheconnectionandrelationship betweensomethingcompletelyrealin thepresent,withelementsreconstructed withthehelpoftheimaginationthat musthavebeentheintroductionor backgroundofthepresent.Inthisway, history,likearithmeticandgeometry, isascienceofratios.Ifarithmeticand geometryisthescienceofrelationships betweenseparateandconnected quantities,historyisanefforttofind therelationshipbetweentodayʼsliving experienceandimaginaryelementsthat shouldbetheintroductionoftoday.

Inthiscase,isnʼtwhatwecallscience fictionorutopianliteraturethesamekind ofknowledge?Itisonlyenoughtomix todayʼslivingelementswithimaginary elementsinthelaboratoryofourmind aboutthefuture,whichshouldbetodayʼs “epilogue”(asopposedtoprologue).

Philosophically,theconsequenceof thisoutlookatfuturisticliteratureand cinemaisthatthistypeofnarrativeis notdifferentfromhistoryinitsgenus (genusintheAristoteliansense).If narrationcreatesknowledge,wecan distinguishtwotypesofknowledge withinthisgeneralgenus(narrative): retrospectiveknowledgeandprospective knowledge.Butnarrationisreally knowledgebecauseitisnothingbut acalendaroftemporalconsciousness. Inthisway,temporalconsciousness becomessubstantive,andinRicoeurʼs interpretation,timeistransformedfrom physicaltimetohumantimeintheway ofnarration.Inotherwords,thenarrative linesupandarrangesthescattered contentsinthemind,andinthisway, humansfindtheirplaceintime.

Fromthispointofview,thepresenceof veryoldelementsintheseforward-looking (utopian/futuristic)narratives,suchasthe linguisticinterpretationof“LisanalGaib”, theoutfitoftheFermannatives,amagic womanlikeGaiusHelenMohiam,which remindsusofthearchetypalcharacterof Medeainliteratureusedbytheclassical

writersofancientGreeceactuallyare notprojectingelementsofthepastinto thedistantfuture.Whathashappened istheuseoffamiliarimaginary elements,yetthistimeareconsidered epiloguetothepresent.These elementsarenotreallyintrinsically relatedtoPersisorPersiankings,not evennecessarilytotheEast.Rather, theyaretoolswhosehistoryofusein narrationbythecreativemindsofthe Westgoesbackatleasttothetimeof theprevalenceofalphabeticliteracy, thatis,theeraofancientGreekwriters.

Fromtheverybeginning,these elementsweredesignedasdistant elementsfrom“now”and“here”and theyplayaroleinthecalendaroftime consciousnessaccordingtowhether thecreativemindusesthemforthe epilogueorprologue.Referringto Husserlʼsintentionality,itisthemind thatsometimesdetermineswhetherthe elementsare“before”or“after”.

Ifweconsiderthatnarrativescan alsohaveanormativedimensionor,as futuristscallit,aself-fulfillingquality,then wehavemoresympathywithPaulwhen hesaysthatpeoplewillsaywhattheyare

told.Infact,thereisakindofprophetic andpreferably“apocalyptic”literaturein thegreattraditionsthatitselfintroduces signsandattachesthemtosomeoneor somethingcomingfromthefuture.This iswhyforward-lookingnarratives,like retrospectivenarratives,alwayshave apoliticalfunction.Theseapocalyptic narrativeshavemanyexamplesinthe traditionsandreligiousliteratureof ancientcivilizations,andthepolitical functionofallofthemisduetothe self-fulfillingcharacterofthenarrative. Narrationleadstothecreationofreality.

THEAUTHOR

NimaGhasemihasaPhDinPhilosophy fromShahidBeheshtiUniversity.Heisa writer,philosopher,andwasaresident ofIran,wheninNovember2021“was sentencedto4yearsinprisononacharge ofʻassemblyandcollusionagainstthe regimeʼandeightmonthsinprisonona chargeofʻpropagandaagainsttheregimeʼ“ (https://www.en-hrana.org/writer-andphilosophy-researcher-nima-ghasemisentenced-to-four-years-and-eightmonths/).Sincethen,Nimahasescaped fromIranandnowisaresidentofCanada.

HUMANFUTURES 25

2023SCENARIOSFOR CHINAʼSDIGITALSILK ROADINEASTAFRICA

26 HUMANFUTURES

INTRODUCTION

CHINAʼSdevelopmentinAfricathroughtheBeltRoad Initiative(BRI)isdecisivetoChinaʼsroleingreatpower politics.However,theimpactofBRIonAfricanstates, especiallywiththedigitaladditiontoBRI,namelyChinaʼs DigitalSilkRoad(DSR)mayleadtodisparateoutcomesin 2023.Thisanticipatoryarticlewillexplorethreealternative futuresfortheDSR,inEastAfrica.TheDSRisabranchwithin BRIthatfocusesondigitalconnectivityabroadtostrengthen Chinaʼsroleasatechnologicalsuperpower.AlthoughDSR hasthepotentialtoenhancedigitalconnectivityandthereby contributeheavilytoindustrializingstates,theinitiativecan simultaneouslycurtailtheEastAfricanCommunitiesʼ(EAC) economicandsocialdevelopment.Agrowingconcernis thatEastAfricanstatessuchasUganda,Rwanda,andKenya havemortgagedstrategicnationalassetstoreceiveloans, triggeringadebateaboutwhatoutcomestoexpectfrom theDSRinitiatives.Thisarticlewillanticipatethreeplausible scenariosforDSRinEastAfricafor2023andonwards:(I)DSR worksandpositivelyimpactstheEastAfricanregion,(II)DSR isnon-successfulandobstructstheEACʼssocialandeconomic development,(III)theEACbenefitseconomicallybutsuffers socialimplicationsfromtheDSR.

SCENARIO1

ThefirstscenarioisoneinwhichtheDSRinitiativeismutually successfulfortheEACandChina.DSRinitiativesconsiderlocal preferencesandimplementtechnologyinitiativesthatalignwith localICTagendasandconsequentlypromotebothChineseand EACgrowth.Inthis2023scenario,Chinaalsoenhancesregional

skilltrainingandemployment-initiatives,asseenintheNorthAfricanregion,forinstance,inEgypt.

Inconsequence,theEACwillbenefiteconomicallyfromthe continuanceoftherapidpopulationgrowthexpectedinAfrica. TheEACpopulationgrowthfacedin2023,influencedbyteenage pregnanciesfollowingthepandemic,combinedwiththeyoung populationagestructureintheEAC,createshugepotentialfor Chinaʼsdigitalexpansion.Throughskilltrainingandemployment, theyoungpopulationstructurebecomesacatalystfor acceleratedsocialdevelopment,GDPgrowth,andtechnological innovationthatwillcontinueemergingin2023andthefollowing years.BoththeEACandChinawillgainfromimplementing telecommunicationsnetworks,mobilepaymentsystems, surveillancetechnology,andothertechnologies.DSRstrengthens

HUMANFUTURES 27

ChinageopoliticallyandtheEACeconomically,boostinglocal developmentandimprovingEastAfricanlivingstandards.

