I wasn’t expecting THAT! Imagining future scenarios – and the implications for evaluation
Change is on us – rapid, multi-dimensional change. In evaluation, we often hear people say “what a surprise – I wasn’t expecting that”. Buried in the tyranny of the day-to-day, we have few opportunities to consider the bigger, longer-term picture.
At the AEA conference in Minneapolis we ran a demonstration session where participants explored four possible futures, based in 2051, that were highly relevant to evaluation practice. Drawing from a six-month futuring exercise, this demonstration session provided insights and a new way of framing the future of evaluation. We thought about a wide range of issues – from climate change to population pressures and changing migration patterns, growing food and water insecurity, and the impact of accelerating technology that is all on the way.
During this exercise, we considered the future of evaluation. We shared possible scenarios for evaluation in 2051, considered evaluation practice in these possible futures and encouraged participants to explore options in more depth for themselves.
Judy Oakden along with Human Systems Dynamics founder, Glenda Eoyang, and fellow Associates, Royce Holladay, Wendy Morris, Stewart Mennin and Claudette Webster, ran the session.