Student Excursion to the Prime Minister’s Office (cross-post from PM’s web site)

Current Futures Studies Master’s students visited the Prime Minister’s Foresight Unit. Click here for more….

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Turun yliopiston tulevaisuuden tutkimuskeskuksen maisteriopiskelijat kävivät vieraamanne kuulemassa ja keskustelemassa kansallisesta ennakoinnista ja ennakointiverkostosta, jota me VNK:ssa ja Sitrassa koordinoimme. Vanessa Deggins kirjoitti visiitistä opiskelijoiden Black Swans blogiin ja julkaisemme tekstin nyt myös tässä. Kiitos mainiosta vierailusta!

At the end of April, I along with other Master’s Students from the Futures Studies program visited the Finnish government’s foresight unit in Helsinki. It consists of specialists from the Prime Minister’s office and Sitra, The Finnish Innovation Fund. The National Foresight Network is a mostly online forum of Finnish organizations that are active in foresight. Online forums and social media are used to engage citizens, businesses and other actors who may have valuable input. There is also an annual FinnSight Forum where government officials and foresight specialists come together to discuss various issues in preparation for the government’s annual report on the future. On the regional level, each of the 19 regions in Finland have at least one person working on foresight as part of a council that focuses on the areas specific interests and issues.

We started by introducing ourselves to our hosts and what future trends we were interested in. This ranged from education to renewable energy to artificial intelligence. Next, there were two presentations, the first from Kaisa Oksanen, a senior specialist with the Prime Minister’s Office. Kaisa explained the national foresight process for Finland and her unit’s role. They are able to work independent of parliamentary influence but their work is made available to them. Some reports include sustainable growth and its contributions to quality of life and the future of work and working life in Finnish society. They also hold workshops for civil servants to help them understand foresight and to develop a future oriented mindset in their policy decisions. One new trend Kaisa said they are working on is focusing on using experimentation in the decision making process and trying to encourage members of Parliament to take a more evidence-based approach to their work.

The next presentation was from Elina Kiiski Kataja, a foresight specialist with Sitra. She discussed one of Sitra’s most recent reports on the Future of Democracy. She explained that it is a system that hasn’t necessarily adapted much from it’s initial processes almost 100 years ago. This has lead to “democracy fatigue’ which is characterized by lower voter participation due to disillusionment or feelings of disconnection from elected officials. Key to fixing these issues, she said, is new methods of operation to bring about greater inclusion. These issues, it is believed, have lead to the rise in far right parties and populist politicians in many European countries and the United States. Specific examples include Donald Trump’s election in the United States and the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, which were not predicted by the current political models. Part of this change will be reconciling the differences and seeming conflicts between representative democracy and futures thinking, both of which Elina feels are important for any move forward.

Her article on the topic chronicles Finland’s representative structural changes since the 19th century. It has changed from the House of Estates, mostly aristocratic, to a representative democracy brought in by the Industrial Revolution and the rise of a large working class population. As the country has moved away from an largely industrialized society, the key is to figure out what will be the next class or estate that defines the next composition of society and future form of administrative authority.

(opinion) I found the visit very thought provoking as I am interested in how technology has disrupted and continues to disrupt not only society’s standard practices, but some structures of inequality that have been maintained throughout society for a very long time. The other side to this are the people who feel left behind because of the technology. These of course, are the people who are and have been losing jobs to automation, which is projected to continue. The bright side to this is that many jobs will also be created because of automation and I think key to this is to try to find a place for those who feel left behind. A hurdle would be people who don’t want to adapt to fit into these changes. We are all human after all. Another possible negative, as has been seen throughout the entire world, are outside forces, mainly politicians, using these issues to further ulterior motives that have had dangerous consequences. There is no silver bullet of course, and any plan to move forward will require changes on many different levels.

May 12, 2017 at 9:27 am Leave a comment

Black Swans Board Meeting Newsletter 22.02.17

Monthly meeting of the Black Swans Student Group Board. Click here for more….

BSSG2

March 8, 2017 at 6:50 am Leave a comment

(Newsletter) Feb. 27 Futures Research Workshop

This is a review of our first coaching workshop with entrepreneurship specialists from the Brahea Center. Click for more…

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March 7, 2017 at 8:53 am Leave a comment

(Newsletter) Futures Research Consulting Feb. 2017

This is a review of the first co-op meeting. Click for more…

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March 7, 2017 at 8:33 am Leave a comment

Black Swans Student Group Newsletter Feb. 2017

The first meeting of the 2017-2018 Black Swans Board members. Click here for more….

BSSG1

March 7, 2017 at 6:46 am Leave a comment

Tiger Football Playing Up to Expectations

The 2013-2014 season isn’t a rebuilding year, but East Feliciana football coach Cedric Anderson said a lot of players will have to step up to fill in for graduating seniors.