SCENARIO2

ThesecondscenarioisoneinwhichDSRcreatesEAC dependencyonChinaasaconsequenceofthevasteconomic falloutfollowingthepandemic.TheEACgetsabsorbedinthe debt,trapsfollowingDSRandotherChinesedevelopment initiatives.ChinahasbeenAfricaʼslargesttradingpartnerfor 12years,andmanyAfricancountrieshaveoverindulgedin loansfromChina,onlytosubsequentlyrealizethattheycannot sustainrepayment.Inthisscenario,ChineseloanstoEastAfrican statesbackfireduetothelowabilitytorepayeminentlyin2023 followingtheeconomicdeclineafterthepandemic.TheEAC meetsdefaultonloansthataremainlysourcedfromChina,and thesealedloanagreementsbetweenChinaandtheEAC,referred toashiddendebtscreateEACdependencyandcontractual obligationstoChinain2023.Manywondersifstrategicnational

assetsareservingascollateralforextensiveloans.Thisdrastically restructuresthegeopoliticallandscapeasChinapresumably gainscontroloverstrategicassets/resourcesinEastAfrica.For instance,allegationsaremadeaboutUgandafacingtheloss ofthenationalairport,EntebbeInternationalAirport.Kenya, Ethiopia,andZambiaalsokeepstrugglingundertheburdenof Chinesedebtandcontinuetoseeknewrepaymentplansin2023.

SCENARIO3

ThethirdscenarioisoneinwhichtheEACenforces authoritariandevelopmentalismandgainseconomicallyfrom theDRS.Authoritariandevelopmentalismcreatesundemocratic andoppressivestatebehaviorswhichproduceatensepolitical climateintheregion.TheCovid19pandemicledmanyEast Africangovernmentstomonitortheirpopulationsforhealth purposesthroughtheimplementationofChinesesurveillance technologyprovidedbyHuaweiTechnologies.Thissubstantiates theundemocraticpoliticalclimateinsemi-authoritarianEast

28 HUMANFUTURES

Africanstates,asthepandemiccreatescomplexitiesof digitalethicalconsiderationssuchasrespectfordataprivacy andrulesregardingdigitalsurveillance.Inthisscenario, theEACdoesnʼtcomplywithdigitalrights,privacy,and dataprotectiontoensureaccountabilityandtransparency ofthesurveillance.Politicalpolarization,conflict,and oppositionmovementsalreadyseenin,forinstance, UgandaandRwandakeepemerginginEthiopiaandKenya amongstotherstatesintheEAC.Demonstratingagainst digitalsurveillance,spearheadedbyfiguressuchasPaul RusesabaginainRwandaandBobiWineinUgandagrows intheregion.Inthisscenario,theEACisunstabilizedbyan upswinginprotestsagainstanilliberalpoliticalenvironment withdigitalsurveillance,censorship,andotheroppressive statebehaviorsrelatedtoDSRʼsactions.Consequently, theEACwillexpanditstechnologicaldevelopmentand economicgrowth,butsufferfrompoliticalinstabilityand democraticbackslidein2023.

HUMANFUTURES 29

REVIEWROOM

MARVELSTUDIOSʼ BLACKPANTHER: WAKANDAFOREVER

MARVELSTUDIOSʼBlackPanther:WakandaForever, thesequeltothe2018BlackPanther,returnsto screenswithmoreaction,morecomplexities, andmorediasporicwhispersandnodsthanits predecessor.Thesequelopenedtoanimpressiveworldwidebox officereleaseandwillprovetobeiconic.

MarvelStudiosʼBlackPanther:WakandaForeverispartofthe MarvelCinematicUniverse,whichspansmultipleuniversesand timeframes.AlthoughWakandaForeverissetinthepresentand nearfuture,thestory(andmovietitle)implicitlyengageswith thefuturesofafictitiousSub-SaharanAfricannation,itsleaders, anditspeople.Wakandaistherichestandmosttechnologically advancednationontheplanetduetoitslocationontopofa powerfulalienmetalknownasvibranium,whichwassaidtohave cometoearthviaameteoritecenturiesago.Thecountrywas hiddenfromtheWesternworlduntilitsformerKingTʼChakawas killed(inthe2018movie)andsucceededbyTʼChallaplayedby ChadwickBoseman.

WeenterthestorywithWakandanowmourningthelossof KingTʼChallafromanunknownillness,duetothereal-lifeloss ofChadwickBosemantocoloncancerin2020.KingTʼChallaʼs motherQueenRamonda(AngelaBassett),handilypicksupthe mantletoleadtheresourceandculturallyrichSub-Saharan Africancountry,whichEuropeansnevercolonized.Inascene depictingameetingoftheUnitedNations,theQueenisprovoked toreaffirmhernationʼspowerinresponsetodemandsbyWestern countriesthatWakandashareitspreciousresource-vibranium1

Wearethenintroducedtoanewcivilizationduringatender momentbetweenQueenRamondaandPrincessShuri(Letitia Wright),TʼChallaʼssisterwhoisascienceandtechnologyprodigy. TheyaregreetedbyNamor(TenochHuerta)whorisesfromthe watertowarnthemthatvibraniumexistsoutsideofWakanda andthattheWesternworldʼsattemptstomineitisathreattohis Talokanpeople.Thefilmisarichtourdeforcethattoucheson grief,matriarchy,isolationismvsinternationalism,intervention forresources,andwar.Theentirecastisamazing,buttrulythe

HUMANFUTURES 33
AFilmReview

filmrestsontheemotionaljourneyof Shuri(Wright),QueenRamondaʼs(Basset) anguishofrulingapeacefulnationat riskofinvasionwhilecopingwiththe lossofbothhersonandhusband,and Namorʼs(Huerta)steadfastcommitmentto protectinghisownpeopleastheirgodking,evenifitmeansdestroyingWakanda toprotecttheTalokan.

Itʼsimportanttonotethatthe TalokanarebasedonancientMayanand Mesoamericancivilizationswhowere forcedunderwaterwhentheirlandwas invadedbySpanishcolonizers(Polowy, 2022).Liketheintentionalityoftheall-Black castingoftheWakandans,theTalokan areallcastbyLatinxactorsandactresses, shiningaspotlightonLatinx-Futures.

IngrandMarvelStudiosʼbig-budget fashionandflankedbythetruebrilliance ofdirectorRyanCoogler,WakandaForever providesalloftheactionandcinematic splendorthatmovie-goershavecome toexpectfromthefranchise.However, justlikeBlackPantherof2018,Wakanda Foreverrevelsinitsopportunitytoshow

NOTES:

acaptiveaudiencethehistory,culture, beauty,diversity,intelligence,andrichness thatexistsinanAfricathatwasnever touchedbycolonization.Wakandans displayanagencythattranscendsthe ʻismsʼthathaveplaguedthenon-fiction diaspora.Thereareseveralthemes–subtleandnotsosubtle–throughoutthe filmthatʼsaclarioncallthroughoutthe

1 Vibraniumissoughtafterforitssuperstrengthandabilitytoabsorbvibrationsand kineticenergy.

diaspora.Only,notwithtrumpets,with drums.

TheMarvelCinematicUniverse(MCU) crossesdifferentgenres,includingcosmic sciencefiction,fantasy,mythology,period piece,andmanyothers(Goddard,2022). Alsoofnoteisthefilmʼsstrongcentralityin Afrofuturism.Afrofuturismisallatonce,“a waytodecodeblackliberationinacountry builtuponslavelabor”(Lavendar,2019),a midpointbetween“imagination,liberation, technology,andthefuture”(Womack,2013), anda“spiritualtechnologythatproduces knowledgebysystemicallyshowinghow thenon-physicalworldworksintandem withthematerialworldandbyapplying thisinformationforpracticalendssuch asfreedom”(Lavender,2019).Todescribe someofthethemesinWakandaForever, weborrowedfromanessay(republishedby CommonGood)thatAfrofuturistOctavia ButlerwroteforEssenceMagazinein2000.

LearningfromthePast

Butlerexplainshowsheanalyzesthe pasttoinformthefuturesshewritesabout.

Butler,O.(2000).Afewrulesforpredictingthefuture,CommonGoodCollective, https://tinyurl.com/mtwddk3h Goddard,M.(2022May),EveryMarvelCinematicUniversemoviebygenre,https:// wegotthiscovered.com/movies/every-marvel-cinematic-universe-movie-by-genre/

34 HUMANFUTURES

Sheexplainsthat“totrytoforetellthe futurewithoutstudyinghistoryislike tryingtolearntoreadwithoutbothering tolearnthealphabet.”Cooglerandhis teamcertainlydisplaymanyreferences toAfrican(andIndigenous)historiesthat otherwisewouldbeignored.Thisiswhy manyscholarshaveadaptedthemovieʼs themesintoeducationalcurricula. Fromtheritualsandceremoniesbased onactualtribaltraditions,clothing embellishedwithreferencestoregions fromNorthernandsub-Saharanareas. Cooglerandtheteammeticulously curatedaWakandanlanguageillustrated inthesubtitlesthatmorphfrom hieroglyphicsintoEnglishwordsandin utterancesofvariousAfricandialects. Thereʼsalsonoshortageoftechnical andscientificreferences,including genomics,physiology,andphysics. WhiletalesofWakandaʼshistoryare notexplicitlyutteredinthedialogue, referencestolittle-knownhistorical factsandartifactsprovidemany opportunitiesfortheworldtolearn moreaboutthecontinent,thosewho inhabitit,andthosewhoaredescended fromitbeyondtheslaverynarrative.

RespecttheLawofConsequences

AgainButlercautions,“Infact,Idonʼt believewecandoanythingatallwithout sideeffects–alsoknownasunintended consequences.Thoseconsequencesmay bebeneficialorharmful.”Thiscomment

harkensbacktotheoriginaldilemmafrom BlackPanther(2018)ofhowmuchtointeract withotherworldpowers.Asillustratedin thescenesattheUN,withCIADirector EverettRoss(MartinFreeman)inthe UnitedStates,andwiththeTalokanpeople, everyactionhasaconsequenceofequalor greaterimpact.EvenayoungMITstudent inthefilmtryingtomakeanamefor herselfasshehustlestostayinschooldoes notescapethefalloutfromherotherwise goodintentions.

BeAwareofYourPerspective

Inmanyways,themoviewasabout miningthroughemotions.Startingwith themourningofTʼChalla(andChadwick Boseman)tothegenerationaltrauma passedonfromtheancientMayans totheTalokanpeople,thecharacters wadethroughdeepemotionsand makebigdecisionsthatleadtoserious implicationsforWakanda.Butlerasks, “Howmanycombinationsofunintended consequencesandhumanreactions tothemdoesittaketodetourusintoa futurethatseemstodefyanyobvious trend?”Shethenanswers,“Notmany.” Thus,thestoryremindsusofthe importanceofself–andgroupreflection, systemsthinking,andconsideringmany possiblefuturesindecision-making.

CountonSurprises

ThestoryofWakandaForever(and BlackPantherbeforeit)revealsa placethat,despiteitsbesteffortsto protectitself,continuestofacethe threatofinvasionandexploitation foritsresources,justascountriesin present-dayAfricaexperience.As Butlerstates,“Nomatterhowhard wetrytoforeseethefuture,thereare alwaysthesesurprises.”Whatisofno surpriseisthatCooglerandMarvel Studioshavedeliveredyetanother cinematicmasterpiecefeaturinglayers ofnarrativestoberevealedanewwith eachsubsequentviewingofthemovie.

Thefinalthemewegleanedfrom WakandaForeveralsocontinuesfrom the2018BlackPanther,i.e.identity.This iswherethedrumsbeattheloudest.The refrainofidentityisechoedthroughout

themovieandcrescendoswithQueen Ramondaʼsremindertoherroyalchild, “Showhimwhoyouare!”Thismessageisnʼt justforthecharactersinWakandaForever, itʼsforallofus.Butlerconcludesheressay withareminderofwhydespiteamyriad ofuncertainties,engagingwithfuturesis anecessaryundertaking.

Because,mostofall,ourtomorrowis thechildofourtoday.Throughthought anddeed,weexertagreatdealof influenceoverthischild,eventhoughwe canʼtcontrolitabsolutely.Besttothink aboutit,though.Besttotrytoshapeit intosomethinggood.Besttodothatfor anychild.

Evenwhilelisteningtopopstar Rihannaʼssingle“LiftMeUp”asthefinal creditsscroll,WakandaForeverleavesus thinkingaboutourchildren.

THEAUTHORS

ZabrinaEpps,Ph.D.isaFuturesCoach andResearchFellowattheMarieFielder CenterforDemocracy,Leadership, andEducationatFieldingGraduate University,Contact:www.linkedin.com/in/ zabrina-epps

AlvinSchexniderisanemancipatory designer,Afrofuturist,andFounderofthe art&designcounter-studioGraffitiVersal aswellasSeniorEquityDesignStrategist atCapitalOne.Contact:https://www. linkedin.com/in/alvinschexnider

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/black-panther-wakanda-forever-blackhispanic-latinx-people-culture-similarities-160014942.html Womack,Y.(2013)Afrofuturism:Theworldofblacksci-fiandfantasyculture,Chicago, LawrenceHillBooks.

HUMANFUTURES 35
Lavender,III,I.(2019),Afrofuturismrising:Theliteraryprehistoryofamovement, Columbus,OhioStateUniversityPress. Polowy,K.(2022November),ʻWakandaForeverʼcastonhowfilmexploresshared experiencesofBlackandLatinxpeople:ʻOurwoundsaresosimilar,ʼ

CLA3.0:THIRTYYEARS OFTRANSFORMATIVE RESEARCH

BookAnnouncement

THECLAReaderwaspublishedin2004andcovered articlesoncausallayeredanalysisfrom1994-2004.CLA 2.0followedsuitin2015focusingonnewapplicationsin theoryandmethodology.CLA3.0celebratesthelastthirty yearsoftheoryandpractice;innovationandapplication.

