What Works (2015) (PDF)

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By Sohail Inayatullah

Tamkang University Press, Tamsui, Taiwan, 2015

What Works furthers the practice of foresight in organizations, institutions, cities and nations. Divided into three parts, What Works moves from theorizing the future to case studies of foresight in action and concludes with innovative futures methods.

The first part introduces futures studies — its principles, theories and methods. The second and main part of the book presents case studies.

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This is the PDF version of What Works. 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.]

 

What Works: Case Studies in the Practice of Foresight

By Sohail Inayatullah

Tamkang University Press, Tamsui, Taiwan, 2015

What Works furthers the practice of foresight in organizations, institutions, cities and nations. Divided into three parts, What Works moves from theorizing the future to case studies of foresight in action and concludes with innovative futures methods.

The first part introduces futures studies — its principles, theories and methods. The second and main part of the book presents case studies. Chapters include:

  • Deep inclusion in a digital era: democratic governance Asia 2030
  • Leap-frogging the West: e-health futures in Bangladesh
  • From the lecturer to the murabbi: the alternative futures of higher education in Malaysia
  • Leveraging development: the alternative scenarios for BRAC University
  • Transforming agriculture: from salinity research to greening the desert
  • Cities as agents of change: emerging issues and case studies
  • Going beyond the thin blue line: the futures of international policing
  • From the collection to co-creation: the futures of libraries and librarians
  • From crops to care: the changing nature of health care in rural Australia

The third and final section focuses on methodological innovation. These chapters explore the implications of forecasting the long-term future, the use of the Sarkar game in foresight workshops, and how causal layered analysis has been used to transform personal and institutional stories. The conclusion evaluates the use of futures thinking for strategy development.

Length: 251 pages

1 review for What Works (2015) (PDF)

  1. COMMENTS ON WHAT WORKS

    Does the future matter? That is to say, do future-oriented activities on behalf of organizations help those organizations more effectively to surf the tsunamis of change? This is a question often asked, but seldom answered. This volume goes a long way in answering it. Sohail Inayatullah is one of the most prolific and effective applied, as well as theoretical, futurists on the planet. He here gives many impressive examples showing that the future does indeed matter, when done in a grounded, participative, and interactive manner.

    Professor Jim Dator, Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa

    What Works covers over thirty years of Inayatullah’s research in futures studies and offers one of the most comprehensive works on methods and case studies and, most importantly, implications and applications available today. Inayatullah presses the reader to grapple with the global challenges we all face and urges each of us to take more responsibility for today, and for future generations. It is a must-read for any person who is serious about our futures.

    Dr Robert Burke, Associate, Melbourne Business School, University of Melbourne

    Meeting the challenge of empowering people to use the future differently calls for rigour and imagination. This book shows how. Professor Inayatullah’s work and the case studies showcased in this book offer convincing evidence that it is feasible and practical to change the way people use the future and that this is a powerful enabler for the continuous reinvention of hope.

    Dr. Riel Miller, Former Head of Foresight, UNESCO

    Sohail Inayatullah is one of the giants of foresight and futures studies. So it a great gift to the profession that he has described his view of the field and his own approach to it in a clear and concise first chapter of “What Works”. Then he illustrates the approach with several case studies that show the approach in action. The combination of theory and practice is ideal, making “What Works” an invaluable resource for anyone interested in learning how one of the founders of this field actually does the work. Thank you, Sohail.

    Professor Peter Bishop, University of Houston at Clear Lake

    Sohail Inayatullah’s new book: “What Works: Case Studies in The Practice of Foresight” is an important addition to the foresight field. A leader in developing foresight theory, concepts, and practice, Sohail Inayatullah presents an effective summary of his evolving thinking on foresight as well as his “six pillars” conceptual framework for practicing foresight. The cases in the book summarize his engagement with a variety of organizations and communities on a range of topics. These cases show how the components of foresight were deployed to match the needs and resources of the communities in each of the cases. The book is a “must read” for understanding foresight practice.

    Clem Bezold, Chairman and Senior Futurist, Institute for Alternative Futures

    Sohail Inayatullah’s six pillar approach is a well grounded solid framework for investigating and creating better futures. The book clearly explains the approach and how it can be used and adapted to create real change across a variety of scales from the individual to the organisation (and beyond). The power of the approach is revealed through case studies that cover a range of topics and institutional contexts—and challenges. There are numerous lessons here relevant to any committed foresight practitioner or change agent. This book is for anyone who is serious about learning about how to make genuine transformation happen in an increasingly complex world.

    Dr. Peter Black, FAO, Bangkok, Thailand

    “What Works” fills an important knowledge gap: how different communities, organizations and research projects have implemented foresight, futures studies, and macrohistorical work. Inayatullah uses numerous tables to accessibly summarize the key points for readers. What Works demonstrates to new students and practitioners what actually works in foresight projects — including discussion of cross-cultural, civilizational, and inter-religious epistemologies.

    Dr.Alex Burns,School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Monash University and former editor of the Disinformation website.

    Well worth the read, for the rich diversity of ideas and perspectives, methods and tools it presents. Congratulations.

    Colin Russo, Engaging Futures, formerly Office of the CEO, Gold Coast City Council

    Elegant, accessible and sophisticated resource for those who wish to increase their influence, capacity and ability to use the future.

    Steve Gould, futurist, http://www.stevegould.com.au

    An important and elegant book.

    Dr. Cindy Frewen, Chair of the Board, Association of Professional Futurists and Architect, http://www.urbanverse.net.

    Sohail Inayatullah invites the reader into a questioning and contemplative journey to explore what really works in the vast field of creating futures. Through an analytical-intuitive articulation of the disciplined practices of foresight, Inayatullah skilfully leads the reader to critically question: should strategy-makers be our future creators?

    Lisa Fraser, Brisbane, Australia

    Thought provoking.

    Roey Tzezana, Yuval Ne’eman Workshop for Science, Technology and Security, Tel Aviv University

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