Expert panel discussion to review the Imagining Africa’s Futures Research Project

When :

from Monday 2 July, 2018
10:00
to Tuesday 3 July, 2018
17:30

Type of event :

Working group/Expert Meeting

Where :

UNESCO Headquarters, Room XV, 1 rue Miollis, 75015, Paris, France

Contact :

Riel Miller, r.miller@unesco.org ; Eva Feukeu Kwamou, ke.feukeu@unesco.org

As part of the implementation of the Imagining Africa’s Futures (IAF) project, some 20 Futures Literacy experts (researchers/practitioners) will gather to discuss in-depth the Draft Research Protocol for the Imagining Africa’s Futures project.

Imagining Africa's Futures (IAF) is an innovative three-year research initiative funded by the OCP Foundation of Morocco. It will allow in-depth and rigorous testing of collective intelligence knowledge creation processes that use-the-future in Africa. These testing processes or Futures Literacy Labs (FLL) are the core of the Imagining Africa’s Futures research project.

The future can only be imagined, since it does not yet exist. So, the question is, when humans engage in conscious imagining, why are we using our imaginations and how are we constructing what we imagine? Since late 2012 UNESCO, in its role as a global laboratory-of-ideas, has been exploring answers to these questions by running over 38 Futures Literacy Laboratories around the world. Understanding our primary assumptions when approaching the future is the basis of a capability called Futures Literacy.

A path-breaking research initiative, funded by the OCP Foundation of Morocco, will enable in-depth and rigorous testing of collective intelligence knowledge creation processes that use-the-future in Africa. These testing processes or Futures Literacy Labs (FLL) are the core of the three-year Imagining Africa’s Futures (IAF) research project.

Following an initial FL-catalyzing factors identification stage, the second, ‘prototyping phase’, that is now underway follows directly from the ‘proof-of-concept’ phase. A Global Futures Literacy Network is emerging on the foundation of the three existing UNESCO Chairs in Future Studies (Trento, Italy; Turku, Finland; USIM, Malaysia), five new ones submitted for 2018 (Greece, Netherlands, Tunisia, UK, Uruguay), and many more in the pipeline for 2019 (Chile, Nigeria, Morocco, South Africa, Thailand, etc.).

A preparatory discussion will take place from 10:00 to 12:30 on 2 July, aimed at clarifying the agenda and the key issues for debate at the expert panel on 3 July.

Valuable nodes of this network will attend the expert discussion to review a draft IAF Research Protocol elaborated by Dr. Ilkka Tuomi. The stage for this discussion will also be set, in part, by three initial Working Papers in the IAF Working Papers Series. These papers will be circulated in advance and cover the research (Bayo Akomolafe), teaching (Loes Damhof) and community engagement (Kewulay Kamara) dimensions of the Futures Literacy Centres being established in Africa.

Outline of the research topics:
- Anticipatory Assumptions: Research into the design principles and implementation rules of FLL that should be followed when attempting to detect and build awareness of anticipatory assumptions (AA).
- Authenticity: Design lead-up. Research into the design principles and implementation rules that increase the degree of ‘authenticity’ leading up to the FLL CIKC process.
- FLL CIKC process. Research into the design principles and implementation rules that increase the degree of ‘authenticity’ of collective intelligence knowledge creation processes in general and FLL specifically.
- Impact: Research into internal and external impact indicators arising out of the entire FLL process, from initiation, co-design to implementation and follow-up.
- Category theory formalisation: Research into the formulation of a category theory based formalisation of what happens in an FLL, specifically a Memory
- Evolutive Systems approach, as detailed in Transforming the Future (Chapter 3).

Researchers:
Bayo Akomolafe (The Emergence Network, India/Nigeria);
Loes Damhof (Hanze University, the Netherlands);
Andrée Ehresmann (University of Picardie Jules Verne, France);
Karim El Aynaoui (UM6P, Morocco);
Kwamou Eva Feukeu;
Ted Fuller (University of Lincoln, UK);
Lydia Garrido (Millenium Project, Uruguay);
Kais Hammami (Université de Carthage, Tunisia);
Sohail Inayatullah (Chaire UNESCO, USIM, Malaysia);
Hans Kåre Flø (Norwegian Academy of Technological Sciences, Norway)
Zhan Li (University of Southern California, US) ;
Irianna Lianaki Dedouli (PraxiNetwork, Greece)
Riel Miller (UNESCO);
Ivana Milojević (MetaFutures, Australia);
Ilkka Tuomi (Meaning Processing Ltd., Finland).