Exploring Liminalities
Creating Spaces for Unlimited Futures

Performative Postnormal Times (PNT), v3: A Workshop Session for Empowering Futures

24 October 2023 (Tuesday), 11:30-14:00, imagine2
Session Chairs
Co director, Jigsaw Foresight
Session Description

Since Sardar welcomed us to Postnormal Times in 2010, researchers have refined the concepts (Jones, Serra del Pino, & Mayo) and described postnormal phenomena (Van Leemput, Jones, & Hyokki; Schultz). Postnormal change is essentially liminal: it is an open space of emergent action, holding no answers. It carves lenses for focusing our attention, for crafting tools and approaches, for generating new questions.

We will curate an interactive, experiential session to explore postnormal theory and its key concepts – e.g., chaos, complexity, contradictions – via a planning simulation. This simulation will illustrate postnormal emergence in relation to specific planning choices by introducing disruptive events (i.e., drought, floods). The activity will begin with a community planning exercise focused on supply and use of water through 2045 in an arid region. Each participant will enact a character/stakeholder (eg, industrialist, park manager, mayor, resident, co-op board member, farmer, power utility director, indigenous leader, wolvesʻ advocate). Workshop facilitators will introduce disruptive events to simulate postnormal potentialities.

Participants will debriefed their experience with a “scavenger hunt” to articulate the elements of PNT analysis and consider the futures implications of their groupʻs emergent scenario. The session will provide a unique opportunity for participants to probe the relationships and interactions between the core concepts and characteristics of PNT. This creative, generative approach enacts the openness of the postnormal solutions space. It also develops the abstract ideas from our theory as lived elements of change and demonstrates their place in the foresight toolkit.

Please register for this event. Participation is free of charge, however we require to register.