Questioning the Future (2007) (PDF)

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Questioning the Future: Methods and Tools for Organizational and Societal Transformation

By Sohail Inayatullah

Tamkang University Press, Tamsui, Taiwan, 2007 (third edition)

Questioning the Future is a practical workbook for the manager or social activist who desires to use the future to transform organizations. It addresses questions on the nature of futures studies, action learning and organizational transformation.

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This is the PDF version of Questioning the Future. After payment you will receive an email with the download link.

[NB: If the email does not appear in your inbox, please check your spam folder.]

Questioning the Future: Methods and Tools for Organizational and Societal Transformation

By Sohail Inayatullah

Tamkang University Press, Tamsui, Taiwan, 2007 (third edition)

Questioning the Future presents chapters on foundational concepts, theories and methods in futures studies in addition to constituting a practical workbook for the manager or social activist who desires to use the future to transform organizations. It addresses the questions such as: How can anticipatory action learning help organizations plan for the future? What are the limits to strategic planning and scenario planning? What are the latest trends in Futures Studies? How can causal layered analysis unveil the future? How can the study of grand patterns of social change help in understanding the future? In sum, Questioning the Future addresses these and other questions on the nature of futures studies, action learning and organizational transformation are explored in this book.

The book is divided into two parts. Chapters in Part one are focused on:

  1. The Study of the Future
  2. Macrohistory and Grand Patterns of Change
  3. Case studies in Scenario Planning and Visioning
  4. New Methodologies, such as Nuts and Bolts and Causal Layered Analysis
  5. Poststructuralism as method
  6. Tips and Pitfalls of Futures studies as a consultancy
  7. Trends in Futures Studies.

Chapters in Part two are focused on:

  1. Using the Future to Transform Organizations
  2. Action Learning and Futures Studies
  3. Layered Questioning
  4. Creating a Learning Organization and Healing Organization
  5. Implementing Futures
  6. Questions and Answers for the Busy Associate, an imaginary conversation with a bottom-line oriented executive.

Over 40 pages of appendices provide bullet point illustrations of approaches and methods in Futures Studies.

The book is divided into two parts and consists of thirteen chapters. In addition, over 40 pages of appendices provide bullet point illustrations of approaches and methods in Futures Studies.

Length: 240 pages

1 review for Questioning the Future (2007) (PDF)

  1. Questioning the Future gives organisations and individuals a step by step guide in assisting them create alternative futures the 21st century is demanding. Sohail Inayatullah has taken the major futures methodologies including his own such as Causal Layered Analysis and put them into one book that is a must for all strategists, CEOs and senior executives in both the public and private sectors.

    Robert Burke, Program Director, Mt Eliza Centre for Executive Education, Melbourne Business School

    In the best practice of action learning, Questioning the Future is both a practical guide to Futures Studies, and a theoretical introduction. In Questioning the Future Sohail Inayatullah presents techniques to guide organizations and communities beyond their immediate everyday problems towards a clearer articulation of their ideas and plans for a better future. Of particular value is the analysis of trends in futures studies from the reductionist to the complex. Groups, in working creatively together for their own future benefit, are also part of a wider constituency for future change. Questioning the Future guides readers through both the excitement, and the difficulties, of creating the futures-oriented learning organization, and the future(s).

    Rosaleen Love, Science Fiction Author.

    This book outlines the discipline of Future Studies with uncommon clarity. Inayatullah’s careful explanations of the skills necessary for the craft makes Questioning the Future an essential reference for both students and practitioners.

    Laurence Brown, Senior Researcher, Social & Behavioural Sciences, University of Queensland.

    An excellent resource.

    Michael Harkin, Brisbane Catholic Education

    I highly recommend Questioning the Future.

    Andy Hines, University of Houston, Clear-Lake. Former Ideational Leader, Dow Chemical.

    After facilitating Strategic Planning within Queensland State & Local Governments for several years, Questioning the Future has significantly opened my mind, images and thoughts as to how shallow existing strategic planning processes are, and why they fail to deliver. Inayatullah’s approaches provide deep insight into methodologies that can truly transform,individuals, processes and futures. This book is essential to those individuals and organisations who want to make a difference and create alternative destinies.

    Steve Gould, the University of the Sunshine Coast

    Questioning the Future represents a new synthesis in futures thinking. Bringing into futures studies disciplines such as action research, futures generations research, organizational development, critical theory, civilisational studies, macro-history and complexity science, Inayatullah is inclusive of the many traditions, the many patterns, and the dynamic holism emerging in the futures field. This book is at the cross-roads where new pathways to alternative futures will be created in the 21st century.

    Jose M. Ramos, Action Foresight, Melbourne, Australia.

    Helpful and Useful!

    Murray May, School of Social Ecology and Lifelong Learning, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, Australia

    Futures researcher and educator Sohail Inayatullah has compiled a valuable overview of the methods, theories, and concepts underlying the study of the future. In addition to a comprehensive annotated bibliography, the author has provided some 40 pages of appendices outlining the main approaches to studying the future, key methods in forecasting, and more. Intended as a practical workbook for managers and social activists, this text is likely to find greater use in the classroom as an introduction to futures studies.

    The Futurist (May-June, 2003)

    Questioning the Future is a significant contribution to the Future Studies literature and usefully makes available Inayatullah’s key works, both theoretical and practical. It will therefore be of enormous value to both students and practitioners alike.

    Richard Slaughter, Former President World Futures Studies Federation, Foundation Professor of Foresight, AFI.

    Questioning the Future is extremely interesting. I believe it is the best short introduction to the field I have seen.

    Joseph Edozein, Cyberneticist, Anderson Business Consulting, and formerly Xerox PARC

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