ERIC Number: ED199165
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Jul-20
Imperatives for Tomorrow: The I's Have It: Images, Institutions, Involvement. Paper P-87.
Realizing that the driving force within any society for thinking constructively about the future is usually an image of what that future is or should be, this paper evaluates the nature and variety of images held in modern society. The hypothesis is that the ease with which images of all kinds are generated, transmitted, and received has led to image, information, and sensory overload. One major result of this overload is that it has become increasingly difficult to achieve consensus on any issue. Examples of this lack of consensus include agitation based on economic, political, and cultural differences between and among regional areas; conflict between urban and rural interests; struggles for power among ethnic and racial groups; and conflicts of interest between rich and poor. A major way in which futures studies can offer guidance to help sort out images in a meaningful way is to help policy makers set priorities. Among the priorities stressed by futures studies which can be helpful in this regard are learning to generate images that are better matched and more relevant to issues, becoming more selective in sharing images, learning to coalesce private images so that they can become guidelines for action, recognizing the need to create new organizations whose functions and objectives do not conflict with existing institutions, working to improve articulation among institutions' structures and functions, stressing the importance of long-term objectives, establishing adequate measures of social accountability, and accomodating individual desires for direct involvement in social decision making. (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Institute for the Future, Menlo Park, CA.
Note: For related documents, see SO 013 225-228. Prepared for the Global Conference on the Future (1st, Toronto, Canada, July 20-24, 1980).