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Visioning techniques emerged from a call for ways to identify preferred images of the future in The Image of the Future by Fred Polak, and were developed as a method by various people, including Elise Boulding.

Visioning with Muslim Scholars

Read more about Tying the Camel in Kuala Lumpur

The narrative Tying the Camel in Kuala Lumpur presents a three-day foresight workshop organized with a group of religious scholars at the International Islamic University in Kuala Lumpur in 1996. The methodology emplyed during the workshop had been used in a previous foresight process that had taken place in Penang, also in Malaysia:

  • presentations to set out the theoretical framework of the futures studies,
  • workshop to develop different scenarios,
  • a visioning session,
  • a backcasting exercise to produce practical guidelines and plans to move towards a viable, envisioned future.

The goal was to define various ways in which their religion and society could develop, identify potential hurdles and viable alternatives, and provide suggestions on how the University itself can develop and become a futures oriented institution.

Faced with challenges presented by a group of participants that belong to a non-western culture, the futurists chose to focus on the visioning session, and to structure it around a set of questions formulated in a vocabulary which is meaningful to the participants:

  1. How do we discover and realize the ‘will of God’ as human beings?
  2. How do we know what God wills and what does it mean to know what He wills?
  3. Did the Prophet Muhammad not say: ‘Trust in God, but tie your camel’? How do we tie our camels in times of rapid change?
  4. What would we need to do to actually tie our camels?
  5. Can religious traditions survive, in the face of change, without reinventing themselves?

The practice of visioning, as it is presented in the narrative Tying the Camel in Kuala Lumpur, exemplifies the need for contextualization when a visioning technique is being used.

See also

Workshop: Vision Building

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