Asia Imagined: Disruptions and Alternative Futures

4th Asia-Pacific Futurists Network Conference

28-29 August 2018, Bangkok

Primary Partner: National Innovation Agency of Thailand

Other partners: UNESCO - UNITWIN program,, Graduate Institute of Futures Studies @Tamkang University, The Change Initiative Co. Ltd., The Futures Lab @Chulalongkorn University

Important Update (July 25): Special hotel rates available for APFN participants. Visit Venue section.


Hosted in Bangkok for the first time, the 4th APFN conference intends to take a two-track approach catering for practitioners and academic researchers simultaneously. The organizers of the conference intend also to increase the profile of the work futurists are doing. Thailand is also very actively discussing Economy 4.0 and some other future-oriented themes.

This years's conference seeks to understand the changing futures of Asia. In contrast to those who engage in the realpolitik of the short term: this conference focuses on the imagination of Asia. How is it imagined now, and how might it be imagined in the future. What might Asia look like in 2038, for example.

Furthermore, through disruptions we explore how the imagination of Asia might transform. For example, how might the shift to solar energy and intelligent/autonomous cars transform the design of Asian cities? Will Asian cities become green, smart, and clean? How might disruptions in capitalism - the shift toward the sharing economy, for example, transform the economic landscape of Asia? Will advances in AI create new jobs or ensure a jobless future for all? Will meditation and yoga by integrating our various selves not only lead to inner bliss but enhance productivity?

While policymakers often desire precise answers to these questions, futurists have learned that these are best answered as alternative futures, as scenarios of the possible, plausible and preferred.

Along with alternative futures, case studies of foresight in practice from government, the private sector, and the community arena will be highlighted.


  1. To imagine Asia's future; explores disruptions, and seeks to create alternative futures
  2. To share important methods, tools and innovations for futures thinking and foresight
  3. Through case studies, to motivate and enable the participants to apply the appropriate methods
  4. To promote cooperation and networking among participants as well as share experiences between members of different organizations and backgrounds
  5. To increase the profile of futures thinking and foresight in the Asia-Pacific.
  6. Create awareness for the need of creating future literacy with future (younger) leaders

Conference Fee

This year we ask for a modest contribution to cover the conference venue, lunch and coffee breaks, etc.

Conference contribution: USD 150

For students: USD 75

The conference donation can be paid online via the registration page from 1st April 2018 online. In case you have to cancel we will refund you the full amount minus the transaction cost for the refund.

Conference Steering Committee for the 4th conference

  • Dr. Sohail Inayatullah, UNESCO Chair for Future Studies & Co-Founder Metafutures
  • Mr. Jost Wagner, The Change Initiative, Bangkok (Conference Director)
  • Dr. Nur Anisah Binti Abdullah, Strathclyde Business School, International Centre UAE


  • Dr. Seong-Won Park, National Assembly Futures Institute , NAFI, Korea
  • Dr. Pun-Arj Chairatana, Executive Director, National Innovation Agency, Thailand
  • Dr. Mei-Mei Song, Graduate Institute for Futures Studies (GIFS),Tamkang University, Taiwan
  • Dr. Kua-Hua Chen, Graduate Institute for Futures Studies (GIFS),Tamkang University, Taiwan
  • Dr. Shun-Jie Ji, Graduate Institute for Futures Studies (GIFS), Tamkang University, Taiwan