Saturday, May 27, 2017

Presentation: Scenarios of the Future

Panel presentation at the annual conference of the International Communication Association. San Diego, CA. Abstract: Scenarios are often described as stories of alternative futures (Riley, 2014). They have recently come to feature prominently in concepts such as premediation (Grusin, 2010) and transmedia storytelling (Li, 2014). This is in part fueled by deterministic stances around critical issues such as globalization and politics (Jameson, 2010). To counter notions of “there is no alternative,” scholars posit the intervention of scenarios that afford multiple plausible narratives of the future, which are compared are explored creatively and playfully. Galloway (2015) states that because, “anti-determinism is a common position today, in both popular and academic conversations alike. Redemptive narratives in social and political theory are usually centered around things like contingency or play, or other mechanisms for eluding determination such as escape or accident”.

This project explores the narratology of alternative scenarios both theoretically and empirically mediated in legacy reporting and in social media. This project uses the case of immigration. Such interactions may very well reveal significant similarities or differences among media systems and national contexts of immigration politics. These interactions are taking place in new cultural, political, and economic terrain in the West, and remediated globally. The ‘growth scenario’ of continued economic progress is becoming increasingly obsolete. Media and public discourses surrounding Brexit, for example, particularly those supportive of the scenario where the United Kingdom leaves the European Union (EU), showcase alternative logics of the future. Similar skepticism of globalization also pervades the narratives of Donald J. Trump and his “Make America Great Again” scenario. While discourses of the future revolving around disruption for the sake of innovation are still dominant in places such as Silicon Valley and metropolises around the world that have proven to be adaptive to change, areas left behind in the wake of the purported knowledge economy are seen as increasingly receptive to nostalgic scenarios of a ‘better’ era, which frame the ideal future as one where the past is resurrected.

Scenario Lab researchers: Riley, P., Kim, H. T., Demetriades, S. Z., Hagen, C., Wang, G., Guth, K.

Posted by webtech on 05/27 at 07:30 AM


Monday, June 13, 2016

Presentation—Scenarios: The power of the future

This presentation at the annual conference of the International Communication Association in Fukuoka, Japan, focuses on an ongoing research project of the World Bank-Annenberg Summer Institute on Communication and Reform and the USC Annenberg Scenario Lab called the Power of the Future. Participants write scenarios of the future in their home countries set 10-20 years in the future and describe the visions they foresee for their countries along with the drivers of change and the wicked problems they must confront. The analysis of these scenarios covers the power of language, the assessment of change practices, the contextual intelligence displayed and the ways “the future” is collectively understood. The “life-changing” power of the exercise is detailed and the analytical approach is discussed. USC Scenario Lab researchers: P. Riley, R. Wang, and C. Hagen

Posted by webtech on 06/13 at 09:00 AM


Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Publication: Global warming: Chinese narratives of the future

Abstract: Anthropogenic Climate Change (climate change or global warming that is caused by human activity) is considered to be one of the key global concerns moving forward this century. The ongoing flow of communication around an issue can be seen as a co-production of strategic messaging that encompasses the voice of multiple stakeholders who have differing narratives that evolve over time. Individuals, governments, businesses, international agencies, and other organizations see themselves as key stakeholders in these evolving stories, and all are trying to develop their own visions and hopes for the future. This article suggests that many of these voices are engaged in a version of “ecological modernization,” a narrative that attempts to develop a win-win discourse of economic growth in conjunction with environmental sustainability under the premise of “doing well by doing good.” Data are from social media platforms in the Chinese language that are analyzed through topic and narrative analysis.
Article available here

USC Scenario Lab Authors: Riley, P., Wang, R., Wang, G., & Feng, L.

