FUTURLAB is a special research unit of the University of Alicante created to help public institutions and private companies in the way of becoming more competitive, proactive, innovative and future-oriented, based on the knowledge transfer, research results, training and benchmarking.
The UNIVERSITY OF ALICANTE, founded in 1979, is located in Alicante, the fourth province of Spain in GBP (Gross Domestic Product). The University has fifty-two degrees, more than fifty-five departments and one hundred and thirty-six research units and groups in Social and Legal Sciences, Experimental Sciences, Technological Sciences, Human Sciences, and Education and Health Sciences. Besides, ten Research Institutes (Water and Environment, Geographical Analysis, International Economy, Materials, Applied Modern Languages, etc) develop one of the country’s most reputable research activity. Our University is considered a point of reference for a large amount of firms, related with the University of Alicante through technical assistance and technology transfer contracts.
Last week an international workshop on Internationalization of Higher Education was held in Iman Khomeini International University (Irán). Luis Gomez de Membrillera and Mario Guilló represented University of Alicante and Futurlab in this 3 days workshop, in which distinguised representatives from iranian and european universities shared experiences in the field of International Research and Academic Management. The european experiencies contributed to the following identification and evaluation of scenarios for the future development of the Higuer Education in Iran.
As part of the project Erasmus+ LASIN – Latin American Social Innovation Network, 12 students coming from Latam (Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Panama) chosen by their own universities on the basis of their Social Innovation projects, participated in an intensive Workshop on Foresight and Innovation driven by the professors Javier Medina (Director of the CYTED Latinoamerican Network on Foresight and Innovation. Colombia) and Enric Bas, Director at FUTURLAB.
FUTURLAB proudly invited Prof.Medina, one of the most outstanding futurists in Latam, as a part of his Sabbatical Period in Europe, in order to participate in seminars, workshops and meetings with academic authorities like the Dean of the Faculty of Economics, Dr. Raul Ruiz.
FUTURLAB, represented by Enric Bas as guest speaker, has participated with a conference entitled “Foresight for Innovation. On participatory methods, empathy and the design of effective networks” at the 2018 International Seminar in Foresight and Innovation organized by the GPEI – Research Group in Strategy, Internationalization and Innovation / School of Management at UFGRS- Universidad Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (Porto Alegre, Brasil).
Enric Bas and Ana Bossler have participated in the Quartas da Inovação – Edição Especial: The future of Collaborative Economy (AT ZENIT Technological Park, Portoalegre), as guest speakers and panelist on a discussion about the future of shared and collaborative economy. Visions and research outcomes have been shared in order to make a joint comparative analysis between Europe and Latam.
FUTURLAB won a contract in a call from The OpenDoors Project (INTERREG Program. European Regional Development Fund. H2020-8th R&I Framework Programme. European Commission) to ellaborate a Future Scenarios Report on the basis of the 3-years research results of this european network. The “Future Scenarios for the Shared & Collaborative Economy in 2030 (ShE_2030)” report, written by Enric Bas and Ana Bossler, was recently delivered to OpenDoors.
Three latinamerican specialists (two from Brazil and one from Argentina) with different professional backgrounds: Priscilla Lima (Lawyer) , Débora de Andrade (International Relations), Alan Rojas (Journalist and Photographer), have participated in an international panel (videoconference) about the challenges in the fashion industry in LATAM, organized by Ana Bossler, researcher in FUTURLAB and professor at the UA Postgraduate Program on Fashion Marketing.
Professors Fabricius and Tigerstedt, invited by the Faculty of Economics, lead a Workshop on “Intrapeneurship in Business Management” in the class of Prof. Enric Bas (Social Change and Communication), participating in a seminar with FUTURLAB members.
Prof. Erickson, one of the most outstanding specialists in Audiovisual Narratives and the producing of Documentaries about Civil Rights in America, gave a conference on “Audiovisual Narratives and the construction of Social Reality” in the subject of Prof. Enric Bas (Social Change and Communication), invited by the Faculty of Economic; she also participated in a seminar with FUTURLAB members.
Enric Bas, Director of FUTURLAB, has been appointed as Editorial Board member by JFS, a journal of reference in Futures Studies and Research worldwide. The Journal of Futures Studies (JFS) started in 1996 and is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal in the discipline of Futures Studies. It is published by Tamkang University Press on behalf of the Graduate Institute of Futures Studies at Tamkang University in Taipei, in Taiwan. Other members of the JFS-EB are outstanding futurists like Wendell Bell (Yale U.), Ryota Ono (Aichi U.), Alex Pang (Oxford U.), Vuokko Jarva (Helsinki U.) or Linda Groff (Cal. State U.), just to mention a few.
FUTURLAB will contribute with researchers -as teachers- to the faculty team of the Curso de Experto en Marketing de la Moda 2017-2018, organized by the Marketing Department of the University of Alicante. The participation of FUTURLAB is expected to be based on foresight analysis of demand on the basis on complex processes and events (megatrends, weak signals, wild cards), and on proactive analysis (social innovation, design thinking…) of supply.
The FFRC-Finland Futures Research Center is a cornerstone in Futures Studies History, both at educational and research level. Additionally to being a reference of us, this center is one of the key strategic partners of our research unit since 1994. FUTURLAB contributed to the 2017 FFRC Congress “Futures of a Complex World” with a couple of papers: “Participatory Foresight and the future Internet: building Futures through Communication” (Bossler, Guilló, Bas) and “Reaching Zeitgeist: on Complexity, Decision Making and Participatory Foresight” (Bas, Pazour).
Soon Available at the Publications Office of the European Union the SFRI-Report on Research and Innovation Policy in Horizon 2020, delivered April, 2017.
Enric Bas, Director of FUTURLAB, is one of the co-authors and Editor of the Background Paper on Networking and Foresight, as member of the SFRI Experts Panel of the DG-RTD at the European Commission, and Coordinator of the Working Group #3.
The Project Network 617RT0531- CREATION AND CONSOLIDATION OF THE LATINAMERICAN CONFEDERATION OF FORESIGHT NETWORKS (PROS_RED_LAC) has been approved in the 2016 call of CYTED, and will be developed in the next four years (2017-2020). This network is participated by outstanding academic and research institutions from Colombia, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico and Spain, which is represented by FUTURLAB-UA. The main aim of this Research Network is to formalize and consolidate an extended network of institutions committed with researching and training/education in Foresight oriented to Social Innovation.
FUTURLAB will be leading the second edition (the program started in 2016)of this International Summer Course, a program designed ad-hoc for a selected group of students coming from the UNF-University of North Florida (USA). The intensive course, organized by the Faculty of Economics, will take place at the University of Alicante during next May. Professors Mario Guillo and Enric Bas will teaching most of the contents and will manage the Applied Project on Social Innovation to be developed by the students. This project will be developed in-company at NGO´s like Red Cross Spain, following the “Creative Futures Methodology” created by FUTURLAB-UA.
During January and February, 2017 Professor Enric Bas has been participating as a scientific member of the Techcast Global Think Tank (USA) in an experts panel survey on Future Scenarios for the Trump Era. This ambitious study has been exploring the possible and probable future consequences of the irrumption of Donald Trump in first-line politics both in USA -as President- and the global context, concerning all aspects of social life (economy, security, environment, technology, demography, communication). As a result, three scenarios were formulated, as plausible futuribles -of hypotethical potential future contexts- that might be of interest for decision making both in public organizations and private companies.
Professor Enric Bas, Director of FUTURLAB-UA, was invited to participate on November, 29th in a one-day intensive Experts Panel on “The Future of Employment” organized by the Foundation Rafael Del Pino (Madrid. Spain) together with other 16 participants representing civil society, business world and academy. Some of the institutions represented were CEOE (Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations), ILO (International Labour Organization), The Bank of Spain, Trade Unions (Comisiones Obreras, …), top consulting companies (Adecco, Cuatrecases, Bombardier,…) and universities. The main aim of this report is contributing to improve social development and competitiveness in a complex changing context, by pointing out some trends and key issues to be addressed in order to stimulate higher rates of employment creation and to create a better future for the coming generations.
Last October was published the second volume of the trilogy Foresight and Innovation, a collective work that brings together some of the most relevant futurists at international level, trying to share visions, experiences and sensibilities in different contexts and areas, on the potential of Foresight for promoting Innovation and Social Development. This volume focuses on experiences developed in countries such as Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Spain, Finland, Holland, Hungary or Peru, among others.
Enric Bas, Director of FUTURLAB-UA, participated as Guest Speaker at the last FEN-Foresight European Network, held in Ljubjana (Slovenia) last October, 7th, 2016. He was invited as Coordinator of the WG3-Social Networks of the SFRI (Strategic Foresight for Research and Innovation) Experts Group of the European Commission. His contribution was based on the links between bottom up participatory Social Innovation processes and the development of effective Social and Professional Networks. Cornelia Daheim (Germany), Blaz Golob (Slovenia) and Jerry Glenn (USA), among many others, where part of the working group discussing this topic.
