The Anticipatory Perspective: What Next?

An anticipatory behavior is a behavior that ‘uses’ the future in its actual decision process. Anticipation as here understood includes two mandatory components: a forward-looking attitude, and the use of the former’s result for action. A weather forecast in itself is not anticipatory in my sense. Watching a weather forecast and as a consequence taking an umbrella before going to work is instead an anticipatory behavior. It is evident that our understanding of anticipation is still cursory, and that the novelty of the perspective may conceal the difficulties implied by this otherwise refreshingly new vision. Nonetheless, anticipation is increasingly at the heart of urgent contemporary debates, from climate change to economic instability. Anticipatory capabilities of individuals and communities may enhance the overall sense-making process and improve decision-making, strategy formation and societal resilience.

Project leader(s):
  • Roberto Poli (Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento)

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