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Anticipation, Agency and Complexity

Anticipation, Agency and Complexity

6-8 April 2017, Trento (Italy)


The future is ever alive and shaping events that have yet to occur.
And it is also shaping the future of science.

Anticipation is a widespread phenomenon present in and characterizing all types of systems, forcing a re-evaluation of the very idea of science. The present interplay between science and institutions is becoming a major impediment to a further development of science. The traditional, bureaucratic structure adopted by organizations and institutions (e.g. governments) derives from an understanding of systems that precedes the discovery of both complexity and anticipation. These structures work as if problems could be addressed individually and in a piecemeal way, with outputs systematically proportionate to relevant inputs, and without any thorough exploration of possible futures. Agency and power are central to how we construct choices and take decisions in complex, anticipatory systems.

The First International Conference on Anticipation co-organized by University of Trento, UNESCO, WAAS-World Academy of Art and Science, WUC-World University Consortium and the Advanced Design Network at Trento in November 2015 succeeded beyond expectations. As a follow up, WAAS and WUC ae now pleased to collaborate with the Department of Sociology and Social Research of the University of Trento, and the UNESCO Chairs in Anticipatory Systems to organize this workshop.


WAAS & WUC on Global Challenges & the Need for New Thinking, April 6, 9-12

  • Garry Jacobs (CEO, WAAS), Transdisciplinary Social Theory and Integrated Thinking
  • Alberto Zucconi (Secretary General, WUC), Agency and Resilience,  Variables of an Effective People Centered Education Promoting Sustainable Governance
  • Winston Nagan (Chairman of the Board, WAAS), Social Science, Values and Intellectual Responsibility
  • Elisabeth Paunovic (Head of WHO European Centre for Environment and Health), Health and Environment in WHO European Region: Creating Resilient Communities and Supportive Environments
  • Donato Kiniger Passigli (Fragile States and Disaster Response Coordinator (ILO), Crisis risk management: Anticipating Change, Counteracting Fragility

The UNESCO Chairs in Anticipatory Systems, April 7, 9-12

  • Riel Miller (Paris, UNESCO Headquarter), The UNESCO Chairs in Anticipatory Systems and the Role of Futures Literacy
  • Markku Wilenius (Turku), Understanding Economic and Social Macro-Waves
  • Sohail Inayatullah (Tamkang), Macro-History Today
  • Roberto Poli (Trento), Pragmatic Utopia 

Relevant dates:

  • Deadline for individual abstracts: 10 January 2017
  • Acceptance/rejection: 31 January 2017
  • Final Program: 15 February 2017
  • Conference: 6-8 April 2017

Conference fee:

Registration fee: € 150 (Fee includes: registration for the conference, reception drinks, refreshments and lunches throughout the conference & full conference dinner (7 April 2017).

Submit please your abstract to: Silvano.serpagli@alumni.unitn.it

Registration opens December 1: https://webapps.unitn.it/Apply/en/Web/Home/convegni 

For access to papers presented at the first international conference on Anticipation, please visit http://www.projectanticipation.org

For information on the 2nd International conference on anticipation (London, Nov. 8-10, 2017), please visit www.anticipation2017.org

For more information on this workshop, contact support@worldacademy.org or Silvano.serpagli@alumni.unitn.it