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Cognitive Sciences Strategies for Futures Studies (Foresight)


Abstract. Developing the conceptual model of the origin of the idea of future scenarios leads to explore Cognitive Sciences (CS) strategies for Futures Studies (FS). This research will try to answer how scenario planning would benefit from CS by reshaping mental models? In other hand, how these explored strategies could develop the future oriented intelligence's machine?

This is a vast amount of work to be considered. Modeling via abduction, chance-seeking via intervention on tacit knowledge, acquiring useful information via causality grouping, intelligence increase over time and idea blending are just the first examples, so we have a long way to go.

Keywords: Cognitive Science; Futures Studies; Mind Structure;



This is a very abstract and theoretical paper that lays out a range of ideas about Cognitive Science (CS) and Futures Studies (FS) on the basis of previous argumentations. This paper intends to solidify and explore relations between CS and FS. In particular, it discusses how concepts and developments within CS could be deployed in FS and attempts to discuss how CS and FS can be meshed to together in order to create new cognitive strategies for doing foresight. The paper tries to identify qualitative relationships among key variables across of CS with FS. This is a vast amount of work to be considered and we have only sighted the first examples, and so have a long way to go.

Anticipation is increasingly at the heart of urgent contemporary debates, from climate change to economic crisis, bringing researchers together from across disciplines. The ability to anticipate in complex environments may improve the resilience of societies under threat from a global proliferation of agents and forces by articulating insecurities through anticipatory processes (Poli, 2015).

Popper (2008) shows that three qualitative methods include Literature Review, Expert Panel and Scenarios are dominant methodologies tools to do foresight. Scenario thinking uses longer and broader views of possible futures to more clearly appreciate a world clouded by information overload, rapid change and uncertainty (Oxford Scenarios Programme, 2015). Human's epistemological basis shows natural scenario building ability to tell stories about human life in the future (Rhisiart, 2006) and a cognitive link to the time-oriented structure of the brain for perception. Our decisions about the future depend on how we think the world works. Scenarios are based on intuition, but crafted as analytical structures. We use Scenario planning artful via learning process to overcome barriers of creative thinking (Chermack , 2011) via changing mental models for decision making. Scenarios are just different ideas about the future. We use them to guide us in exploring the future, widening perspectives (Bentham, 2008), confronting assumptions, reshaping mental maps, etc.

Recently author developed the conceptual model of the origin of the idea of future scenarios by studying; idea ontology, the origin of creative thinking, idea nurturing in organizations, shaping the future time, scenario planning and idea’s social network (global brain). Hence based on mind structure’s role in causality blending of environmental and innate ideas based on copy principal and personal intelligence tools’ attempts to use the benefits of the global brain via network collaboration the new question emerged as following;

The research question that this proposal is trying to answer is the following: How Scenario planning would benefit from Cognitive Science by reshaping mental models? In broader area, what will be Cognitive Science Strategies for Futures Studies? In other hand, how these explored strategies could develop the future oriented intelligence machine?


This paper is a fundamental research type that makes theories for an applied science. Its analysis approach has been based on intuition-rational philosophy to explore new area of an interdisciplinary science by descriptive manner. According to qualitative approach this study because of its data references to valid resources will be valid and due to experts continuous supervisions will be reliable. Based on Knowledge Management spiral model (Keenan, 2007, p. 20) (Eerola & Jørgensen, 2002, p. 12) this research is going to extract tacit knowledge from literatures and expert's intuition then combine as explicit knowledge in order to socialize to benefit all players especially policy makers and businessmans. In other way we are going to make information from data and creating wisdom from this knowledge hierarchy. 

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About the Author


Ahmad Mahdeyan, PhD in Management of Futures Studies

Dr Ahmad holds a PhD in Management of Futures Studies (FS), which is known as Strategic Foresight and Scenarios. FS is an interdisciplinary new generation of scientific attitude toward future that includes a chain of physical and biological issues along with social and humanities subjects. And its most focus is on technology's future and social changes in order to make desirable and sustainable future. Dr Ahmad has over ten years' experience in teaching business, management, economy and marketing and also nearly two decades of work experience in public policy as a headquarter expert. During these years he mentored and coached people to establish their own business and work with different cultures. In recent years, he discovered the various aspects of social sciences in politics and history of global issues by studying the future scenarios of the global mega-trends. These scientific studies, have been done based on his fundamental finding include designing the future time formation model as PhD dissertation and discovering the conceptual model of the origin of the idea of future scenarios etc. According to his experiences, training is successful only when it leads to the behavioral changes. Our decisions about the future depend on how we think the world works. If we see the future we want then we can make it now. Opportunities are fleeting like clouds, so we should discover and seize the good ones. The idea of yesterday is the vision of today and the reality of tomorrow. So learn from the past, live for the present, and work for the future.



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