The 4th International Conference on Anticipation provides an interdisciplinary meeting ground in which researchers, scholars and practitioners who are engaging with anticipation and anticipatory practices can come together to deepen their understanding and create productive new connections.
The overarching aim of the conference and of the interdisciplinary field of Anticipation Studies is to create new understandings of how individuals, groups, institutions, systems and cultures use ideas of the future to act in the present. This conference will build on prior conferences in Trento, Italy (2015, led by Roberto Poli), London, England (2017, led by Keri Facer) and Oslo, Norway (2019, led by Andrew Morrison).
This fourth conference will emphasize questions of justice. Living with intractable and ineradicable uncertainty leads humans to read the tea leaves, consult the oracle, and tell imaginative stories. Increasingly, we tend to reach for forecasting, statistical analysis and data-driven scenarios, oftentimes narrowing the production of particular types of futures. The Anticipation Conference in 2022 is devoted to opening up the study of anticipation to new voices, new spaces and new approaches.
We encourage submissions that pursue diverse topics– climate change, transitions to justice, AI, energy, poverty reduction, economic systems, health and wellbeing, innovation, food security— across a range of sectors, and embracing different disciplinary perspectives and methodological approaches. We especially invite contributions that center questions of equity, fairness, diversity and inclusivity and question who imagines futures and with which impacts.
We invite proposals that speak to the following themes and questions, intended to encourage conversations between researchers, practitioners and scholars addressing anticipatory phenomena and practices in different ways. The formats provided offer openings for emerging and challenging ideas and ways to communicate them creatively and critically. We invite papers, curated sessions, techniques workshops and new ideas sessions with more information below on formats.
How can futuring and anticipation be a shared public good?
How are spaces for public anticipation being designed and implemented? Who is centered and excluded from these?
How can communities be empowered to create and act on their own futures?
What impedes and enables engagement with plural futures?
What are the best mechanisms for nurturing a broad societal capacity for anticipation?
How is power wielded, shared, transferred or negotiated in anticipatory practices?
How do anticipatory regimes produce and/or reimagine governance?
How do the political dimensions of anticipation promote or impede progress towards more just futures?
Which worldviews, principles or practices are involved in ethical– and unethical– anticipations?
What do the flows of knowledge on anticipation between the global north and the global south look like?
How is anticipation connected to emancipation, revolution, activism and social movements?
What methodological and ontological perspectives are opened up through indigenous futuring?
How do different cultures, religions and traditions anticipate?
What can ethnography, sociology, comparative studies, regional studies, and other disciplines show us about cultural variations of anticipation?
How do community and organizational infrastructures promote futures thinking and anticipatory capacity building?
What is the role of emotion– delight, serendipity, surprise, anxiety, dread and wonder– in anticipatory thinking and practice?
Which forms of literacies buttress anticipatory capacities?
What is the role of educational institutions in fostering capacities for anticipation and for critique of anticipatory work?
What creative, artistic, design-based and avant-garde approaches are in play?
How can new media, VR/AR, immersive experience design and games be deployed to activate better futures?
What is the interaction between the analogue and digital, the live and virtual in anticipatory practice and foresight?
What media and IT systems are being used to create future narratives, and what types of affordances, limitations and trade-offs do they enfold?
How can temporality studies problematize and pluralize anticipatory practices?
How is temporality understood at different scales and by different disciplines?
How does temporality impact governance and justice?
What are the histories of the future? Which concepts and practices help us to use the past to inform alternative futures?
What is the role of intergenerational dialogue in anticipation?
Despite (or perhaps because of!) a chaotic organization of disciplines, intellectual histories, professional practices, anticipation studies has an ethos of freeing up the possibility space. We encourage new-comers and those who do not neatly fit in categories. Therefore, we are also open to surprise and want to hear from you. If you do not see your scholarship or practice in these themes, send us your ideas.
To inspire interactivity and inclusion, whilst maximizing the conviviality of being in the same place at the same time, the following formats are available:
These 90 minute sessions are intended to share new knowledge and generate interdisciplinary discussion. These sessions should address one (or more) of the questions outlined above and actively involve a number of different disciplines. Session Curators should gather 3-4 others to co-create a cohesive session, designed to be interactive.
We are keen to encourage more diverse formats in these curated sessions. They might include, for example, a participatory experience that invites embodied exploration of different concepts or practices of anticipation; a symposium of four papers and a discussant; a set of multiple inputs of different forms, designed to elicit conversation and reflection; a guided walk with place-based interventions. The remit is to facilitate deep conversation and reflection amongst the conference participants. The choice of format lies with the Session Curators.
Proposals should be of no more than 1000 words and should include: an abstract outlining the substantive issues to be explored in the session and how these relate to the conference themes, a summary of the format being proposed (as well as any specific technical/space requirements where necessary), a (short) summary of the contributions of each of the curators as well as of any underlying research, scholarship or practice upon which the session is based, and details for the main person to contact.
You can also submit a paper which will be organized into similar themes by the conference committee and discussed collectively in a chaired session. Proposals should be of no more than 1000 words and should include: an abstract outlining the substantive issues to be explored in the paper, a discussion of how the paper relates to the existing research, literature and/or practice in the field, and the connection with conference themes.
New Ideas Sessions
These sessions offer a space for participants to share emerging research, theories or ideas that may not yet be ready for a full paper session. Participants will have 5 minutes to share their ideas, with 5 minutes reserved for discussion and feedback. Proposals should be of no more than 500 words and should include: an abstract outlining the emerging ideas to be discussed, the desired feedback, and how these ideas relate to the current state of the field and conference themes.
These sessions are designed to enable practitioners and researchers to test out or share new techniques in the practice or study of anticipation. These are hands-on experiences with high levels of interactivity explicitly designed to garner feedback to improve the approach. Workshop Organizers will specify either 30 or 90 minutes for the workshop and indicate the maximum number of participants. Proposals should be of no more than 1000 words and should include: details of the processes and format of the session, the intellectual or artistic foundations of the workshop, and the nature of participant experience. Workshop Organizers will be expected to provide their own materials (but should indicate any special technical or space requirements).