“Along with losing Corey (Hawkins) and Kendall (Beckwith), we also lost four very good senior offensive linemen and D’Quan Franklin was just an ironman for us on defense these last two years,” Anderson said. “And you can’t really replace them per se, but I believe they set good examples and some of the younger guys have stepped up.”

Senior wide receiver and cornerback Danny Johnson said they are taking a bottom up approach in that they are making sure the freshmen and sophomores also understand the importance of leadership and teamwork.
Along with going to camps at the University of Alabama and LSU, Johnson said he was focused on helping his fellow tigers gel as a team.

“I’ve been really leaning on Danny, Darryl Matthews (wide receiver), Kameron McKnight (running back) and Tyquincey Kilbourne (linebacker) to pick up the slack and see how far they can take us,” Anderson said.

The Tigers finished last season 8-4 with a 14-16 loss in the Class 3A state semi-finals to Notre Dame of Crowley.

East Feliciana is now in Class 2A, District 6.

Anderson said he considered the season a success and he plans to take the same approach this year.

“Overall, I think our guys did great. Playing a tough non district schedule really helped,” Anderson said. “We played a very good Zachary team and lost by one point and the week before we beat a really good Richwood (Monroe) team in overtime.”

Anderson said those losses, including a tough 12-19 loss to Salmen of Slidell prepared his guys for the playoffs.

“I really saw that in the quarterfinals against Union Parish. We went into the fourth quarter 16-0 and the kids were able to reflect back on those tough early losses and get that win,” Anderson said.

The Tigers went on to beat the Farmers 22-16 to get to the semis and face Notre Dame. Anderson said along with Notre Dame being a really good team, they also took advantage of the Tigers’ turnovers to get the win.

McKnight, a senior and outside linebacker, said he is really looking forward to playing Zachary again this year.

“They are a good team and they’ve beat us two years in a row,” McKnight said. He said their downfall last year was that morale started to drop after referees made multiple play calls that they didn’t agree with.

Anderson said he had a good turnout for summer two-a-day practices in June and July, which consisted of lots of weights, conditioning and speed drills.

This season’s schedule will feature non-district games against West Feliciana, Belaire and Zachary before starting district play.

“We are in a district with a lot of good teams and some very good coaches, so it will be a dogfight every night,” Anderson said. “We’re just looking forward to competing.”

original article: http://www.felicianaexplorer.com/content/tiger-football-playing-expectations-0

August 25, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Saints Playing for Post-Season Glory

 

QB Ryan Reed hands the ball off to running back Anthony Ebbs

QB Ryan Reed hands the ball off to running back Anthony Ebbs

West Feliciana football coach Robb Odom said continuing to improve on the little things is what will push his guys farther into the play-offs for the 2013-2014 season.

“I think we did good this last season and I’m looking to build on that,” Odom said.

Senior linebacker Seth Sterling said this season he will be better at knowing his assignments for tackles.

“The Combine in Denham Springs was really helpful because I got to see the competition. I also improved on my time in the 40 (meter dash),” Sterling said.

Sterling said he wants the Saints to be a dominant defense this season and he plans to do a better job on seeing certain plays coming. He also would like to get a couple of turnovers or an interception and hopes to make first-string all-district team.

The Saints finished the 2012-2013 season at 7-4 with a 49-22 loss to North DeSoto in the first round of the Class 3A District 6 playoffs.

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They opened last season with four straight wins before losing to Zachary 36-21. The Saints followed that up with three straights wins, which included district rivals Baker and Glen Oaks. The North DeSoto lose came after loses to Parkview Baptist and East Feliciana, who are not in their district this year.

The Saints will still see the Tigers in their first regular season game.

“We started out good last season, but it hurt us when bigger teams like Zachary and Parkview came. I think we have to work on not shutting down when we lose one,” said senior defensive end Logan Biggs.

He said he and his fellow linemen have been working together after practice on technique and form.

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Senior running back Trè Bailey said they have to take it one game at a time, since they will still be playing against bigger schools. Parkview Baptist will be the Saints last regular season game.

“We spent the summer in the weight room and linemen and running backs have been helping each other a lot with our form and blocking,” Bailey said.

Senior tight end and linebacker Tevin Johnson said he is hoping for a good season after being sidelined last year with a torn ACL.

“We only had four seniors last year, so almost everyone is back. We are healthier and deeper this year,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he began light jogging, then moved to stadiums early in the summer and hopes to make an impact.

“We have Port Allen and University High in our district now, so it will be a real test against both of those teams. We’ve all been pushing each other and this will be a good season,” Johnson said.

“I think to get farther into the playoffs, we just need to execute better, have some good fortune and stay injury free,” Odom said. “We’re just staying focused on the next game coming up on the schedule.”

The Saints first regular season district game will be against Port Allen on Sept. 27.

original link: http://www.felicianaexplorer.com/content/saints-playing-post-season-glory

August 25, 2013 at 6:34 pm

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