Visioneering – How we shape the future matters

My colleague Martin Sand and I have edited a special section in the Journal NanoEthics with a focus on visioneering – the ‘engineering’ of visions of the future. When we think the future it is important to keep in mind, that futures, the different imaginations about the future that circulate in society, are constructed. And they can be constructed otherwise – and sometimes must to enable progressive change.

“The question of power is indeed an inherent element of visioneering. While most human beings are capable of imagining futures, the ability to make others believe in ‘your’ future is something quite different, as is the ability to use resources to pave a particular path to this future, i.e., to build technical prototypes, to create experimental arrangements in society, to influence policy making, to invest in specific companies or to build effective political organization. ‘Thinking through futures highlights something not articulated in much social science, which is that power should be viewed as significantly a matter of uneven future-making.’ [39] Following this idea put forward by John Urry, better understanding visioneering may also allow us to better understand the powers that make futures and, eventually, discover how such futures could be made differently.” https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11569-017-0293-6

 

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