Nur Anisah

Participatory Futures for Better Governance

From Black Mirror to Brexit, societies across the globe are facing increasing distrust of institutions, socio-economic polarization, and the dominance of dystopian imagery. Our images of the present and the future are leading us towards decay. This status quo cannot stand.

To counter this, Nesta, the innovation foundation, commissioned the Action Foresight’s Global Swarm to explore how participatory futures might offer alternative and emerging methodologies to bring people together to envision alternatives and desirable futures.

We look at participatory futures as a medium for people to think (and feel) differently, openly, and critically about the future together – to create constructive, participatory, and radical changes.

To date, we have developed multiple typologies to help us better understand participatory futures – specifically around how, when, and what kind to use. Looking at over 300 case studies from Bangladesh to Mexico, we explored why and how such approaches are put into practice as well as what they can and might produce, including both preferred and unexpected outcomes.

The FutureFestival will be our first-time showcasing our work. Here, we hope to continue the conversation and explore participatory futures with FuturesFestival attendees and discuss its capacity for radical transformations.


Dr Anisah graduated with a PhD (Operations Research) from Strathclyde University. She uses foresight to help organisations plan strategically and she consults the design and development of performance measurement systems for organisational improvement. She is currently obsessed with the thoughts of challenging the dominant assumptions embedded in the conceptual tools of futures studies.   Her portfolio of strategy development workshops include Dubai Police, UNDP Georgia and Innovative Service Lab Georgia, Employee Provident Fund Malaysia, Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia, National Higher Education Research Institute Malaysia and International Islamic University Malaysia.  At present she serves as a Senior Teaching Fellow at the Strathclyde Business School where she delivers three MBA courses: Operations Management, Strategic Consulting in Practice and Project/Research Methodology;  conducts Foresight Executive Education Workshops; and supports the teaching and learning development at the seven international centers.  She tweets about trends, emerging issues and all things weird at itsAnisah and in 2017, founded Futures_Sandbox ( onTwitter) as a community platform for advancing Futures Literacy.


Twitter: @itsAnisah