Journal of Futures Studies

Co-Futuring Narratives for Toowoomba – A Regional Australian Community

Abstract

The futures of regional communities are a matter of worldwide concern. In Australia, given the rapidly changing nature of rural and regional communities, a futuring program was proposed to explore ‘community development’ scenarios guided by local stakeholder participation. The venue for our futuring research was the regional city of Toowoomba, in Queensland, Australia. Over the past decade, Toowoomba has reacted to significant change in response to local and global effects, such as the resource boom and shifts in agricultural production. As a consequence there are a number of social, economic and environmental impacts whose cumulative effect could threaten the city’s future vitality. An inter-disciplinary research team co-developed a Futuring Tool-Box (FTB) incorporating a comprehensive range of acknowledged tools and methods. A futuring workshop was held to identify the futures issues specific to Toowoomba. Participants were professionals, CEOs and NGOs living in the Toowoomba region, identified as actively futures-aware. This paper focuses on their voices and the future scenarios they co-created, and concludes with a suite of follow-up strategies.

Keywords: Co-Creative Scenarios, Foresensing Community, Futuring Tool-Box (FTB), Narrative, Regional Futures, Visualization.

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Journal of Futures Studies

Tamkang University, Tamsui Campus
Taipei, Taiwan 251
Tel: 886 2-2621-5656 ext. 3001
Fax: 886 2-2629-6440

ISSN 1027-6084