John A. Sweeney

Senior Research Fellow

Westminster International University in Tashkent

Dr. John A. Sweeney is an award-winning author, designer, and futurist. As a practitioner, consultant, and educator, John has organized, managed, and facilitated workshops and seminars, multi-stakeholder projects, and foresight gaming systems in over 45 countries on five continents with participants from around the world. At present, John is a Senior Research Fellow at Westminster International University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He also currently serves as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He is also a Co-founder of the Participatory Futures Global Swarm and the newly formed Superfluid Futures. John has worked with numerous universities, international development and humanitarian aid agencies, nonprofit foundations, Fortune 500 companies, and educational and cultural organizations, such as Asia Development Bank, Humanity United, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, GIZ, INTERPOL, NESTA, Oxfam International, The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, and numerous UN agencies around the world. Additionally, he has experience working with public sector and civil service foresight and innovation units, such as Singapore's Centre for Strategic Futures, Georgia's Public Service Development Agency, and Dubai's Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation. John is a member of the World Futures Studies Federation and the Association of Professional Futurists. His work has been published in Futures, The Journal of Futures Studies, World Futures Review, and other academic and media outlets. He tweets on trends, emerging issues, and things just over the horizon at @aloha_futures.

Talks

Futures/Foresight Communities

June 2, 2021
16:15
CEST

Join a conversation with community initiators and managers from all over the world to discuss how communities help foster the field, practise and awareness of Foresight. This session will feature a behind-the-scenes look at the roots of those communities and blurred boundaries that foster cross-collaboration. Panellists for this session include Abril Chimal, Bibiana Bosak, Majd Assi, Michel Zapata, Sophia Bazile, Victor Sarat with Tanja Schindler and John Sweeney as Co-Moderators.

Serious Gaming for Transformative Futures

June 1, 2021
18:00
CEST

Join a conversation with leading futurists from around the world to explore the promise and perils of using games to explore, imagine, and create futures. This session will feature a behind-the-scenes look at the design and development of popular gaming platforms and tools. Panelists for this session include: Stuart Candy, Jennifer Chan, Shermon Cruz, and Lead Zaidi with Tanja Schindler and John Sweeney as Co-Moderators. Game on!

Postnormal Religiosity in Pandemic Times: A Polylogue

June 2, 2021
13:45
CEST

If 2020 has taught us anything it is that it is hard to keep faith or trust in what we previously considered to be normal, conventional or orthodox. The simultaneity of the pandemic and the lockdown, showed complex globalised fragility never experienced before. The effects of the COVID-19 lockdown shows us that we are in postnormal times where the “conventions about how society is supposed to function have been undermined. Nothing describes the post normal reality of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown than what has happened within the space of faith and religiosity. This panel will describe the journey undertaken in these postnormal times around faith and religiosity

What is participatory futures?

June 1, 2021
20:30
CEST

In this session, Abril and John will share key concepts and frameworks for exploring how to make futures more participatory using a range of approaches. This session also introduces the Participatory Futures Global Swarm, which is a collective of researchers, designers, and futurists seeking to create spaces for more people to imagine and shape their future(s).

Futures, Culture, and Urban Planning: Insights from research on cities across the ancient Silk Road

April 11, 2020
12:00
CEST

Urban planners create the future. And while there is a long history of collaboration between urban planning and futures studies, further attention is needed to the ways in which forward-looking approaches can broaden how cities shape the future. One area that needs further attention is the role and function of culture in planning. Often viewed as an independent variable, culture is also an often overlooked aspect of urban planning processes. In this session, we share insights from research at the intersection for future studies, culture, and urban planning within the context of Post-Soviet Central Asian cities across the ancient Silk Road. Combining historical analysis and action-learning, we outline how planning has to be a dynamic process driven by participatory approaches, which relates directly to ongoing conversations about imagining how cities can cope with crises such as the Covid19 pandemic. Aditee would be joined by Dr. John A. Sweeney, Director, Qazaq Research Institute for Future Studies, who is her co-researcher and mentor for this study. This is a joint study conducted by scholars from Qazaq research Institute for Future Studies (QRIFS), Narxoz University, Almaty, Kazakhstan and Indian Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST), Shibpur, India.

Covid19 both is and is not a black swan (and that's ok): futures in, through, and beyond a time of crisis

April 9, 2020
12:00
CEST

This session explores how futures approaches are framed and communicated. Using the pandemic as a backdrop, we will look at the different lenses from which such events can help to strengthen how organizations perform horizon scanning and emerging issues analysis. Employing both Postnormal Times theory and narrative foresight methods, this session ultimately looks at how to position perspective and context at the forefront of futures work.