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Futures of a complex world

Futures of a complex World​​​​​​​

Our world is increasingly riddled with complexity, more so than at any other time in history. For instance, the continuous growth of cities requires more infrastructure, more transport, more mobility. Or take a look at the EU, which has become an ever more complicated arrangement between European countries, balancing between centralised policies and national sovereignty. Our world's complexity is constantly growing. 

To understand the challenges of our time, we need systems thinking to grasp the complexity of our world. At its core is to see the inter-relationships rather than linear cause-and-effect chains, and in seeing processes of change rather than snapshots. All futures studies are ultimately connected to a systems approach. Since systems thinking is a way of interpreting the universe as a series of interconnected and inter-related wholes, it offers us the tools to manage complexity we observe around us.

This collection is based on the conference Futures of a Complex World that took place on 12-13 June 2017 in Turku, Finland, and is presented in cooperation with the Finland Futures Research at the University of Turku. It focuses on central challenges in a world of uncertain developments and the need for sustainable futures, as well as critical examination of futures research and its contributions.

  1. The relationship between media and politics in Iran is significantly complicated and multidimensional. Although the so-called independent press and news media are being published in a regular basis, the entire...

    Authors: Sara Talebian and Hamed Talebian
    Citation: European Journal of Futures Research 2018 6:8
  2. In the present work, a set of future studies were implemented in order to answer the following question: What will the future scenarios be within the next 5 years regarding new technologies in the public educa...

    Authors: Matías Mateu, Cristóbal Cobo and John Moravec
    Citation: European Journal of Futures Research 2018 6:6
  3. The current business environments are increasingly dominated by the networked and systemic conceptualisation of value creation. However, surprisingly, little is known about the explicit and symbolic (inter)rel...

    Authors: Sanna Ketonen-Oksi
    Citation: European Journal of Futures Research 2018 6:5
  4. The National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP) has conducted foresight activities for decades. In recent years, the speed of social change has increased and the complexity in politics and eco...

    Authors: Miki Kuribayashi, Kazuhiro Hayashi and Shinichi Akaike
    Citation: European Journal of Futures Research 2018 6:4
  5. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardio-vascular problems, diabetes, cancer, multi-skeletal disorders, depression, neurologic disorders and many more are the major cause of health problems and death in...

    Authors: Beatrix Wepner and Susanne Giesecke
    Citation: European Journal of Futures Research 2018 6:2
  6. Change makers are visionaries who wish to bring change to their respective fields. As technological change is accelerating, it is relevant to consider, how the way and what we teach can evolve with the future ...

    Authors: Vikram Munigala, Päivi Oinonen and Kalevi Ekman
    Citation: European Journal of Futures Research 2017 6:1
  7. Science diplomacy links the two policy domains of foreign affairs and science policy. Competitive thinking and the ways in which this affects global challenges are now putting the globalisation trends in scien...

    Authors: Jos Leijten
    Citation: European Journal of Futures Research 2017 5:20
  8. Futures studies argue that the future cannot be predicted, but rather alternative futures can be explored and preferred futures can be imagined. Furthermore, our images of the futures can be a resource that in...

    Authors: Ana Nuutinen, Riikka Räisänen and Päivi Fernström
    Citation: European Journal of Futures Research 2017 5:18
  9. Future scenarios are often used to address long-term challenges characterised by uncertainty and complexity, as they can help explore different alternative future pathways. Scenarios can therefore be a useful ...

    Authors: Eléonore Fauré, Yevgeniya Arushanyan, Elisabeth Ekener, Sofiia Miliutenko and Göran Finnveden
    Citation: European Journal of Futures Research 2017 5:17
  10. Digital transformation is rapidly causing major, even disruptive changes in many industries. Moreover, global developments like digital platforms (cloud) and IoT create fundamentally new connections at many le...

    Authors: Petri Kettunen and Maarit Laanti
    Citation: European Journal of Futures Research 2017 5:16
  11. Mediatisation of the world and the increasing power of social networks, means that consumers’ choices are more and more based on identity play, gaining social currency and self-branding. Furthermore the choice...

    Authors: Hanna Willman-Iivarinen
    Citation: European Journal of Futures Research 2017 5:14
  12. We are living in a world of increasing interconnectedness through digitalisation and globalisation, exacerbating environmental conditions, severe economic challenges, uneven distribution of wealth, and geopoli...

    Authors: Sirkka Heinonen, Joni Karjalainen, Juho Ruotsalainen and Karlheinz Steinmüller
    Citation: European Journal of Futures Research 2017 5:12
  13. Scenarios are a well-established methodology used in foresight. In this paper a three-phased process is described to maximise relevance for policy-making of a set of scenarios. As a first step, four scenarios ...

    Authors: Anne-Katrin Bock and Laurent Bontoux
    Citation: European Journal of Futures Research 2017 5:10