Round Table

Pre-Conference Session:

Round Table Discussion on Future Consciousness

Wednesday 10 June 2015 at 14.0016.00
Venue: Meeting room “Yhdistys”, 4rd floor, Turku School of Economics, Rehtorinpellonkatu 3, Turku, Finland

The round table discussion is an interactive and equal exchange of thoughts on future consciousness and its implications. The objective of the discussion is to deepen our understanding of human futures thinking processes both on the individual and group level.

Participants are invited to present thought-provoking open-ended questions, suggestions or hypotheses concerning futures consciousness and methods to examine or enhance it. The aim is to explore the issue from multiple perspectives. Findings, articles, publications and other key issues about future consciousness will be discussed together. The discussion will be documented and an edited version will be distributed to participants in June.

The round table is free of charge.
Please register and leave your thought-provoking question no later than 31 May using a separate registration form.

Facilitators and further information:

Leena Jokinen, Education Manager, leena.jokinen(a)
Johanna Ollila, Project Manager, johanna.ollila(a)

Finland Futures Research Centre
University of Turku


List of discussion topics/questions:

  1. The concept of consciousness is still somewhat unclear and diffuse. What are the emerging research strands and approaches on consciousness today and what we expect in near future?
  2. Is futures consciousness only individual/personal quality or could the concept be extended to wider community, organization or even up to systems level?
  3. What kinds of practical implications futures consciousness have? What we do or how we use futures consciousness?
  4. How to bring the future as an essential element in our everyday life and how to integrate these elements as core contents in our education system?
  5. Consciousness and ethics: what kind of ethical problems emerge e.g  from futures guidance or promoting futures thinking in general?
  6. We prefer in our futures-thinking usually rather optimistic or positive pictures of the future. But are they realistic? Do we close our eyes in front of the problems arising, new issues and threats to be faced by humankind in future? Is our optimism well based on facts, or purely on wishful thinking?
  7. One of the wicked problems of our time concerns the emerging future technologies; technologies that immediately after their release will have wider socio-technical consequences to the society (and even far-reaching consequences in more distant future such as those concerning freewill, transhumanism or technological singularity). These technologies are described in detail in conference papers and technical articles – of which their relevance for the everyday life does not necessarily become obvious. For people outside the research communities the technologies will not be visible until (and if) they “emerge” and are taken for granted in everyday use. The consequent research question is: How to bypass Coleridge’s paradoxical law (in Mumford, 1964), which dictates that: “The effects of the technology are only visible when it has already spread and stabilised, although the shape of the technology can only be affected before it has stabilised”?
  8. Can the managerial assessment of weak signals in the companies environment be measured objectively, since the weakness of signals is a perception and context dependent?



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