science dominating uncertainty by modelling what is known economics bounding

Science dominating uncertainty by modelling what is

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science (dominating uncertainty by modelling what is known), economics (bounding uncertainty through calculating probability) and the arts (mocking uncertainty by imagining alternatives). The management field that sees its role as thinking about the future from an organization s point of view is strategy. As in other management fields, theories about what constitutes a good strategy and how to create one have shifted over the years. This M(B)A will enable students to explore some of the important contributions but it will also learn from the practitioner field known as futures, in particular the approach that involves creating scenarios. The contribution of this methodology developed
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and tested in organizations that plan in long timeframes is its assumption of irreducible indeterminacy and ambiguity (van de Heijden 2005). Instead of forecasting and simulations, which involve projecting the past into the future, the scenarios approach asks strategists to construct futures based in different underlying structures. Conversations then take place around these scenarios and their structures, turning planning into an ongoing learning proposition. In the approaches used by contemporary futures practitioners, however, the role that design and art practices can play in generating futures is relatively unexplored. This M(B)A will also attend to explorations of futures in the wider sphere such as films and literature (for example, Atwood 2003; Ballard 168 New Educati onal Perspectives for Designers and Manag ers 2006; McCarthy 2006) and in critical design (for example, Dunne 1999) in which designers speculate about the future through making prototypes, sculpture, films and other provocations. Creating fictions in a material or literary form is one way that designs for better futures have been proposed, from which students can learn and which they will be asked to construct during the course. Finally, following Fry (1999) and Tonkinwise (2000), this M(B)A will foreground questions of what should be sustained, rather than making overly simple claims about designing for sustainability. Thinking about what Tonkinwise calls sustainments enables designers and managers to reframe their practices as designing organizations, systems and environments with the ability to sustain. Designing Better Futures Described in this way, this imaginary M(B)A programme may not look promising. So far the course is underpinned by concepts that are troubling and promise to generate yet more problems not obviously the best way to create a new educational programme. But this is exactly what this manifesto claims. The course pushes students (and in their teaching, teachers too) to embrace uncertainty and ambiguity. The goal is to think and act in ways that acknowledge and engage with the grave challenges facing the world and its human and non-human communities and habitats while avoiding simplistic accounts of what individual actors can achieve. The course draws in students with a bold, even ridiculous, claim: We will help you learn how to
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