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Transcript of Four Futures
A review of why using a few of Dator's laws:
I. "The future" cannot be "studied" because "the future" does not exist.
This is an exercise to help us
II. "forecast" what cannot be "studied" (the first law) nor "predicted" (Dators second law).
III. Since there is no such thing as a "best case scenario" or a "worst case scenario" (Dator's third law), the four futures allows for multiple combinations to be explored seperately, but also taking into consideration the likelihood of an overlapping reality.
IV. This exercise asks its participants and those presented with the final product (you), to think about possible futures in ways they are not accustomed to thinking. This is useful in that "the most likely future" often turns out to be "the least likely future."
exploring multiple possibilities is HIGHLY desirable.
When thinking about the ideas and concepts presented in this project keep Dator's Seventh law in mind...
VII. "If futurists expect to be useful, they should expect to be ridiculed and for their ideas initially to be rejected."
If/when you find yourself questioning some or all of the ideas being presented, then the process of futures studies has begun....
A brief history of the project...
It started as a collaboration between the
UH school of Architecture and Political Science
The ideas explored in that class were
presented at WCC.
This was the first public presentation of the Campus project
Then a summer project ensued and continued with
written narratives surrounding the (not yet made) physical
Another semester of class collaboration
led to the physical representations we have presently
And a joint conference between the Architecture school
and the Political Science department. Including experts in the
field of Futures and Architecture design from around the globe.
Sequence of events....
The first joint class of students looked at the history of higher education from its orgins in Asia and Europe;
through its expansion and growth in the US;
then explored the specific nature of education here at UH Manoa.
From this research and with the guidance
of futures and architecture theories and methods, four
generic possible futures arose....
New Beginnings 2060: Survival +
Population: World-- 3 billion; Hawaii-- 400,00.
Environment: Still severely contaminated; sea level rise; and severe climate change.
Economy: Agriculture and aquaculture based on manual labor and simple machines.
Technology: Recycled technologies; new technologies that enhance food production.
Energy: Manual, renewable, with some bio-fuel and local electricity.
Culture: Focused on survival and enhancement with
already existing technologies.
Governance: Island-wide council of local representatibes.
Sustain 2060: Slow...but Steady
Population: World-- down a third to 5 billion; Hawaii-- down half to 600,000.
Environment: Severly degraded, sea-level rise, climate change and food shortages.
Economy: Necessary growth wothout waste; modest expansion through efficiency.
Technology: New and existing technology for environmental sustainability.
Energy: Few fossil fuels. Research for reliable renewable sources.
Culture: From consumerism to conservation; from materialism to spiritualism.
Governance: By scientists, engineers and other experts aimed at sustainability.
Transform 2060: Beyond Singularity to Dynamic Diversity.
Population: Trans-human, cyborg, artilects--too numerous and transient to count
Environment: Entirely artificial. Earth is a designed garden forever being molded,
created and re-created.
Economy: Abundance. Anything is a resource and nothing is waste.
Technology: Dominated by autonomous robots, and mind-controlling post humans.
Energy: Plentiful and cheap. From nuclear fusion and solar satellites.
Culture: Artificial, but Hawaii remains a real and yearned for "paradise."
Governance: Hive-mind via bio-electronic networking; intelligent government chip.
Grow and Succeed.
Population: World--10 billion. Hawaii-- 4 million.
Environment: Totally human-dominated. Entirely artificial, with "no problems"
Economy: High growth and high tech; extensively dynamic and entrepreneurial.
Technology: Ubiquitous and effective, but human controlled.
Energy: Plenty of fossil fuels, nuclear energy and renewable sources.
Culture: No dominant culture in Hawaii. Few native Hawaiians remain.
Governance: US government is weak; entrepreneurs and nonprofits are active and resourceful.