Historical Scenarios as a Tool of Anticipatory Action Learning: Climate Adaptation, Futures Thinking, and Historical Memory
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This paper reflects on the report "Societal Responses to Significant Change: An Historical Analysis" an early deliverable in the Australian Government funded South East Queensland Climate Adaptation Research Initiative (SEQCARI). Societal Responses to Significant Change reviewed 33 case studies developed by 12 researchers that illustrate the range of contextual responses to change in order to better understand the historical precedents for human adaptive capacity. Both responses to major sudden change and incremental change are considered. No particular priority is given to climate change as adaptive capacity is not restricted to issues of climate change alone but is a generic human response to environmental, social, political and economic change. Social learning and adaptive capacity does not occur in a vacuum. The historical profiling of responses to significant change illustrates how a range of factors contribute to a society's success or failure. These profiles take the form of scenarios that ground reflection on the future in how human societies and institutions have responded to challenges in the past. The historical scenarios offered in this paper are intended to clarify the interplay of these factors of scale and to elicit responses from stakeholder groups as part of the ongoing work of the SEQCARI project. Jim Dator's scenario archetypes of continued growth, collapse, disciplined society and transformation are used to order scenarios and to stimulate the thinking of stakeholder participants in the project encounter groups.
10th Conference of the International Federation of Scholarly Associations of Management (ISFAM 2010)
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Historical Studies not elsewhere classified