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Table 1 Modified from Mannermaa 2006:3

From: Deliberative future visioning: utilizing the deliberative democracy theory and practice in futures research

Futures thinking* Prevailing (representative)democracy* Value added by DD
Long range; decades or more Short range; parliamentary cycle (frequently four years) - Detaches (when required) the issue from the temporal and structural linearity expectations of policy formation
- Advances the multisectoral, deliberative participation of expertise, citizens and administration
- Offers a variety of methods of serving diverse participative purposes
Multisectoral systems thinking Sectoral “not my job” -thinking
New modes of thinking and organizing societal activities are born from the conditions of the information society and its followers Modes of thinking and organizing societal activities (eg. political party structure) comes from the agrarian and industrial eras - Allows the issues to function as outliers of pivotal attendance: participation beyond constituencies
- Addresses complexity by a wide range of spectrums
- Offers theoretical and practical experience in conscious involvement and facilitation of varied expertise (margins) and polarized groups (enclaves)
Complex societal reality; difficult to perceive the big picture Simplifying issues; political temptation to sell easy solutions to the citizens
Perseverance - “sometimes it is necessary to abstain now in order that the better fruits could come later” Short-sightedness - “we want prizes and satisfactions now” - Provides a theoretical background and design for
constituting societal values to function as a basis of societal policy-making
tolerating uncertainty by exploring possibilities beyond restraining limits
promoting the emerging or undercurrent issues to surface
ideological dialogue with emphasis on scientific and societal perception outside or inside political preferences
Change – accelerating change, unpredictable surprises Status quo, “stick to your position”, predictable trends
Visions; goals and value discussions producing them Modern information society has blurred old ideologies, new ones are still unborn
Proactivity – “we make the future”; futures analysis of the key factors in the operating environment and our own inspiring visions form a basis for our strategies to take over the future Opportunism or passivity – we “drift into the future”; inspiring ideological visions of the future of our societies are lacking - Advances societal proactivity by contributing to multi-voiced and future-oriented dialogue
  1. *Original columns