Mila Popovich Presents Bring Forth Futures

First International Conference on ANTICIPATION

Mila Popovich presents Bring Forth Futures at the First International Conference on ANTICIPATION taking place in Trento, Italy on November 5-7, 2015.

Mila Popovich Presents Bring Forth Futures

First International Conference on Anticipation

The UNESCO Chair in Anticipatory Systems, together with WAAS-World Academy of Art and Science, ISSS-International Society for the Systems Sciences, the Advanced Design Network, and the Department of Sociology and Social Sciences of the University of Trento, organizes the First International Conference on ANTICIPATION on November 5-7, 2015 in Trento, Italy.

Anticipation is coming to the fore as an emerging field of study that is influencing a wide variety of disciplines. This international conference will explore the interaction among anticipation, uncertainty and complexity. Some questions that we intend to raise are these:

  • When does anticipation occur in behavior and life?
  • What types of anticipation can be distinguished?
  • What structures and processes are necessary for anticipatory action?
  • How can anticipation be modeled?

A better and more complete understanding of anticipation and its effects will improve theories and models of individual and collective human behavior and its consequences. The ability to anticipate in complex environments may improve the resilience of societies facing threats from a global proliferation of agents and forces by articulating uncertainties through anticipatory processes.

Mila Popovich Presents Bring Forth Futures

There is a growing consensus that we are going through what many refer to as a ‘great transformation’ from an epoch based on the exploitation of nature for the benefit of a few to an epoch that can, hopefully, be more sustainable and just. To defuse a narrow set of monopolizing discourses that tend to colonize the visions of global futures, we need multitudes of voices to claim, create, and bring forth their own and more spirited futures. The voices that currently dominate the discussion tend to be from regions located mainly in the global North where there are well-resourced institutions of higher learning and relatively easy access to publication outlets. This impoverishes the global discourses that shape the way futures and transition dynamics are anticipated. This raises challenging questions about what we imagine to be the key agents of change. Fresh voices tend to come exactly from such peripheral places and geo-political and socio-cultural interstices. In anticipation, we ask:

  • Whose futures?
  • Who decides on the most appropriate futures?
  • What kind of individual does it take to carry out comprehensive socio-cultural transformation?

As a gathering and coalescing of visionary voices from and across a vast range of regions, disciplines, and domains to address a spectrum of relationships from individual and collective conditions, to other life forms, and our shared environment, this session seeks to harness the energies of both mythical envisioning, science fiction foresight, scientific analysis and philosophical inquiry. We want to summon the voices that speak of the probable, possible, unforeseen, unthinkable, emerging and unknown – the voices that have the courage, the passion, and the vision to anticipate, create, and bring forth their futures on the living horizon.

The objective of the session is to explore this theme from the perspective of the emerging discipline of anticipation to engender a global research effort that results in a book that brings together a wide range of voices on the future. The core question that will be addressed is as follows: it is 2050 and you are looking back on the year 2015 – ‘what would I have liked to say in 2015 about the future and the transition that needed to take place?’


Prof. Mark Swilling, University of Stellenbosch

Dr. Mila Popovich, University of Colorado at Boulder; Associate Fellow, World Academy of Art and Science; Associate Expert, European Commission

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *