Futures as Living Legacy

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The preparations for the upcoming conference “Futures Studies Tackling Wicked Problems” are well underway. It is with great sadness we learned that our colleague and friend Anita Rubin just passed away after her brave and tough struggle with cancer. During the last days of her life, she was actively involved in planning the forthcoming event.

I met Anita as early as 1980s when futures studies were being established in Finland. We were both active in the Finnish Society for Futures Studies and later even more closely worked in the FUTU project (Citizenship and Ecomodernisation in the Information Society. Futures Approach, 1996-1999 https://www.utu.fi/en/units/ffrc/research/project-archive/socio/Pages/futu.aspx) under the patronage of the Finnish pioneer of futures research, Professor Pentti Malaska. We both made our doctoral thesis within that project.

The ideas and works of dedicated futures researchers will live longer than the persons themselves. It is the legacy of prominent and passionate late Finnish futures researchers such as Pentti Malaska, Mika Mannermaa and Anita Rubin, as well as my former colleagues and friends from VTT, Torsti Kivistö and Yrjö Seppälä, that we have the pleasure of elaborating on and disseminating to future generations of futures researchers, decision-makers and great public as well.

UNESCO has declared the year of 2015 as the International Year of Light. Let the light of these futures thinkers shine on – their spirit and “signature topics” will no doubt be present as inspiring legacy in the Turku Conference: Anita Rubin – futures education, values and ethics; Pentti Malaska – planetary consciousness and neo-growth; Mika Mannermaa – evolutionary futures studies; Torsti Kivistö – evolution of consciousness; Yrjö Seppälä – alternative futures, neo-humanistic systems analysis and cybernetics.

The CLA Sessions to be chaired by Sohail Inayatullah and me in the conference will be paid tribute to Anita’s interest in CLA.

Sirkka Heinonen 

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