Inthisvolume,theauthorsinvestigatevariedtopicssuchas conflict,educationandlearning,environmentandsustainability, economyandsociety,city,andscienceandtechnology.Thebook consistsoftwenty-sixchapterswrittenbyforty-sevenauthors.

Chaptertitlesinclude:

n CausalLayeredAnalysis:Theory,ConceptualFrameworkand Methods

n LivingBetweenMythandMetaphor

n RussianAggressionagainstUkraine:Past,Present,and Futures

n AustralianRiot:CausalLayeredAnalysisforConflict Resolution

n SchoolDistrictLeadersasAgentsofEquityandPublic EducationFutures

n Self-Writing:ACausalLayeredAnalysisProspectiveonthe LearningIdentityFramework

n CausalLayeredAnalysisofConstructionLabourProductivity inDevelopingCountries

n ApplyingFuturesBasedFrameworksforEmergingSector Investments

n FuturesImpactsofTheKingdomofSaudiArabia(KSA)

TransformingitsCitiestoCarbon

NegativeArcologies

n InsightsfromaCausalLayeredAnalysisof“Isfahan2040”

n UnderstandingtheFuturesofScience

n NotOrganicGardeningorRocketScience:NewMetaphors (andaPolitics)forgeoengineeredImaginaries

Authorsinclude:

Alongwithchaptersbytheeditors,SohailInayatullah, RalphMercer,IvanaMilojević,andJohnSweeney,contributing

authorsincludePaulaAdalyiza,OluseyiJuliusAdebowale, JustusNgalaAgumba,NoorahAlhasan,KasturiBehari-Leak, VitorBruno,MarcusBussey,NaliniChitanand,RussellClemens, JosephCorneli,AdamCowart,PhillipDaffara,MohsenTaheri Damneh,CharlesJ.Danoff,ZabrinaEpps,ElissaFarrow,Nele Fischer,RietaGanas,SirkkaHeinonen,JeanneHoffman,Marcelle Holdaway,PatriciaIribarne,SterlingJackson,AlirezaKarimi, CamilaLópez-Echagüe,SannaKetonen-Oksi,MarilaLázaro, KonstantinMarquardt,MattiMinkkinen,AlexMurphy,Maryam EbadiNejad,EdwardNiedbalski,MarjukkaParkkinen,Charlotte Pierce,RaymondS.Puzio,ChrisRiedy,DominiqueRumeau, ColinRusso,SiyaSabata,PeterScupelli,PetroSukhorolskyi,Veli Virmajoki,LeoVivier,andAliZackery.

n n n

PDF24.95audavailablefromwww.metafuture.org

Paperback49.95pluspostage.Bulkordersarepossible. Pleaseemailsinayatullah@gmail.com

IfinTaiwanforpaperback,pleasee-mailsochen@mail.tku. edu.twofCFAR.FormoreonCLA,gotocla.metafuture.org

36 HUMANFUTURES

ANTICIPATION2022

ANTICIPATION 2022washeldonNovember16–18inthe

JulieAnnWrigleyGlobalFuturesLaboratorylocatedin theRobandMelaniWaltonCenterforPlanetaryHealthat ArizonaStateUniversityinTempe,Arizona.Thefourthinaseriesof globalanticipationconferences,previousconferenceswereheld inTrento,Italy(2015),London,England(2017)andOslo,Norway (2019).Thiswasahybridconference.OnNovember4,aroundthe-clocksessionswereheldvirtually.Over400individuals participatedintotal;closetohalfattendedface-to-faceinTempe. TheASUeventwasthefirstin-personconferenceformanysince thepandemic,whichgaveitaspeciallustre.

Itwasaneclecticgroupoffolksincludingtheanticipation studiescommunityandconferenceveterans,scienceand technologystudiesacademics,socialscientists,futurists,

historians,andASUfuturesfacultyandstudents.Anecdotally, mostparticipantsIspoketowereanticipationconference newbies.Morethanhalfofthein-personparticipantswerefrom outsidetheUS.Theplenarykeynotesandpanelswererelevant andprovocative.Concurrentpapersessionsandworkshops presentedaproblem,asusual,witharichanddiversesetof competingchoices—Imissedmanypresentationsbecauseof seriouscompetitionbetweendesirablesessions.Topicsranged widely:regenerativefutures,creativeanticipations,imaginaries (presentandfutures),storytelling,visioningandbackcasting,long/ deeptime,cyborgrelations,decolonizingfutures/anticipation, postnormaltimes,criticalfutures,cyberpunk,creativity(goodand bad),youth,governance,climatefutures,andmanyotherslicesof anticipationstudies.

HUMANFUTURES 37

MyCentreofPostnormalPolicyandFuturesStudies colleaguesWendySchultz,MayaVanLeemput,andIleda workshop/planninggameusingpostnormaltimeselements forwaterallocationsthrough2045ADandweeachalso presentedpapers(Wendy,“futuresaschaosattractors”; Maya,“polylogueforfuturesco-creation;me,“darksideof creativity”).ManyotherpastandcurrentWFSFmembers participated:FrankSpencer,RielMiller,StuartCandy,Nele Fischer,LydiaGarrido,JayneFleener,BruceTonn,Peter Bishop,andTanjaHichert…apologiestothosecurrent federationmembersthatImissed.

Formypart,itwasagoodmixofdisciplines,levelsof professionaldevelopment,interests,andclearconnectionsto futuresstudiesandforesight.Theconferenceitselfwaswell organized,staffwerehelpful,themealswereaboveaverage, andthevenueforeatingandsocializewasmostlyoutside intheinnercourtyardoftheWaltonCenter.Theclassrooms andauditoriumwere“stateoftheart.”Therewereexternal excursionsincludingadaylongoutingtoOracle,Arizonafora VIPtourofBiosphere2.

FutureAnticipationconferencesareslatedforLancaster, UK(2024)andTurin,Italy(2026).

38 HUMANFUTURES
“ ”
“Imissedmany presentationsbecause ofseriouscompetition betweendesirable sessions”

UNESCOINAUGURAL WORLDFUTURESDAY -DECEMBER2,2022

Initsinauguralcelebration,WorldFuturesDayfocused on“InclusiveandResilientFutures”.HostedatUNESCO Headquarters,theDayspotlightedeffortsfromtheUNsystem anditsMemberStates,onnewvisionsformultilateralism andhowfuturesapproachesinforminclusiveandresilientpolicy design.Theeventprovidedanopportunityforinternational organizations,MemberStates,civilsocietyandnon-governmental actorsaliketocelebratenewwaystousethefuture.

