The futures of futures studies
Pushing the boundaries of futures thinking
26 October 2023 (Thursday), 10:00-11:00, cowork

Beyond Techno-Solutionism: Futures of Futures Studies in the Arab World

Exploring futures in the Arab world has been a prosperous business. In the last decade, governments, and other segments of the society, have grown more preoccupied with the future as turbulence and uncertainty increase across the region. Strategic national plans were launched to present the official version of the desired future, as numerous think tanks and projects were launched in line with these endeavours.
Yet, most of these plans are invested with “techno-solutionism.” It is the deep belief that technology can lead the future of the society and trigger the desired changes, mitigate the perceived and actual challenges and bring about more opportunities. According to this view, it is technology can only revolutionize education, level up public health care and provide jobs. This line of thought is also obvious with regard urbanisation and the future of Arab cities. They tend to be smart and replicating a hyper modern Dubai.
This presentation is an attempt to evaluate futures thinking in the Arab world and its presumptions including techno-solutionism. It is also trying to imagine alternative paths of empowering human-focused modes of futures thinking that goes beyond techno-solutionism. It presumes that Arab societies are in need for introducing futures in education, culture and public awareness more than depending in technology as the only possible way to the future.

Head of Strategic Foresight Program
Future for Advanced Research and Studies