The panel invites contributions that investigate the practices of anticipation and foresight in organizations, the underlying cultural rationalities, forms of knowledge, styles of writing and professional practices that make up the basis of geo-cultural scenarios and models for future governance.
Anticipating the future speaks to the core of organizations' aspirations to manage, shape and control the social, economic and political activities they are engaged in. For such prognostic and prophetic purposes organizations often employ a wide range of sophisticated tools, relying on both a particular rhetoric and qualitative and quantitative methods and models (metrics, indexes, forecasting and scenarios) in their efforts to imagine possibilities, estimate probabilities, sketch trajectories, and frame choices. Anticipatory knowledge has come to appear as an important prerequisite for organizations striving to position themselves in a narrative and normative fashion, and in relation to past, present and future actions. The sub-theme invites contributions that investigate the practices of different forms of anticipatory knowledge in organizations. We wish to inspire a discussion of the underlying cultural rationalities, styles of reasoning and forms of knowledge that make up the basis of scenarios and models for future management and governance, and to work towards a deepened understanding of the crucial tenets of knowledge that undergird the future modelling of business gurus, foresight professionals and others who deal in foretelling and forecasting. We work from the assumption that scenarios for the future are far from innocent exercises of imagination. On the contrary, they have the capacity to shape people's perceptions of what constitute 'global problems', 'global solutions' and 'imaginable futures'; they can form organizational agendas and member experiences in ways that have concrete implications for decision-making and for the allocation of resources.