Professor Enric Bas participated as Guest Speaker with a conference entitled “Democracy 2.0: Citizen as User or the role of Participatory Methods in Politics” at the 6th Ljubiana Forum on the Future of Cities held at the Ljubjana Castle (Slovenia) in October 6th,7th, 2016. He also contributed to the round table on “Knowledge, Business Models and Financial Instruments for Green Cities & Smart Infrastructure”.
This September Dr. Mario Guilló has been developing different training sessions on Foresight and Energy Futures in South Pacific Area. This training has been developed under the umbrella of EPIC project (funded by the European Commission), which main aim is to develop skills and capacity on the field of Renewal Energy. The sessions were held in University of Fiji and University of Papua New Guinea, and the objective was to engage with business community, government representatives, academics, researchers and students on a common debate about the future of energy, by using Foresight Methodologies for identifying and evaluating alternative scenarios on the field of Renewal Energy.
University of Alicante is coordinating a project with Libyan University entitled UNIGOV-Modernizing University Governance and Management in Libya. In the context of this project Mario Guilló was invited to coordinate a foresight study focused on identifying and evaluating main future challenges for Higher Education Institutions in Libya. During the last meeting of the project representatives from different Libyan universities discussed the preliminary results of this study. Finals results and recommendations from this study will be presented in September, during the UNIGOV Final Conference.
This week we have received the visit of our colleagues from CAPACITY4FOOD, a project focused on promoting Food Security in Anglophone Western African countries. University representatives from Nigeria, Gambia, Cameroon, Sierra Leone and Ghana have attended the workshop on Strategic Planing coordinated by Mario Guilló. Main aim of this workshop, that will continue with an online training, has been to develop a Marketing Plan for ensuring the sustainability of the Centers of Excellence created within this project.
Enric Bas and Mario Guilló represented the University of Alicante during STEP International Conference (Strengthening University-Enterprise Linkages in Palestine), held on June 2nd in the Korean Palestinian IT Institute of Excellence (An-Najah National University, Palestine). The conference covered a wide range of topics about innovation and the relationship between universities and the private sector and we took this chance for sharing GYM, F212 and FLUX projects outcomes, all of them examples of good practices in promoting University-Business Cooperation.
In May we have received the visit of an international group of students coming from University of North Florida, that have been working together with RedCross representatives and students from University of Alicante in a Creative Futures workshop developed by Futurlab. In this workshop RedCross presented a challenge related with the refugees crisis in EU to this multicultural and interdisciplinary group of students, and during 4 intensive weeks they have been developing innovative proposals for solving the proposed challenge. Great experience!
This week Mario Guilló coordinated a high level workshop on the future of the main productive sectors in the country. In this workshop representatives from different ministries and the Presidents of the main Universities in the country discussed about the main challenges to be faced in order to ensure the growth and sustainability in the strategic sectors for the Economy in Honduras. This event was held at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH), the biggest university in the country. During his visit, Mario Guilló had a meeting with different deans and unit directors from this institution for presenting different types of foresight initiatives that could be developed at university level.
Last week took part the International Week organized by The Faculty of Economics (UA) and Futurlab was invited to develop a workshop on “Creative Futures” training method. 20+ professors and researchers from international universities attended the workshop coordinated by Enric Bas and Mario Guilló. During this workshop main outcomes of the GYM Project were presented, receiving very good feedback from the participants, encouraging us to wide the GYM platform by developing joint initiatives between our institutions.
Last week we coordinated a workshop about the Future of Europe, held in Arcada University of Applied Science (Helsinki, FINLAND). This workshop was part of Arcada 360 course, with more than 150+ students from different nationalities. During the workshop the students applied our FLUX methodology and Creative Futures Approach for evaluating Europe as a concept and proposing points for improvement. Many thanks to ours colleagues from Arcada University for the invitation!
The book “The Future Internet: Alternative visions” (Springer), in which Enric Bas and Mario Guilló has had the pleasure of participating, is out! In this book, edited by Ryota Ono (Aichi University, Japan) and Jennifer Winter (University of Hawaii, USA), presents perspectives of some of the most prominent futurist worldwide, perspectives which are not often addressed in current discussion about the future Internet. It will depict multiple scenarios of future societies shaped by the future Internet.
Universidad de Alicante
Carretera San Vicente s/n
03690 San Vicente del Raspeig
Tel: +34965909362FUTURLAB is a special research unit of the University of Alicante specialized in foresight methodologies, social innovation and design thinking