The future as a public good : decolonising the future through anticipatory participatory action research

Bourgeois, R. and Karuri-Sebina, G. and Feukeu, K.E. (2022) The future as a public good : decolonising the future through anticipatory participatory action research. Foresight. ISSN 1463-6689

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to nurture reflections on the colonization of the future in the present with a particular focus on Africa. This paper aims at exploring how participatory research and particularly anticipatory action research can contribute to a decolonising process. Design/methodology/approach: Considering the future as a public good, this paper develops a reflection on the colonization processes that can turn it into a club or a private good. This paper mobilizes the notions of participatory knowledge production and local action research as a way to decolonize the future and empower imagination. This paper revisits the tenets of participatory action research as a means to achieve this objective and discusses the main features of a non-colonial anticipatory action research in the context of African futures. Findings: This paper highlights the challenges associated with connecting anticipatory endeavours focusing on action research, the creation of collective intelligence and co-design, with the intention of encouraging the decolonisation process. It includes design principles and anticipates a possible process of counter-decolonization. Research limitations/implications: This is a conceptual paper, which does not provide field-tested evidence. Yet, the authors hope it serves as an input enabling to design methodologies that will prevent the colonisation of the future when engaging in future-oriented research activities in Africa and elsewhere. Originality/value: This paper provides an integral approach to the colonisation of the future, as a renewed old question. This paper also connects this process with a reflection on the nature of what could be non-colonizing anticipatory action research.

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?? economics, econometrics and finance(all)management science and operations research ??
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11 Oct 2022 12:55
Last Modified:
02 Feb 2024 00:40