Learning from the Politics of Futures

by Steve Gould

ABSTRACT

The central intent of this essay is based on the author’s master’s thesis named ‘Creating alternative community futures: A community futures tragedy.’ This thesis explored the question “Can local governments empower their communities with the opportunity and capacity to create alternative futures?” Local governments in their role of managing issues and planning for the future have more recently embraced the concepts of community engagement and sustainable development. This essay presents the results from a community visioning project ‘Maroochy 2025’ and highlights a tragedy of lost opportunity to galvanise community momentum and capacity to create alternative futures. However, the learnings from Maroochy 2025 highlight the case for anticipatory democracy practices and participatory leadership. If the new purpose of local governments is to support the creation of sustainable communities, then local governments will need to engage their communities in more meaningful ways and re-define implementation models within the constraints of representative democracy.(continue…)

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