The futures of futures studies
Pushing the boundaries of futures thinking

Reframed futures as a counterfactual context for transformative learning - A critical reflection on the possibilities of construction and design principles for reframing in Futures Literacy Laboratories

The presentation aims to develop theory-driven possibilities of
construction and design principles for the reframe that apply across
Futures Literacy Laboratories (FLL). From a didactic perspective, the
reframe within FLL is the linchpin for building Futures Literacy (FL) as
the capability to imagine multiple futures: The reframe is intended to
invite FLL participants to overcome their anticipatory routines and
expand their imagination by confronting an unfamiliar image of the
future that is deemed neither probable nor desirable. Despite the
central role of the reframe in acquiring FL, a systematic approach to its
practical generation has been lacking hitherto. Therefore, the aim of the
presentation is to critically address this research gap and to attempt to
identify generally applicable rules for the creation of the reframe. To this end, transformative learning theory and counterfactual history, two
complementary bodies of theory that have proven relevant for a deeper
understanding of the reframe within FLL, are interrogated:
Transformative learning theory grounds the ongoing, sometimes
unsettling processes that participants undergo in FLL. In contrast,
counterfactual history provides springboards for the concrete construction of fictive thought experiments beyond prevailing consensuses in imagining the future. With the help of the examined theories, an ideal-typical ordering scheme can be elaborated that offers the facilitator of FLL a step-by-step guide to the generation of the reframe, whilst, at the same time, ensuring an explicit participant orientation and translating Riel Miller's presuppositional requirement of a non-deterministic way of using the future.

Foresight Manager
Z_punkt The Foresight Company
Lecturer
Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin