Unstable futures/Potential pasts: scenarios for digital computing 2020

Gary Lock, Agiatis Benardou, Costis Dallas, Paul Reilly, Jeremy Huggett


Building on the CAA Siena "Challenging Digital Archaeology" Round Table, the 'Open Archaeology' publications stemming from CAA Paris, and the recent Ariadne Expert Forum in Athens, we now ask "what are the plausible digital futures of our [digital] past and how might we prepare for them?"

This session will build on a series of stories or 'scenarios', developed using a technique called Scenario Planning, using an expert forum, to drive an action orientated agenda.

In this Round Table we do not attempt to forecast the impact of introducing any particular technology. Our aim is to direct attention to plausible future contexts in which digital technologies are likely to be introduced into archaeology. Scenario planning is not predictive, and unlike forecasting, in which the flow of time progresses linearly from the past through the present to predict a future, time flows can be multidirectional and iterative to reflect plausible, possible, anticipated and probable futures.

After inviting an expert panel to present some grounded scenarios, the key discussion point for this Round Table is: “what do we need to do now to be ready for all scenarios?”