Future Design – Participatory deliberation by creating virtual future generations for sustainability

Hara, Keishiro (2016). 'Future Design - Participatory deliberation by creating virtual future generations for sustainability' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Tokyo 2016.

abstract Under the current social systems, such as market and democracy, the present generation is unlikely to make appropriate decisions that fully take into account the benefits and voice of future generations. We need to develop a new approach to overcome intergenerational conflicts and pursue a sustainable society in which both present generations and future generations are appropriately taken into account in making decisions. To cope with this challenge, we have proposed a new framework called "Future Design" introducing "virtual future generations" in our society to hear the voice of future generations. My talk will introduce the first attempt of participatory deliberation under the concept of Future Design, which has been carried out in a local municipality in Japan over the past year. In the Future Design concept, present generations and virtual future generations who are tasked to represent and speak for future generations are to negotiate to overcome conflicts over priorities and values. I will present some of the preliminary results obtained from the deliberation processes in Yahaba town of Iwate prefecture, Japan, in which groups of present generations and virtual future generation first came up with ideas for vision settings for Yahaba town in 2060 individually and both groups then attempted to negotiate to overcome possible conflicts. A stark contrast was observed between the groups particularly with regards to the way of thinking and priorities in values. Though such deliberation practices have just begun and accumulation of case studies are awaited, I will discuss some implication derived from the practices in Yahaba town to develop the concept and implementation of Future Design in real world.

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