Floyd, J., 2008, Towards an Integral renewal of systems methodology for futures studies, Futures, vol. 40, no. 2, pp. 138-49.

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Abstract

This article considers the use of systems methodology in futures studies and foresight, in relation to Slaughter’s call for Integral methodological renewal in futures studies. The diversified methodologies that have developed within the systems practice field over the past 25 years are examined for their potential to address concerns about the field’s reduction of interior realities to epiphenomena of systemic processes, articulated by Habermas in the 1970s, and more recently by Wilber from the perspective of his Integral Methodological Pluralism. It is argued, though, that Integral methodology requires more than methodological pluralism: some understanding of the structures of consciousness within which methodologies are conceived and applied is needed. Drawing on the work of Dr. Susanne Cook-Greuter, capacity to understand ‘system’ itself is explored, looking at the way that humans make sense of reality and the stages through which this sense-making develops. It is argued that systems methods and tools used with sufficient practitioner awareness of epistemological biases have an essential role to play in improving the quality of our futures perception and knowledge.

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