UNESCOencouragesthedisseminationoffuturesliteracyas acapability-basedapproachtodevelopment–askillaccessible toeachandeveryindividual.Findingandimplementingmore sustainableandparticipatoryapproachestodevelopmentinthis decadewillbekeytoensuringeffectiveandinclusivedecisionmakingworldwide.Takinganinterdisciplinary,intergenerational andcomplexsystemsapproach,themesforWFD2022included:

OurCommonFuture–howandwhytheUNCommonAgenda isfocusedonfuturesandanticipatoryapproaches;

FutureGenerations–theimportanceofactivelyengagingwith futuresandanticipatoryapproachesfortheresilienceoffuture generationsandintergenerationalequity;

PlanetaryResilience–howfuturesandanticipatoryapproaches canenablegreaterplanetaryresilience;

HUMANFUTURES 39
EventReview

SocioeconomicTransformationandInclusiveSocieties–how futuresandanticipatoryapproachescancontributetoamore inclusiveandequitableworld.

TheMessagefromtheUNESCODirector-GeneralMsAudrey AzoulaystatedthatwhentheMemberStatesofUNESCO adoptedaresolutiontoestablishWorldFuturesDay,theywere underscoringtheimportanceofimaginingandanticipatingwhat thefuturecouldlooklikeinordertobuildmoreinclusive andmorebalancedsocietiestogether.Thiswasthecase, forexample,in1997,whenUNESCOadoptedtheUniversal DeclarationontheHumanGenomeandHumanRights,orin

2021,whenweadoptedtheRecommendationontheEthicsof ArtificialIntelligence.Mostrecently,shestated,theTransforming EducationSummit,heldinNewYorkandbasedonaFuturesof Educationreport,servedasyetanotherexampleofsuchfarsightedaction.AsCanadiannovelistStevenEriksonhaswritten, “thefuturecaneverpromisebutonethingandonethingonly: surprises”.Shenotesthatisusourresponsibilitytoseetoitthat thesesurprisesarenotunpleasantones.Thus,toinaugurate WorldFuturesDay,UNESCOcallsonallitsMemberStatesand alltheworldʼssocietiestousetheirimagination,toexplorethe possibilities,andsoto“free”thepresent.

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“Wearelivinginincreasinglycomplextimesmarkedby profoundexistentialchanges.Andwehaveoftenbeenlatein comingtogripswiththem.Inordertoavoidsuccumbingtoa bleakfuturewemustre-examinehowwethinkaboutthepresent, unleashingthepowerofourimaginationsothatwecan seizeeveryopportunityavailabletous.Futuresliteracyisentirely inkeepingwithUNESCOʼsroleastheUnitedNationsʼlaboratory ofideas.Openingourmindsandthinkingabouttomorrow–and boththeriskandthepromisewhichcomewithit–are exactlywhattheOrganizationʼsfuturesliteracyprogrammeisall about.Withfuturesliteracywearefosteringanapproachwhich

canserveasapowerfultoolforinnovationandtransformation; weareencouragingaperspectiveonthefuturewhichisrooted inhumanityʼsdiversityofknowledge,humanityʼsdiversecultures andhumanityʼsdiverseworldviews.Weareworkingsteadily throughouttheworld,organizingmorethan100workshops–or “laboratories”-andcollaboratingwiththeresearcherswhoare partofthe37UNESCOChairswhichhelptodevelopandspread thisapproach.Weareshakingup–“freeing”,ifyouwill–thefuture inpursuitofaprimeobjective:amoreeffectiveresponsetothe greatchallengesofourtime.Thinkingaboutthefuturethisway allowsustotakeanticipatoryactionwithgreaterclarity.

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PROGNOSIS

ATALEOFMULTIPLEX FUTURES:THISISA DIALOGUEINTHE MAKING

THISisashorttranscriptofafuturesconversation betweenClaireNelson,Editor-At-LargeandRalph Mercer,ManagingEditor.Thistypeofconversation happensonmostofourcallsandrarelymakesitinto print.Wedecideditwastimetomaketranscriptionsofour off-the-cuffconversation.Enjoyandpleasecommentandjoin ourconversation.

NELSON: Itwasthebestoftimes;itwastheworstoftimes.The futureswewouldhavewantedwerenolongeronanyofthethree horizons,andthefutureswewantedwereburiedinalitanyof conjunctiveoptimismandconspiracytheories.Afuturistʼstaleis basedonmakingsenseofthetrendsandsignalsemergingacross lifeʼslandscape.Sowhattrendsandsignalsshouldwebelooking atfor2023?

MERCER: BeforeIspeaktothat,IthinkthatsomeFuturists areoverlyreliantonexploitingtrends,signalsanddataand seemunwillingtoconsideralternatefuturesthatdonotfall intothesweetspotofplausiblefutures.Theygravitatetowards connectingthedotsratherthandecidingwherethedotsshould beplaced.Thisrelianceanchorsfuturestoincrementalandlinear possibilities.

NELSON: Whatdoyoumeanwherethedotsshouldbe placed?Arethedotsnotalreadythere,andisitnotthatwehave tolookforthem?Or,astheBiblemaysay,havetheeyestosee andtheearstohear?So,arewetheonesplacingthedots?

MERCER: Thefutureisacollectionofchoices;weare constrainedbythechoicesmadeinthepastandresponsiblefor

HUMANFUTURES 45
with RalphMercer &ClaireA.Nelson

thechoiceswemakeinthepresent,limitingthechoicesavailable tousinthefuture.

MERCER: Using“placingtheDots”asametaphorforaccepting fullresponsibilityforouractions,italsoencouragesustodecenter ourselvesashumansastheunitofmeasurementofagoodfuture. Itallowsustoresistthetyrannyofcommonsense,thedoctrines ofpastsocialcontrols(education,politicalandfaith-based)and plausiblefutures.

NELSON: Iwouldagreethatthefutureisacollectionof choices.Weareherelivinginthisversionofthefutureimagined bysomeoneyearsandyearsago.ButIwouldarguethatto saythatwearenowlimitedinthechoiceswemaketoday isratherlimited.Wearestillboundbythelawsofgravity, thermodynamics,trafficlaws,andallthat,butthatisthereality oflife.Wearenotlivinganimaginarylife.Wearelivingan imaginedlife.

MERCER: Itisourimaginationthatneedstobefreedfromthe limitationsofthehuman-centred(humanism,enlightenment, capitalist)mindset.Thefuturewillnotandprobablyshouldnot alwaysbebetterforhumans,butitalwaysshouldbebetterfor theplanet.

NELSON: Well,I,forone,wouldagreethatMotherEarthis gettingtothepointwhereshemightjustexterminateusinorder tosurvive.Yes,Ididsayexterminate.ButIamwonderingifwe arenotgettingitbackwards.Doestheplanethaveafuturethat isnotcircumscribedbyhumans?Iʼmaskingthequestionifatree

fallsintheforestandnohumanisaround,doesitmakeasound?

MERCER: wehavetostopthebinaryapproach.Itisnot eitheror/humanorothers.Itisthematuritytounderstandthat sometimestheless-than-humanormore-than-humanneed tobethefocusofourfutureplanning.Humansdonothave sovereigntyovertheplanet,anditsresourceisnotexclusivelyin supportofthehumandestructionoftheplanet.

