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Six shamanic concepts: charting the between in futures work

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PurposeThis paper offers six shamanic futures concepts to augment Inayatullah's six pillars, questions and concepts of futures studies. Design/methodology/approachDrawing on Ashis Nandy's use of the shaman as a futures category that posits alterity and the unknowable as the dissenting component of futures studies, six concepts (geophilosophy, rhizome, intercivilisational dialogue, heterotopia, immanence and hybridity) from poststructural thinking are proposed to offer an account of the agency-structure interface (context) that is of practical value to futures practice. FindingsFutures praxis is pragmatic and goal driven, seeking preferred futures outcomes for those in context. The six shamanic futures concepts further this end by outlining conceptual processes that deepen understanding of context as a co-creative and living space. Research limitations/implicationsFutures studies is becoming increasingly sophisticated; the six shamanic concepts push practitioner's understanding of how to facilitate deep organizational change. Practical implicationsThis paper provides six concepts that enable futures practitioners to better understand the nature of their own practice. Originality/valueThis paper extends Inayatullah's mapping of the futures field by suggesting six concepts that facilitate an understanding and harnessing of the potential of context.
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Keywords: Forecasting; Organizational change; Sustainable development

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 10, 2009

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