Archive for September, 2008

The Cook Islands in 2050

YOUR IDEAS MAY HELP YOU AND THE NATION
A WRITING COMPETITION WITH AWARDS

The Cook Islands Research Association (CIRA) next conference:
“THE COOK ISLANDS IN 2050”
5 to 7 February 2009
University of the South Pacific (USP)

in association with USP, Cook Is. Library & Museum Society,
Ministry of Education & Ministry of Cultural Development

“I look to the future because that is where I will spend the rest of my life.”
George Burns

Papers
Anyone is welcome to prepare a paper for the conference.  Written papers may be of any length, but speaking time for each paper will be 30 minutes, then 15 minutes discussion. Most papers will probably be written by individuals, but two or more people may work on a joint paper. Papers may be in English or Maori.

Send papers to:
Secretary, Cook Islands Research Association
c/- PO Box 130, Rarotonga
Deadline: Monday 12 January 2009

Prizes
The Rarotongan Beach Resort and Spa has generously offered prizes for the best papers on any aspect of “Cook Islands 2050”.

Adult (Open) section:
First prize – $1,000
Second prize –  $ 500
Third prize –  $ 250
Commended – 2 x $125

High School section:
First prize –  $1,000
Second prize –  $ 500
Third prize –  $ 250
Commended – 2 x $125

You must submit your paper by the deadline of 12 January 2009 to be eligible for a prize.

Name of the award
As Sir Tom Davis (Pa Tuterangi Ariki) was the most prominent Cook Islander researcher and futures thinker so far, the prizes will be named in his honour: the Sir Tom Davis (Pa Tuterangi Ariki) Future of the Cook Islands Award.

Judging
The essays will be judged by two panels, possibly including Jon Jonassen, John Akavi, Marjorie Crocombe, Jean Mason, Va’ine Wichman, Temu Okotai, Jeanne Matenga, Rod Dixon, Tiresa Manarangi-Trott, Moana Moekaa, Noeline Browne, Ulamila Kurai Wragg and William Framhein.   The judges’ decisions will be final.

Presentation of the winning papers
Authors of award-winning papers may present them (or 30 minute summaries if they are longer), at the conference – which will also be reported by the newspapers, radio and television, as CIRA conferences have in the past.

Publication
The papers belong to their authors, and they may make whatever publication arrangements they wish, but CIRA may offer to publish if authors wish.

Topic
Papers may be on any aspect of life in the Cook Islands (or in any island of the Cook Islands) as it may be in 2050 e.g. culture (or one or more particular aspects of culture and ethnicity), or one or more aspects of economy, politics, religion, philosophy, values, language, population, health, or any other topic you wish to work on.

High schools
Discussions are being held with the Ministry of Education about the competition and the possibility of incorporating considerations of the future in the curriculum.

Thinking about the future
Its harder than you think.  Considering possible, probable, and preferred futures takes serious thought, effort, and time.   We cannot know the future in detail, but some things are more likely than others.  What actually happens will depend in part on forces beyond our control, but also in part on how we handle the possibilities.  The more we explore possibilities and work to achieve the best options, the better the future is likely to be for everyone.

Everyone thinks about the future – all planning and policy is thinking about the future, governments have development plans, companies have business plans, individuals have personal plans.  We take insurance in case we need it in future, we take courses and qualifications in the expectation that they will give us better opportunities in future, and we plan even for holidays and reunions.  But do we think about the future carefully enough, and prepare enough to improve the chances of our hopes actually happening?

How to approach it
You can write your paper any way you like, but if you have not thought seriously about the future and would like to understand more, there are many books, papers and Internet web sites that you may find helpful.

The main thing is to focus on an aspect that interests you. Research how it developed in the past, the forces of change now, the likely future forces of change, and the actions you think practical to achieve a result closer to the one you prefer.

It sometimes helps to prepare several scenarios (sequences of events), usually three. The first might be what you think could happen but would be a bad outcome. The second might be your ideal outcome. The third might be your ideas on the best achievable under the circumstances – and explain what actions you think should be taken to help achieve it.

“Nobody gets to live life backwards. Look ahead. That’s where your future lies.”
Ann Landers

Useful websites include:

World Future Society
www.wfs.org
WFS shares information on trends, scientific and other developments, & human and environmental influences.  It has an excellent monthly journal (The Futurist – in print and by e-mail), and an annual conference where some of the world’s leading thinkers present the latest research results in many fields.

Foresight Network
www.shapingtomorrow.com/
This organization sends out e-mail newsletters to members about trends, developments and influences and their likely impact on our futures.

Arlington Institute
www.arlingtoninstitute.org
Arlington’s e-mail newsletter Future Edition gives valuable information on future possibilities and probabilities.

World Future Studies Federation
www.wfsf.org
WFS more academic. Its headquarters rotates and the organization holds a meeting every two years in a different part of the world.

New Zealand Futures Trust
www.futurestrust.org.nz
NZFT is private, but receives government support.  Its Future Times journal reports on likely future trends affecting New Zealand.

WorldWatch Institute
www.worldwatch.org
WorldWatch is excellent for environment issues.

United Nations Millenium Project
www.unmillenniumproject.org
UNMP publishes a State of the Future report every few years, with help from specialists in many fields. The latest 2008 report can be downloaded free.  There are many others.

World Future Society bookstore
www.wfs.org
There are many books on various aspects of the future. Edward Cornish’s book Futuring: The Exploration of the Future is one of many that are helpful in improving planning and foresight. Also see John L. Peterson’s A Vision for 2012: Planning for Extraordinary Change. The many journals include the British journal Futures: The Journal of Forecasting, Planning and Policy.

For more information contact one of the Cook Islands Research Association executive: Angie Tuara, Ron Crocombe, Imogen Ingram, Anna Koteka, Noeline Browne, Marjie Crocombe, Rod Dixon, Jon Jonassen, Jean Mason, Rutera Taripo or Ina Teiotu.

“The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
Albert Einstein

September 19, 2008 at 9:52 pm Leave a comment


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