Topic Progress:

Summary of lesson

In this lesson you got an insight of the principles and foundation that are imperative for working in and with aspects from Futures Studies. You learned about the different levels to distinguish professional from unprofessional Foresight work. Further you learned on how and why different stakeholders get involved in the Futures research process. We also wanted to stress that foresight is not simply finding out about the different futures but that is has much to do with reflecting on findings as well as personal attitudes. To round this lesson of and make the concepts of Futures Studies applicable for your line of work, one of the major principle of foresight work, that of system thinking, was discussed in greater depth.

References and further information

Papers and Articles

  • Nicolescu, Basarab (2014) “Methodology of Transdisciplinarity.” World Futures 70(3-4). Elsevier Science Ltd.: 186 – 199.
  • Slaughter 1996 Futures Studies From individual to social capacity, Futures Vol 28 751 – 762
  • Dux, G. (1992): Die Zeit in der Geschichte. Ihre Entwicklungslogik vom
  • Mythos zur Weltzeit. S. 173f
  • Geißler, K. and Orthey, F.:. “Nicht weiterwissen. Das Lernen und seine falschen Versprechungen. Lektionen aus dem 11. September”. Frankfurter Rundschau (05.09.2002): 22
  • Chesneaux, J. (1985): “Vom Bürger zum Verbraucher. Wie läßt sich die Zukunft in Bewegung bringen?” Übs. Baier, Lothar. In Zukunft. Berichte über den Wandel des Fortschritts. Hg. Hammann, Winfried und Kluge, Thomas.. S. 189-212. S. 191
  • Strachan G. (2009) Systems thinking – the ability to recognize and analyse the inter-connections within and between systems in The Handbook of Sustainability Literacy,
  • Stibbe, Arran (Ed)  (2009) The Handbook of Sustainability Literacy: skills for a changing world. Green Books.
  • Monat J. P., Thomas F. Gannon (2015), What is Systems Thinking? A Review of Selected Literature Plus Recommendations, American Journal of Systems Science;  4(1): 11-26,
  • Dorner D. (1997), The Logic of Failure: Recognizing and Avoiding Error in Complex Situations, Basic Books, pp. 240
  • Parsons T., The Social System (2005), Routledge Sociology Classics, Taylor & Francis e-Library, pp. 448
  • Gregory P. R., Stuart R. C. (2014), The Global Economy and Its Economic Systems, South-Western CENGAGE Learning,  
  • Pidwirny, M. (2018). Understanding Physical Geography, 1st Edition. Our Planet Earth Publishing  
  • General Assembly Resolution on Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, (A/RES/64/236)  
  • Healy T. (2005), The Unanticipated Consequences of Technology, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics,  
  • Bibus C. J. (2012), Lessons from Dietrich Dörner’s The Logic of Failure, Wharton County Junior College, History Department,  
  • Ollhoff J., Walcheski M., Making the jump to systems thinking, The Systems Thinker Vol. 17, No
  • 5, Pegasus Communications


  1. Slaughter, Richard 2004: Futures Beyond Dystopia. Creating Social Foresight. Routledge
  2. Miller, Riel, 2018, Transforming the future, Routledge – open access:
  3. Kristian Borch, Technical University of Denmark, Sandra Dingle, University of Malta and Michael Søgaard Jørgensen, Aalborg University, Denmark (Ed)
  4. Participation and Interaction in Foresight, Dialogue, Dissemination and Visions”
  6. Locke, J. (1690): An Essay concerning Humane Understanding
  7. Arendt, Hannah (1981): The Life of the Mind