“Scanning the Fringe” call for presenters

We are looking forward to seeing you at the 2018 Spring Gathering themed “Scanning the Fringe.” We will do our usual dinner and social on Friday, have meeting on Saturday, and a party on Saturday night. Right now, we are working on the agenda, and we’d like to hear from you, if you have a topic in mind that fits with this year’s theme. And it’s not too early to book your travel if you’re coming in from out of town. The Hilton on campus is very convenient (link) and some folks have used AirBnB (link).

A little bit on the “scanning the fringe” theme. As futurists in general and scanners in particular, we are increasingly challenged to find the weak signals of change. We suggest that one must “scan the fringe” to find these weak signals. That said, our instructions for where to find the fringe are, quite frankly, rather murky. We talk about art, fiction, science, fiction, fringe media, underground, blogs, notes, speeches, monographs, tech journals, etc., but how do we find these?

So we want to spend a day exploring the topic of the fringe and weak signals, and scanning. Some topics might include:

  • Tools for finding, collecting, and analyzing hits
  • Examples or mini-case studies where scanning has had an impact
  • How do you “find the fringe, or weak signals,” whether process or good sources, which might include sites, or maybe “field visits.”
  • Timing….making scanning more useful by providing more help on “timing the future.”
  • Role of sci fi
  • Crowdsourcing approaches
  • Role of biases
  • As a field, getting “credit” for identifying weak signals that end up having a big impact

We are looking for ideas for specific topics we might cover, as well as presenters. So, if you have a topic you’d like to see covered, or even better, if you’d like to present, please let us know (email Andy at ahines@uh.edu).    — Andy Hines


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