Chairperson: Ali Baykal
Date/ Time: 12 September, 14:00 - 15:00
Spurring innovation, enhancing competitiveness, the race to improve the performance of educational systems, all are familiar and pervasive imperatives for policy makers and researchers throughout the world. In part these pre-occupations have been inspired by the many examples of amazing achievements in terms of economic and social development as well as the discovery and transmission of knowledge. Yet, as social scientists know full well, correlation does not necessarily entail causation and phenomena like socio-economic development or systems for assuring stocks and flows of knowledge are more emergent mixtures of continuity and discontinuity, combinations of the familiar and novel, than the pre-determined outcomes of prescient planning. Are we doomed, like the proverbial drunk, to look for our keys under the streetlight even though we know that we lost them in the park? Even worse, are we Sisyphus like condemned to repeatedly search for keys? One alternative to being imprisoned by existing models or incessantly returning to yesterday’s quests is to call into question the way the future is used. In this keynote address an alternative model for imagining the future will be used to call into question the anticipatory assumptions that play such a powerful role in what we notice, what we pay attention to, and what we do in the present.
Riel Miller, PhD is one of the world’s leading strategic foresight designers and practitioners. He worked as a senior manager in the Ontario public service (Ministries of Finance; Universities; and Industry) and for some thirteen years in total at the OECD in Paris (Directorates of Economics; Science and Technology; Education; Territorial Development; Development Centre; International Futures Programme). In 2005 he founded an independent consultancy xperidox (which means knowledge through experience) to advise clients on how to use the future more effectively. In June 2012, he took up the appointment as Head of Foresight for UNESCO in Paris.