Posted by webtech on 03/01 at 10:00 AM


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Presentation: Building the Future Islamic State through Twitter: ISIS Themes and Metanarratives

Presented at the National Communication Association 101st Annual Conference in Las Vegas, NV.
Abstract: Narrative storytelling delivered through entertaining means has been found to be more persuasive than non-narrative information because of mechanisms of identification, transportation, and emotion (Murphy, Frank, Chatterjee, & Baezconde‐Garbanati, 2013).  More than previous terrorist organizations, ISIL’s use of narrative has branded their organization with compelling stories communicated through their magazine, social media use, and video productions. Co-opting modern marketing and public relations techniques, Dasesh/ISIS/ISIL produces “share-worthy” content and engages with media to builds organizational legitimacy and authenticity with both internal and external stakeholders (Phillips, 2003). Their social media prowess communicates legitimacy and supports recruiting. High quality communication products provide instant source material for internal conversations and for distribution by traditional news outlets. Increasingly organizations and technology are being understood from a sociomaterial perspective—one in which organizational processes and technology are viewed as imbricated with one another (Orlikowski & Scott, 2008; Leonardi, 2013). In embracing technology, ISIL’s communicative practices and technology are becoming enmeshed, creating a new type of sociomaterial terrorist organization. USC Scenario Lab researchers: Riley, P., Hagen, C., Albert, L., Mazumdar, T., Wang, R., Guth, K., Hannah, M., Marechal, N., Myers, S., Busalacchi, N., Pascarella, M., Wang, G.

Posted by webtech on 11/21 at 06:00 AM


Sunday, May 10, 2015

BlueSky Workshop: The Scenario Workshop - Envisioning Your Department in 2025

This scenario planning workshop held at the 2015 International Communication Association Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, invited participants to consider the future of communication programs in a globalizing world by envisioning their program, department, or school in the year 2025.  Based in narrative sensemaking, scenarios are a key component of an organization’s ability to develop foresight. They are not necessarily linear or predictive, but they are compelling and plausible.Engaging in scenario planning is an important skill set to develop for academics as well as commercial organizations, nonprofits and governments. This workshop was facilitated by the University of Southern California Annenberg Scenario Lab, which has conducted scenario planning workshops for institutions and organizations around the world. Scenario Lab facilitators included: Riley, P., Busalacchi, N., Guth, K., Hagen, C., Marechal, N., Mazumdar, T., Wang, R., and Wang, X.

Posted by webtech on 05/10 at 07:00 AM


Acceleration Studies Foundation, USA

The Centre for Scenario Planning and Future Studies, University of Strathclyde, UK

Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies, Denmark

Global Business Network, USA

Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies, University of Hawaii, USA

Institute for Alternative Futures, USA

Institute For The Future, USA

Oxford Scenarios Program, Oxford University, UK

RAND Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition, USA

Scenario Planning Institute, Colorado State University, USA

Singularity University, USA

World Future Society

World Futures Studies Federation


Jamais Cascio

Jane McGonigal

Matt Novak

Alex Pang

Noah Raford

Richard Slaughter




Presentation: Scenarios of the Future



Presentation—Scenarios: The power of the future


Publication: Global warming: Chinese narratives of the future



Presentation: Building the Future Islamic State through Twitter: ISIS Themes and Metanarratives


BlueSky Workshop: The Scenario Workshop - Envisioning Your Department in 2025



Presentation: Storytelling and the Future



NIC Scenarios: Global Trends 2030

Talk: University of Hawaii’s Emerging Futures & Futurists Symposium


How will Big Data reshape the scenario planning field?


Scenario Planning at the World Economic Forum

Arizona State University’s Futures Initiative



Jamais Cascio on the Foresight Paradox


The Millennium Project’s LA Node: Arts, Media and Futures


Hacking the Wii for Participatory Community Scenario Planning


The Future Histories of Greater Philadelphia, 2026


Scenario Narratives, Systems Thinking and Complexity

Social Networks and Social Change, 2015

Public futures in post-revolutionary Tunisia


Climate Change adaptation scenarios for Ghana and Vietnam


Rethinking the Future for Vulnerable Populations



California Dreaming


CISCO releases new Internet scenarios 2025 report


Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians


Scenario planning and spying

Rockefeller Foundation announces new Technology and Development scenarios

Scenario Planning an Electoral Victory in the UK

California’s Future and Climate Change

FUTURESTATES: 11 scenario films about the future of America

Personal Scenario Planning

First Post

© 2010 USC Annenberg Scenario Lab