24th World Conference

29th October, 2021 (Friday)
Parallel session

Bright Spot (Riel Miller)

Head of Futures Literacy, UNESCO
Session Description

Changes in the conditions of change happen all the time but offer no clue as to what might have happened if the changes had not takne place. Think of reading and writing, what-if humanity had never augmented its capacity for speech with writing? Or if this skill was still only accessible to a very small minority of people? Would we better off? Maybe we’d have avoided the threat of climate extinction and atomic bombs? The same kind of ‘what-if’ applies to the idea of futures literacy as the capacity to better understand why and how we imagine the future. Surely being able to use-the-future for different reasons and different ways changes the conditions of change. It could enable humanity to reconcile our identity with complexity instead of always trying to colonize the future. But will it offer a better future? The only answer is that there is no way to know.