First International Conference on ANTICIPATION

The UNESCO Chair in Anticipatory Systems, together with WAAS-World Academy of Art and Science, ISSS-International Society for the Systems Sciences, the Advanced Design Network, and the Department of Sociology and Social Sciences of the University of Trento, organized the

First International Conference on


5-7 November 2015, Trento (Italy) 

Anticipation is coming to the fore as an emerging field of study that is influencing a wide variety of disciplines. This international conference will explore the interaction among anticipation, uncertainty and complexity. Some questions that we intend to raise are these: When does anticipation occur in behavior and life? What types of anticipation can be distinguished? What structures and processes are necessary for anticipatory action? How can anticipation be modeled? A better and more complete understanding of anticipation and its effects will improve theories and models of individual and collective human behavior and its consequences. The ability to anticipate in complex environments may improve the resilience of societies facing threats from a global proliferation of agents and forces by articulating uncertainties through anticipatory processes.
Why a Conference on Anticipation?
Anticipation is increasingly at the heart of urgent contemporary debates, from climate change to economic crisis. As societies are less confident that tradition will provide an effective guide to the future, anticipatory practices are coming to the foreground of political, organizational and personal life. Research into anticipation, however, has not kept pace with social demand for insights into these practices, their risks and their uses. Where research does exist, it is deeply fragmented.
This conference’s main aim was therefore to serve as a point of encounter and exchange among scholars form different disciplines, helping them to develop a fuller understanding of the centrality of anticipation to human behaviour. As a medium to long-term consequence, a research base may be developed capable of assessing and enhancing the potential of anticipatory practices for individuals, organisations and society.
This is is an urgent task because understanding diverse anticipatory assumptions can enhance mutual understanding and cooperation among stakeholders; while critical reflection upon anticipatory practices can enhance insights into potential side-effects of policies and actions, decreasing the time to the citizens of policy actions, and making more effective the overall policy production process.
A better and more complete understanding of anticipation and its effects will improve theories and models of individual and collective human behaviour and its consequences. The arising benefits will thus assist those who are explicitly seeking to understand and design ‘the prepared society’, to make more effective and sustainable use of technologies, to create more inclusive democracies and to explore the boundaries of human endeavours. Such benefits are consistent with the strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive society. Further, the ability to anticipate in complex (self-generating, unpredictable) environments greatly improves the resilience of societies facing threats from a global proliferation of institutions, agents and forces, by articulating insecurities through anticipatory processes.
Featured WAAS Sessions
Anticipation as Deep Driver for a New Paradigm
Bring Forth Futures
Other Featured Sessions

Other Topics of Interest

  • Anticipation in the human and social sciences
  • Anticipation and decision-making
  • Anticipation and global social challenges
  • Anticipatory governance and resilience of societies
  • Anticipation and Futures Studies
  • Anticipation in fiction, the arts, design and gaming
  • Modeling anticipation.

Invited Speakers: Arjun Appaduray, Jens Beckert, Julian Bleecker, Riel Miller, Martin Seligman, and Olin Wright.
Program Committee: Roberto Poli (chair), Flaviano Celaschi, Keri Facer, Garry Jacobs, John Kineman, and Giuseppe Sciortino.
The Conference’s Program Committee invites proposals for sessions to be held in conjunction with the main conference. The session program will provide venues for community-building activities, focused discussions, and constructive interactions on current or emerging topics of interest (further details are available here).
Recognising the importance of Anticipation, special Issues of the Journals Axiomathes, Cadmus, European Journal of Futures Research, and Futures will be published from peer reviewed conference contributions.
For more information, pl visit the Project Anticipation webpage

Garry Jacobs
Anticipation as Deep Driver for a New Paradigm

Garry Jacobs
Anticipation as a trans-disciplinary driver of social evolution

Alberto Zucconi
Anticipatory Value of Person-Centered & People-Centered Approaches

Winston Nagan
Anticipation, Law, Prediction and Problem Solving

Eric Hoedl
European Union’s Long-term Anticipation Studies
2025, 2030, and 2050

Neantro Saavedra-Rivano
First Elements Towards the Foundations on an Anticipatory Approach in Economics

Mila Popovich
Bring Forth Futures

Zbigniew Bochniarz
Shared-Value Based Education

Gerald Gutenshwager
Collective Anticipation: Art or Science, or Both?

Carlos Pereira
Untying Gridlocks: Changing our Hermeneutics to Bifurcate for Good

Dave Snowden
From anticipation to triggering anticipatory awareness