NELSON: Iaminagreementthere.Manyindigenouscultures livebytheethos-webelongtotheplanet,buttheplanetdoes notbelongtous.Iamnowakeenproponentoftakingitone stepfurtherinthiseraofspaceexploration,andthecosmosdo notbelongtous–webelongtothecosmos.Buttocomeback downtoEarth,Iagreeweneedathirdway.Thatiswhyinmy theoryofSMARTFuturesdesignasaframeworkfordesigning futuresofflourishing,Ispeaktotheneedforustomovetowards metricsthatmatter.MeaningfulMetrics.MoralMetrics.Butthat presupposesthatwhatisʻMeaningfulʼandʻMoralʼisthesame acrosscultures.Moreover,weallagreethattheplanetʼshealthisa necessaryandsufficientconditionforoursurvivalandourtribal.I haveassumedthatwehumansallhavethesamecommonsense understandingaboutourinterdependence.Youspokeearlier aboutthetyrannyofcommonsense.Whatdoyoumean?Help meunderstandyourperspectiveaboutthedoctrinesofpast socialcontrolsthatneedtobeunshackled.Ihavemyviewsabout theneedtodecolonizethefuture.Butletmehearyours.

MERCER: Claire,thereisalottounpackinyourquestion;Ithink theplacetostartistoask,whatifthecolonizationofthefuture,

46 HUMANFUTURES

asyouputit,isourcommonsense?Iframethe meaningofcommonsenseinthisdiscussionto meanbehaviours,actionsandbeliefsthatare consideredacceptable,expected,andplausible. Commonsensethenbecomesinculcatedin personsintheformoflastingdispositionsor structuredtendenciestothink,feelandact (choose)indeterminantways.

MERCER: Thepersonalitiesandstructured tendencies,unconsciouslyacquiredbyindividuals throughexperienceandsocializationwhen practicedcollectively,becometheworldviews andmetaphorsofsocialnormsandexpectations, eventuallybecomingembodiedinourchoices. ThetyrannyImentionedisaneedtounderstand thatthesignals,data,images,andprocesses employedinconstructingplausiblefutures areproductsofourchoices.Ourbeliefsand assumptionbecometheweightofhistorythat createsthestructuresofourpresentchoicesand ultimatelyconstrainsthepossibilitiesoftruly alternativeFutures.

MERCER: Supposemoralsareaccepted standardsofbehaviourthatenablepeopleto functioninaparticularsocietyorgroup.Thenit isessentialtounderstandthecultural,social,and structuralformationthatcreatesthechoices, moralorotherwise.Again,metricsfindand connectthedots.

MERCER: To“placethedots,”orinyourwords, decolonize,istodeconstructandmakevisible,if youwish,whatshapesourchoices,whatarethe narratives,structures,worldviewsandarchetypical storiesandmetaphorsthatframeindividualand collectivechoices.

MERCER: Someoneoncesaidthattofix something,youfirstmustunderstandit;using this,Iarguethatifwewanttofindalternative futures,wefirstmustunderstandwhatmakesa futureplausible,desirableandacceptable.

NELSON: Onthatnote,Iwouldsaywecan agree.Weneedtounderstandbetterwhatmakes afutureplausible,desirableandacceptable,so maythatbethethingwewatchforin2023.Deeper Understanding.AstheAustralianaboriginalssay: “Thestoriesofthepastmustbesungintothe presentinorderforthefuturetoexist.”

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TECHNICAL NOTES

SIMULATION-BASED LEARNINGFOR PUBLICPOLICY

IMAGINEaworldwheretheexplorativeaspectofsolving globalchallenges,anticipatingoutcomes,evaluating scenarios,andmitigatingriskisavailablethroughtheform ofagame.Thatimaginationtakesustotheworldofgaming andsimulation.

PublicPolicysimulationsalsocalledsimsarebeingdeveloped bytheSeriousGamesindustrytoassistgovernmentsinmaking intelligentdecisions,scenarioplanning,andriskmitigation toensureeffectiveprogramoutcomes.Thesesimulations

areincludedinworkshopsandinviteparticipantstorole-play scenariostobetterunderstandfutureimpactsandtomake decisionsaboutplausibleFuturesinacontrolled,risk-free environment-playerscanrepurposeandreallocateresources, whetherfunding,technology,physicalinfrastructure,or personnel.Itoffersthefuture-proofingofissueswhiletestingthe strengthsandweaknessesofpolicyorstrategy.TheGlobalmarket sizeofsimulation-basedlearningforthepublicsectorwillreach $12billionby2027.

50 HUMANFUTURES

Imagineabillion-dollarprogramwithdefined outcomesevaluatedthroughscenariosbeforea singledollarisspent.Thesesimulationsaredesigned notonlyasanexperientialeducationaltoolfor addressingpublicpolicyissuesbutalsoinclude importantcontemporaryissuessuchasmigration, sustainability,capandtrade,housingpolicyand equity,andmanagingpublichealthemergencies. Throughplayer-selectedrolessuchastheprime minister,financeminister,internationalorganization representativeandothers,usersfosterabetter understandingoftheresponsibility,constraints,and challengesinachievingconsensusintheirroles.Built usingreal-worlddata,thesesimsallowpractitioners inboththepublicsector,non-profitsaswellas studentsofpublicpolicytovisualizetheresultof theirdecisionsandtohoneskillssuchasleadership, negotiation,teamwork,andcrisismanagement.

Thesimulationsaredevelopedincollaboration withuniversitiesthathaveaspecializedpublicpolicy, affairs,andadministrationprograms.Theirfacultyand studentsreviewthesimulationsandprovidedesign

HUMANFUTURES 51

andupgraderecommendationstoallowthesimstomeetthe needsofanactualoraspiringpublicpolicypractitioner.

Howdotheywork?

Thesimulationsplaceteamsoffiveparticipantsthrough roleplayinchargeoftheircountryʼsdecision-makingand policydevelopment.Oneofthesimulationsfocuseson PandemicManagement.Itallowsuserstoevaluatepublic healthpoliciesagainsteconomicimpactsassociatedwith thespreadofadeadlyinfectiousdiseaseintheirregion. Soundfamiliar?Participantsthroughtheirrespective rolesaretaskedwithmanagingthepublichealthoftheir population,againsttheeconomicimpactaswellasthe effectsoftheirdecisionsonpublicopinion.Theyarefaced withpolicydecisionsonthedistributionoftestkits,and vaccinesaswellasdeterminingwhoamongtheirpopulation shouldreceiveitfirst.Theyevaluateeconomicstabilization optionssuchasstimulus,appropriatetimingofmessaging totheircitizensonwhentodeclareastateofemergency andotherimpactssuchasborderrestrictionsandmitigation measurestocontrolthespreadwithintheircountry.Thesim

52 HUMANFUTURES

isdesignedforeconomiesofcountriestobeinterconnected, soadecisioninonecountryaffectstherest.Ittests participantsʼabilitytohandlesocialdilemmasinstressful circumstancesandputsparticipantsintheactorʼsroleof leadership.Thesimulationisrunusingacountdownclock, withdataonthespreadofthediseaseupdatingregularly. Thiscreatespressureandprovidesaspaceforpracticein crisismanagementandgroupdecision-makingaswellas conciliatorycompromise.

