A report on past and present of Sydney, and explore the emerging trends and signals which may impact the future.
The purpose of this report is to form a grounded understanding of the past and present of Sydney, and explore the emerging trends and signals which may impact the future. This will involve conducting research and synthesising findings to form the basis of your futures exploration.
About the report and things needed in the report:
A rich picture that encapsulates a coherent and nuanced understanding of your challenge space. This is a distillation and representation of your research into your chosen place, community and theme.
The objective of this rich picture is to establish a grounded understanding of your challenge space. This will support you in exploring future opportunities and barriers to change.
Your rich picture should demonstrate both a breadth and depth of exploration. It will be your synthesis of the chosen context incorporating the 3 elements of the futures triangle:
Past forces which have shaped the present and emerging future
Present day conditions and dynamics, exploring norms and behaviours of today
Emerging trends, signals and drivers which are impacting/emerging the space, gather via horizon scan
Your rich picture should communicate a nuanced understanding of your challenge space, including:
key features,
structures, things and technologies,
stakeholders (human and non-human),
You should also be examining how these elements interrelate and interact with one another.
It will be impossible to produce a completely comprehensive representation of everything. Instead, this rich picture should illustrate the areas you have explored, and the areas which you are especially drawn to understanding further. This should demonstrate a broad understanding of high level forces, as well as areas of more focused research and unpacking.
You are encouraged to get creative with how you present your rich pictures. You can support the communication of your rich picture with text elements. Your rich pictures should present the past, present and future of your challenge space with clarity and coherence.
Your submissions should be the equivalent size of A2 or larger. This can be created digitally, or a scan of a hand-drawn artefact. Please ensure that it is clear and legible. You do not need to reference your rich picture, but PLEASE ensure that you are drawing from credible sources to support your understanding.
Supporting your rich picture will be some further analysis into key aspects of the past, present and future.
Your rich picture should feature key historical events which have shaped the present and may continue to influence the emerging future. The past should be presented in a way to coherently links to the present day conditions of your challenge space.
Additionally, you will conduct a deep dive analysis into events in history, identified in relation to your place and community. This analysis (300 words each) should outlining the chosen events and their significance and impact on your challenge space. In your exploration you may choose to explore both history from a macro and/or micro level, as well as events from further in the past, or more recent.
Your deep dive should present a cohesive narrative of history, exploring the connections between each event towards the present and emerging future. Your analysis should also provide a rationale for why you chose to explore your set of historical events, in relation to the challenge space and your personal perspective on its significance.
This analysis should address the narratives, materials and values associated with the history you uncover. Your analysis should investigate how the historical events identified relate to one another, and how these events together have brought about the present and emerging future(s).
Your rich picture will be primarily focused on illustrating your understanding of the present; the structures and dynamics of your chosen place, community and theme. This should encompass both high-level macro elements, as well as more specific micro features.
In addition to this you will conduct a deep dive into underlying present-day norms and their associated narratives, materials and values. Your analysis of each norm (300 words each) should investigate the everyday behaviours, activities and practices in your challenge space to gain an understanding of how we live in the present.
Describe what these norms are, how they exist in the present and how we live in accordance with them in your chosen place and community. Unpack them through the narratives, materials and values framework. Each norm should be presented with imagery illustrating how they are practised. You should also critically engage with these norms; examining how these norms may interrelate, the positive and negative impacts, who they affect and what their causes and costs are. Your analysis should also provide a rationale for why you chose to focus on your chosen norms, addressing your personal perspective on its significance in the challenge space.
Through a horizon scan, you will explore and identify trends, drivers and weak signals which could affect the emerging future of your challenge space. Your scanning should feature a range of interesting insights from different sectors and scale, and encompass a range of sources. These trends/drivers/signals will be incorporated into your rich picture.
Additionally, you will conduct a deep dive into key trends/weak signals/drivers (300 words each). In this analysis you should be exploring the origins of the trend/driver/signal, unpacking new narratives, materials and values, anticipating the costs and consequences, as well as the politics behind it, and outline how/why these trends/driver/signals are relevant to your challenge space. Your analysis should also address why you chose to focus on these particular trends/driver/signals. You should also explore how these trends may work in relation to one or more of the identified trends.


(USA, AUS, UK & CA PhD. Writers)


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