Building peace in the minds of men and women

Launch event for the co-publication "Transforming the Future: Anticipation in the 21st Century"

When, local time: 
Monday, 2 July 2018 -
4:00pm to 7:00pm
France, Paris
Type of Event: 
Category 8-Symposium
Riel Miller,

The new UNESCO-Routledge co-publication “Transforming the Future: Anticipation in the 21st Century” will be launched with co-sponsorship of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF) and the International Science Council. Speakers will present the findings of this landmark study into why and how people “use the future”, explaining how UNESCO champions Futures Literacy.

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. This book contains initial results, presenting the underlying theory and practice of developing the capability called Futures Literacy.

The event highlights the publication of Transforming the Future and marks the “end of the beginning” phase of exploring Futures Literacy at UNESCO. In this initial, now completed phase, the aim was to test key concepts and methods. The book describes an innovative Futures Literacy Framework, built on advances in anticipatory systems theory and a set of design principles used to implement collective intelligence knowledge creation processes that “use the future” (or Futures Literacy Labs - FLL).

The second “prototyping phase”, which is now under way, 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; Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), Malaysia), and a number of others in the pipeline.

In addition, a path-breaking research initiative, funded by the OCP Foundation of Morocco, will enable in-depth and rigorous testing of Futures Literacy Laboratories in Africa. The Imagining Africa’s Futures research project will run from December 2017 to November 2020, with an allocation of 3 million dollars.

The event will be followed by a cocktail to continue the discussion.

Confirmed Speakers:
Nada Al-Nashif (Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, UNESCO);
Firmin Matoko (Assistant Director-General of the Africa Department, UNESCO);
Bayo Akomolafe (Book contributor);
Geoffrey Boulton (Edinburgh University);
Sandra Coulibaly (IOF);
Kais Hammami (University of Carthage);
Sohail Inayatullah (UNESCO Chair, USIM, Malaysia);
Masamichi Kono (Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD);
Riel Miller (Book editor, UNESCO);
Ivana Milojević (Book contributor);
Ada Peter (Covenant University).