Thesimulationallowsparticipantstoviewstatisticssuchas positivecases,deaths,vaccinestockmanagement,budget, hospitalcapacity,andtheresultofpopularopinionon governmentpolicies.Thedeterministicsystemdynamics modelonwhichthegamerunsincludeseffectssuchas publicresistancetomitigationmeasuresandcross-border impacts.Instructorscansetthesimulationtodifferenttime periodsinpredeterminedtimeframes.Theimpactofrelations withneighbouringcountriesaswellastheimpactoftheir decisionsagainstthemortalityrateisbuiltin.

Simulation-basedlearningplatformsforpublic policycontinuetohaveextensivedevelopmentupdates.

Thosesimsallowgovernmentsdealingwithdisruptionor strategicplanningtomaintainadualfocus,managingexisting operationsontheonehandwhileexploringwaystoimprove futureresponses.Afocusonhuman-centricdecision-making againstmachinelearning-generatedscenariosandenhanced datavisualizationarepartofthenextroundofupdates.

AmongothersimulationsofferedincludeHostNationsthat focusoninternationalnegotiation,leadership,consensus building,trade-offs,long-termimpactsofimmigrationpolicy, asylum/refugeepolicyandeconomicpolicies.

MetropolitanCitiesisanothersimulationthatfocuseson multi-partynegotiation,distributiveandintegrativeissues, municipal-leveltransitpolicy,sustainableplanning,housing affordability/gentrification,andpublic-privatepartnerships. OthertopicsbeingdevelopedincludeHousingPolicyand Equity,SustainableEnergySimulation,CapandTrade,AnticorruptionandTransparency,ArmscontrolandProliferation, OceanandPolarAffairs,Cybersecurityamongothers.

Youcanfindmoredetailsat:www.dms.academyDMS Academy–GovernanceForesightProgram,PublicPolicy Simulations

HUMANFUTURES 53

WFSF HAPPENING

AVIEWOFTHE FUTUREFROM DUBAIIN2022

56 HUMANFUTURES
PHOTOSCOURTESYOFMUSEUMOFTHEFUTURE

THEDubaiFutureFoundationorganizedtheinaugural DubaiFutureForumfrom10to12October2022atthe newiconicMuseumoftheFuture(MOTF).

Heregatheredsome“400experts,70speakers,1,000 attendeesand45leadinginstitutionstoexploremyriadtopics, includingspacetravel,climatechange,digitalinclusion,ethical artificialintelligenceandpreparingforthefuture.”(DubaiFuture ForumConcludes,SettingPathwayforaPromisingFuture— DubaiFutureFoundation).

AsbackgroundreadingfortheForum,theFoundationissued a166-pagedocumenttitledTheGlobal50FutureOpportunities Report.Thesefiftycover“thebreadthofhumanexperience andourrelationshipwithourenvironment,spanningenergy, communications,health,medicine,governance,ecology, education,cultureandbusiness.Theyrangefromuniversal accesstoenergytoevolveddigitalandimmersiverealities,from machine-runcompaniestoadvancesinmedicalscreeningthat promisetodramaticallyreducetheburdenofdisease”(p.8).

Theglobalforumexploredtheseandrelatedissuesby focusingonfourthemes:TheFutureofourWorld;Valueand Humanity;MitigatingExistentialRiskthroughForesight;and HedgingourBetsthroughForesight.Therewerekeynotes, power-pointpresentations,one-on-oneinterviews,expertpanel discussions,andparallelworkshopsaroundthesetopics–atwodaypackofactivitiesinarelaxingatmosphere.

TheForumprovidedphysicalnetworkingopportunities,amost welcomeopportunity,particularlyforthosewhohavepreviously metonlyincyberspaceandconsideringthelongcavernous existenceforcedonhumankindbytheCOVID-19pandemic.

SomeTakeawaysandInsights

“Thefuturecanbeimagined,designedandexecuted,”His HighnessSheikhMohammedbinRashidAlMaktoum,Vice

PresidentandPrimeMinisteroftheUnitedArabEmirates(UAE) andRulerofDubai:DubaiFutureForumtoWelcome400Experts atWorldʼsLargestGatheringofFuturistsKick-startingTomorrow —DubaiFutureFoundation.

n Thereisaneedtorethinklaw-makingmodels,whichare currentlyrunningfarbehindrapidtechnologicalprogress.We needtobecomemoreagileandproactiveingoverningartificial intelligence,nowmovingtowardssentienceandself-prompting.

n Thespaceindustryhasseenalotofresearchonhowto terraformotherplanetstomakethemfitforhumancolonisation andsourcesofresources.Neglectingtheearthandcouldsimply galacticallyspreadplanetearthʼsAnthropocenemisadventure.

n Solarenergyandhydrogenextractedfromseawaterwill createaneweraofrenewableenergy,providedsomeconstraints

HUMANFUTURES 57
ViewoftheMuseumoftheFutureatnight. PhotoCredit:LPMureithi,09.10.2022

canbeovercome,suchascheapwaystocatalysewater.

n Technologicalprogresswillbemeasuredinseconds,and Informationcostswillplummet.

n Thefocusofwealthinthefuturewillbeknowledge,not materialpossessions.

n Wehavetofacesquarelythecrisisofdemocracy characterisedbytrustdeficit,andtheprospectoffuturepolitibots addingtotheconfusion.Multiple-andinter-generational perspectivesarecalledfor.AttendingtheForumwasSophie Howe,futuregenerationscommissionerforWales,thefirst countryintheworldtohavesuchanagency.Itisimportant toinstitutionalizeparliamentarycommitteesonthefuture pioneeredbyFinlandandministriesforthefutureproposedby KimStanleyRobinsoninabookofasimilartitlepublishedin2020.

n Whoownsthefuture?Colonizingthefutureposesareal threattoparticipationandequity,justasitwasinthepastand thepresent;experientialfuturesisalivingtestimonytothis phenomenon.

n Datacanbeusedforgoodorneutrallywithrespectto persons.ButthedangerofOrwelliansurveillancecapitalismin themisuse,abuse,andcommercializationofpersonalinformation surreptitiouslyisarealthreat,borderingonexistential.

n Theimplicationofnow-ismandshort-termismdenies businesses,societies,andgovernmentstheopportunitytomake decisionsthatpromotesustainabledevelopment,whichisin everyoneʼsbestinterest.

n Humanlongevityandthedeathofdeath;Advancesin genetics,genomics,medicalresearch,andhealthcarehave lengthenedhumanlifeexpectancy.Thistrendcouldreachthe longevityescapevelocity,makingold-age-relatednaturaldeath extinct,leavingitasamereoption.

