appears in Solutions, Volume 4 | Issue 6 | Page 9-14 | Mar 2014.
By Steven Cork, Kristin Alford, Nicky Grigg, John Finnegan, Beth Fulton, Michael Raupach
The Australia 2050: Living Scenarios project started in 2011, bringing together scientists from multiple disciplines to consider Australia’s possible futures. The output of this workshop was the book, “Negotiating our future: Living scenarios for Australia to 2050” which first articulated the challenges we face. Given the important and critical issues that were raised by these scientists, it’s important that these futures conversations are held more broadly and more inclusively.
The term “national conversation” seems to be gaining traction as a desirable activity where people talk with one another at a national scale about matters of national concern. But having a conversation about the future is difficult. So how might a nation go about doing it?
Phase II of the project was designed to explore multiple futures through genuine conversations with people who could add to and challenge the scientific perspective so as to seed a set of Living Scenarios. Our article in Solutions explores the challenges in having national conversations and developing living scenarios, and how we used an scenario archetype approach to develop the process for Phase II of the Australia 2050 project.