In Volume 1&2 of Future Times, participant and facilitator in the most recent Global Migration Futures workshop Yvonne Curtis and co-organiser Richard Bedford, write of the valuable experience participating in the workshop and the subsequent report Global Migration Futures Pacific Region: Drivers, Processes and Future Scenarios of Migration, which is now available.
In the first piece, Turbulent Futures ahead for the Pacific Region? Curtis writes of the scenarios workshop that 'There are major benefits arising from this style of working forum that includes experts and practitioners from all the sectors who are involved in the larger issue being discussed. It is also a very positive experience for all participants who are creating something, rather than just passively listening for most of the time. You come away with a great feeling of satisfaction and a more robust memory of what you have learnt.'
In his piece Migration Futures in the Pacific, Bedford states that 'The distinctive contribution made by the scenario exercise is that it required consideration of factors that are usually put in the “too hard basket” because of uncertainty in conventional analyses of migration. The scenarios have certainly served to “spark new insights, raise questions and help readers imagine that the future of the Pacific may in fact be very different from expectations and require alternative responses”.
Finally Curtis concludes that 'any policy maker, diplomat, politician or researcher interested in the Pacific would benefit from reading the report. A similar stock-take and scenario forum in five to ten years’ time which looks back to this report, and uses it as a bench mark, to look forward again to fifteen to twenty years ahead will be beneficial for those responsible for the futures of the region’s communities.'