Workshop A2: let's not talk about time - the way we know

Anisah Abdullah

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Description: We have learned from an experience working with the community of a remote village, Dankawalie, in Sierra Leone, West Africa that some of the assumptions embedded in the design of tools and methods used in facilitating futures literacy activities/exercises were not helpful in getting this group into an exploratory space. Most tools, methods or approaches were western-centric and were designed based on the assumption of the concept of linearity of time, and that intelligence was hierarchical and often measured by tech-savviness.This phenomenon signifies the need for an exploration into reframing the dominant assumptions underpinning the epistemology of futures studies.


This workshop invites participants to explore and challenge the dominant assumptions embedded in some of the common Futures methodologies.

Participants will be asked to work in groups of 5 or 6 to discuss on how they would describe the core events of their lives without making reference to time on the calendar or the clock. Groups were to report back and reflect on what they have learned from that activity and how they now view their lives in this world.
How would this understanding and knowledge inform design decisions?

The workshop closes with a presentation on the learning points we gathered from our work with the high school teachers of Dankawalie, Sierra Leone.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2018
Event4th Asia Pacific Futurists Network (APFN) 2018: Asia Imagined: Disruptions and Alternative Futures - Bangkok, Thailand
Duration: 28 Aug 201829 Aug 2018


Conference4th Asia Pacific Futurists Network (APFN) 2018
Internet address


  • Futures Studies
  • linearity of time
  • tool design
  • tool development


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