Scenario art as a decision-making tool to facilitate sustainable futures: The case for minerals and mining in Australia

Common Ground Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal Article
The International Journal of the Arts in Society, 2011, 6 (3), pp. 153 - 166
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Scenario Art (visual representations of a future scenario, used to enhance decision-making processes) is offered as a new tool to facilitate a transition to sustainable futures. The paper acknowledges recent evaluations of current futures methods (methods for long-term decision making and strategy development that involve consideration of multiple future circumstances), which have found that the futures field is not having the transformative influence expected. It is argued that to have a transformative influence, world views need to be drawn out and examined. An analysis of the results of a workshop (Vision 2040) that tested the application of Scenario Art, alongside art and neurological theory, is used to explore the relationship between Scenario Art, neurological processes, and the implications of these neurological processes in the context of decision-making processes. Vision 2040 utilized a deliberative process and aimed to establish a shared vision and strategy for the future of the mining and minerals industry in Australia. The workshop involved a range of futures methods which provided an opportunity for mining stakeholders to explore how the mining and minerals industry in Australia can deliver long-term national benefit. This paper focuses on the results of applying Scenario Art at this workshop which support that Scenario Art increases a person's level of empathy, creativity, responsiveness to risk, imagination and willingness to consider alternative perspectives. In the context of developing a shared vision, it was found that this increased a persons ability to recognise strategies and actions that would benefit multiple stakeholders and to recognise shared and conflicting ideas, values and perspectives for a preferred future.
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