The futures of humanity
Exploring the liminal spaces between sustainability, equity and planetary justice
26 October 2023 (Thursday), 11:15-13:00, imagine3

Futures Studies in Conflicts and Peace Processes

My doctoral research explores the relationship between imagined futures, anticipation, and the movement towards violence or non-violence in complex conflict systems and peace processes. However, this is not the first attempt to connect futures studies with peace and conflict studies. These fields have already been bridged by peace and futures scholars and practitioners seeking to contribute to a more peaceful world. Elise Boulding connected the role of the imagination in constructing peaceful futures to cultures of peace (Boulding 1996). Francis Hutchinson focused on education, and how to teach children to imagine beyond violence (Hutchinson 1994; Hutchinson and Herborn 2012). Ivana Milojevic uses a narrative foresight approach to connect futures thinking with conflict resolution (Milojević 2013). Adam Kahane’s experiences moved him from a corporate foresight tradition to the conflict resolution space after witnessing the power of the well-known Mont Fleur scenarios in South Africa (Kahane, le Roux, and Maphai; Kahane 2012). International bodies, including the UN system, have embraced an interest in applying futures studies to their work on conflict and peace (‘Applying Foresight and Alternative Futures to the United Nations Development Assistance Framework’ 2016; ‘UNDPPA - Futuring Peace’). Various foresight practioners have also connected their work over the years explicitly with peace building or conflict resolution (Finlev 2012; ‘Peaceful Futures - NGFP’ 2023). And these are just a few highlights. This talk will be an opportunity to share and create a better understanding of the theoretical and practical work that has already been done to connect futures with peace.

Doctoral candidate
University of Lincoln