Theimportanceofdevelopingforesightcapacityateverylevel cannotbeoverstatedasapowerfultoolfor“unveilingstrategic pathways;enablingsocietiestoflourish,economiestogrow, countriestothrive,andhumankindtoprosper.”VictorVahidi

Source:DubaiPrivateTours|OurSpectacularDubai(alexanderroberts.com)

Mottigivesadefinitivestatementtothiseffectinhisemailof31st October2022tomembersoftheWFSF:“Effectivefuturesstudies couldchangethecourseofworldhistory.”

WhatʼsinaName?

Inthefuturistsʼlexicon,thefutureisseenasaplurality --manyfutures,notjustone.But,whenfuturesbecome foresight,andapreferredfutureispinneddown,thefocuson onefuturetoactualizeispossible,thoughuncertaintyasto itsexactreificationremainssincethisisintrinsicinallthings future.Inthiscontext,oneappreciatesthelackofansinthe nameofDubaiFutureFoundationanditsannualevent,the DubaiFutureForum.Instead,thefutureofDubaiandthe instrumentalizationofitsnear-miraculousdevelopmentis identifiedinanddrivenbyamagnumopusofHisHighness SheikhMohammedbinRashidAlMaktoum,namelyMyVision:

58 HUMANFUTURES

ChallengesintheRaceforExcellence.

Canthisone-futureviewbesaidofthenewkidon theblock,namelyGlobalFutureFoundation(GFS)? DubaiFutureFoundationsignedaMemorandumof Understanding(MoU)withtheWorldFuturesStudies Federation(WFSF),PublicSectorForesightNetwork (PSFN),TheMillenniumProject(TMP),andthe AssociationofProfessionalFuturists(APF)toestablish GFStodefinepathwaysforfuturecollaboration,joint research,andknowledge-sharingopportunities.This MOUwillfillthevacuumleftbythefadingoutof WorldFutureSociety(WFS).Beingheadquarteredatthe MuseumoftheFuture,GFSwillestablishDubaiasthe homefortheworldʼsfuturistsandvisionaries.

AtasessionofTheMillenniumProjectPlanning Committee(TMP-PC),Iaskedatrivialquestiononwhat thenameDubaimeansinliteralterms.Inhisreply, MuhammadAlmheiri,TMPDubaiChair,indicatedthat thenameʼsrootisFrenchdeuxbaie,meaning“twobays,” Romanized(Wikipedia)asDubayy.

Betweenthosetwobays,inthevicinityofthenarrow StraitofHormuz,thefutureishappeninginrealtime.

FinalObservation

The2022DubaiFutureForumwasheavyontechnological andeconomicspaces,notsomuchonotherhuman domains–likethesocialandcultural--thatcouldcausallaytherest.Suchgapsinsystemiccomplexitycouldbe addressedinfutureforumsonsustainablefutures.Inthis,the symbolismofthemuseumstructureistelling.Itsovalshape representshumanity.Thecentreofthebuilding,locatedat approximatelythecentreoftheCityofDubai,isanoculus. Doesthatepitomizeanall-see-througheye,atreasuretrove ofunknowns,oragravitationalblackhole?Thefuturecould beamélangéofalltheseandmore.

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AFTERMOST

AFTERMOST: 2022INREVIEW

Co-authoredby RalphMercer, ChatGPTandGrammarly

ONE oftheconstantthemesinHumanFuturesthisyear hasbeentomaketheʻfuturesfieldʼmoreaccessible andstructuredthroughfuturesliteracy.Ourlistserverʼs articlesandemailtraffichavealsohighlightedthat thegatesarecrumblingintheoldinstitutions;truth,science, democracies,universities,andinclusiveness.Unfortunately,the solutionshavepolarizedemailtrafficinthosewhoseethefutureas arichdomainofthepostqualitativeinvestigationsandthosewho quantitativelyplotacourseintothefuturebasedonsocialdata.For themostpart,therichdiscussionhasgoneunrecordedwithinthe coversoftheHumanFuturesMagazine,whichisapity.Collectively, thecontributionstothemagazinereverberatewiththediversity offuturistpractices,showcasingthedepthofprofessionalism andexperiencethatisthecoreelementoftheWFSF.TheHuman Futuresmagazinein2023willencourageustochallengethe comfortableandacceptableandtolookatthingsinnewways.

Thefuturemostpeopleontheplanetlivewithisaproductof thecollectivenarrativeofdominantinfluencersandthelimited involvementofthepopulation,eitherthroughlackofagencyor inattention.Itisafuturethatfollowsthepathofleastresistance, whereweconsiderlivingwith;covid,climatechange,political corruption,inflation,fakenews,andconflictasthenewnormal.

HUMANFUTURES 63

Narrativesabouttheimpactoftechnologyonourlives,jobs, privacy,andsocialfabricthatenvisionutopiananddystopian futuresweavethroughtheimagesofthefuturewewantinequal measure.Thelayersofdominantnarratives,structuresandcore beliefsallworktodisempowerandgivetheillusionoflimited personalagency.

JacquesRancièreʼsphilosophysuggeststhatfictionisnot removedfromrealitybutinsteadsaturatedbyit.Fictioncan challengerealitytobendandtransformitself,creatingfriction thatcanshapethefuture.Theʻfuturesʼisaboutcreatinga plausibleimageofthefutureandchallengingwhatiscomfortable andaccepted.Thismeansquestioningourhumanistictendencies andrecognizingthattechnologyisessentialforenvisioningany possiblefuture.Ithelpsusunderstandhowtechnologycanbe usedforgoodandshapeourfuture.Weneedtobeconsciousof ourrelationshipwithtechnologytodevelopsocietyʼsconceptof anacceptableimageofthehuman.Itisalsoessentialtochallenge thecomfortablefuturesthatareoftenacceptedandinsteadlook formorerebelliousapproaches.

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Futuresgroundedinhumanismareaboutcreatinga plausibleimageofthefuturethatisachievableand“justa matterofcommonsense.”Ourcomfortable,measurable, “well-laidplans”cannotshapethefuture;commonsense isthecorrosivesafegroundthatworkstostifleandresist change.Myongoingobservationspointtothetendencyof individualstodisempowerthemselvesinthefaceofofficial data.Self-interesthasbecomeasurvivalskillinsulatingpeople fromchoicesthatnegativelyaffecttheirqualityoflife.The separationofhumansfromtheirworldandtheexploitation

oftheplanetasaresourcedamagesourenvironment.Itturns ablindeyetoourresponsibilityforthedamagewecreateto societyandtheearth.

Thereisnodoubtweareinatransitorymoment;weare witnessingthedeathofmanyoftheorthodoxiesthatheldthe fabricofsocietiestogether.Futuristsneedtoconsiderthatthe boundarybetweentheusedfutureandthefutureweneedis primarilydefinedbypowerandprivilegewhileprovidingasafe momenttohelpindividualsallowthemselvespermissionto hopeandseeabolderdisruptivefuturethatexcitesthem.

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