Futuribles Journal n° 404

Territoires, réseaux

Conceptive Foresight: For an Open Future – A Theoretical Approach and its Illustration in the World of Transport

Par

New technologies, “big data”, new analytic techniques (algorithms etc.) –the tools available to future studies experts for studying how variables change over time during a foresight exercise have improved considerably in recent years. And yet is it the purpose of foresight studies to provide highly detailed analyses and to predict or produce the future in a precise way? Surely not, says Georges Amar, or at least not exclusively. As he suggests in this article, the important thing today in the foresight field is “rather, to open up the future, to give it some air, some room for manoeuvre.” That is why Amar argues here for a non-predictive form of foresight, more focussed on the paradigm shifts that are likely to happen and on the possibilities opened up by the emerging paradigms.

In support of his argument, Georges Amar draws on the paradigm shifts underway in the transport world (the emergence of the “transmodal”, “mobile life” etc.) and their socio-economic effects (in terms of usage, and tools and resources, but also on the actors in the sector). Understood in this way, this foresight approach, which he describes as “conceptive”, enables new cognitive resources to be identified, offering a fertile, open future both for the actors of today and for future generations.

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