Our Role in Shaping the Future

by John Mahaffie on June 27, 2012

I am hoping you’ll take a moment to complete a quick SURVEY. It’s focused on how what people do shapes the future.

In late July my colleague Jennifer Jarratt and I will offer a conference session at the WorldFuture 2012 Conference called “Our Role in Shaping the Future“. We will explore the critical role of human agency: what you, and I, and anyone does to shape society, in shaping mankind’s future.

This is perhaps the seminal question for anyone engaged in foresight. We have to wonder: Does what we do matter? and, What human action makes a difference, even at the individual level?

Our session is on Saturday, July 27, 2012, at the conference in Toronto. Here is the session description:

Futures work depends on identifying patterns of change, understanding data and systems, determining forces, and drivers shaping an organization or a society. These are important. Less often explored is the idea of human agency. Human agency is our own ability to be actors and shapers of our own future and that of others. Our decisions and actions make a difference beyond ourselves.

Sometimes a decision is fateful because it opens a vision to the future far wider than the individual’s own path: Rachel Carson’s decision to write Silent Spring,for example. More often, it is an everyday act, such as taking a job, helping someone clarify a decision, or leading a group.

In this session we explore the idea of human agency and how to use it in shaping more positive futures in small and large ways. Attendees can participate in an online survey (at www.leadingfuturists.biz) of how and why people think about the future, their motivations, and, potentially, their changed behavior.

The SURVEY is our chance to gather your insights on how what people do matters to shaping the future. Please give us a few minutes of your time, if you can. There’s a link in the survey where you can ask for the results, too.

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Cindy Frewen (@Urbanverse) July 9, 2012 at 10:29 am

I’ll be there! looking forward to it. Saturday, 2pm Sheraton Toronto.

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