Or How I learned to Design the Future
Fiction interests me deeply, because stories rely on memory, and memory as we know is selective. History is rewritten through unconscious influences that impact how events are remembered, thus stories become a grand mélange of fact, fiction and confabulations.
Cultural futuristics is a cultural psychology that promotes transdisciplinary dialog and enables clinical findings to be implemented in scenario planning. The resulting scenarios, called future histories, reframe and return the voice of the silenced cultural soul to the future, in an attempt to mitigate the potential impact of existing, yet unexamined, volatile, cultural complexes.
This effort enlightens researchers and futurists to the promise, the devastating psychological impact, and the teleological dimensions within significant critical events.
Futures studies came into existence in the mid-20th century in an effort to imagine how yesterday’s and today’s realities produce the future. Analyzing patterns and causes of change and stability from multiple interdisciplinary perspectives, futurists seek to develop maps of alternative futures. They describe these alternative future conditions by writing multiple scenarios that describe possible, probable, and preferable social, ecological, and political environments.
Until now, one of the missing perspective in futures studies has been the critical contribution of depth psychology, particularly how cultural complexes, symbols, myths, and narratives create political and cultural life. This paper presents cultural futuristics, a revisioning of traditional psychoanalysis into a psychological, social-science methodology that informs scenario-based planning.