Biographical Details of Alan Fricker
ON ALAN FRICKER
It is with great sadness that we report Alan
Fricker’s death of a heart attack September 11 while cycling home.
Alan was a catalyst of futures studies in New
Zealand, helping organize numerous workshops on sustainable futures,
the alternative APEC and other social forums. He was a scientist
working to transform the nature of science and the future of the
future. Always reflective, he prodded us on to think deeper on the
future through his questioning and indeed his silence.
Alan’s articles are included here at
www.metafuture.org and at
www.ed.tku.edu.tw/develop/jfs on a range of issues including
biomimetics, factors underpinning genetic engineering and money and
We honor him with a poem as well written by Joe
A caring community needs catalysts
- a master of the pregnant pause
and measured tone
the trouser hitch and handkerchief -
Alan got us talking to each other
about the present and the possibilities
he stirred us up and inspired
with words like 'construct', 'paradox''
Who, who saw and heard, could ever forget
the Rowan Atkinson monologue
the place in the choir or his shared poems
and the wisdom of futures best seen
by taking a step back, the inspiration of thought
on affordable housing, biomimicry
and not creating the waste in the first place.
Treading the fine line edge between order
and chaos where interests and involvements
twitch senses of social justice, understanding
and nature; a sunset splashed across the Bay
a view from the hill; flight and call of oyster catcher
tui, bellbird, kereru and fancy.
We are all enriched by the potpourri
and a guiding light has shown us the way
- it is up to us to honour the memories.
Joe Bell "
In memory of Alan Fricker, inspirational sage.
Fricker had a scientific and engineering background in primarily the
mineral industry, and including academia and research in several
parts of the world. He
had been based in Wellington, New Zealand, for the last 25 years.
Some 15 years ago he began a move that progressed through
waste minimisation, cleaner production, industrial ecology, and thus
to sustainability. Since
becoming an independent researcher 5 years ago he had convened the
Sustainable Futures Trust which is effectively a network of people
of diverse skills, concerned more with the root causes of our
unsustainability (our attitudes and behaviours, and systemic
dysfunction in our systems of social organisation) rather than with
the symptoms (environmental degradation and social injustice).
the process he had discovered the emerging discipline of Futures
Studies, which had provided the rigour and knowledge base to his
search for meaning in the challenge and paradox of sustainability.
He had published several articles in Futures
and the Journal of Futures
the Trust Alan organises meetings, seminars, and courses,
particularly around visiting authors and futures researchers.
These had included Rick Slaughter, Richard Douthwaite,
Sohail Inayatullah, Paul Wildman, and Hazel Henderson.
The Trust had also been active in interactive theatre as a
medium to reach inside ourselves to find deeper meaning.
engineering, particularly in agriculture, had become a very
controversial issue in NZ. The
debate has been conducted at a very superficial level.
Alan has researched the issue from the deeper dimensions
The Trust had Interested Person Status before the Royal
Commission of Inquiry on Genetic Modification.
and genetically engineered futures, Tamkang University Celebration
Conference, Taipei, November 2000, J
Futures Studies, 2001, 5(3):1-15
technology and generational justice, Conference on World
Civilisations: Trends and Challenges, Institute for National Policy
Research, Taipei, April 2000
conscious purpose of science is control of Nature; its unconscious
effect is disruption and chaos”, Futures,
(forthcoming special issue on Transformative Research Methods -
quotation by cultural historian William Irwin Thompson)
hunger for meaning, Futures,
2001, 33, 171-180 (based on presentation to Businesses for Social
Responsibility Conference, Auckland, Sept 99)
dimensions of genetic engineering in agriculture,
J Futures Studies,
2000, 4, 2, 77-91.
money value, J Futures
Studies, 2000, 5(Aug), 31-46 (based on critique of debt-based
finance system for Money! from Madness to Meaning seminar, W’ton,
of abundance, Futures,
1999, 31, 271-280
dilemmas in the discourse of sustainability,
J Futures Studies,
1999, May, 3(2), 1-16
ecological footprint of New Zealand as a step towards
1998, 30, 6, 559-567
up to sustainability, Futures,
1998, 30, 4, 367-375
that liberates, Futures,
1997, 29,7, 661-666