The Future Center as an empowering ecology

Shifra Baruchson-Arbib, Ron Dvir, Fiona Lettice, Carol Webb, Yael Schwartzberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose To present a generic empowerment ecology framework to guide the operation of Future Centers and to empower Future Center visitors to respond to the challenges facing them and develop and implement innovative solutions. Design-methodology-approach An in-depth case study was conducted in Be'er Sheva PISGA Future Center in the educational sector in Israel. Visits to a further 20 Future Centers around the world and a literature review helped to generalize the key findings and develop and validate the framework further. Findings Although empowerment is not always explicitly discussed in Future Centers, it is an important underlying philosophy. The framework developed in this research helps to ensure empowerment issues are systematically addressed and contains four perspectives: operating principles; resources; supporters and processes. These combine to form the empowerment ecology. Research limitations-implications The empowerment ecology framework has been developed from observation predominantly in one Future Center. It should now be more fully tested and validated in other Future Centers. Practical implications This paper provides a framework to help Future Center practitioners and other future oriented working environments stakeholders to explicitly address empowerment issues. Originality-value This paper provides a detailed description of the operation of a regionally focused Future Center in the educational sector. The paper presents a novel empowerment ecology framework for use in facilitated user-centered collaborative working environments, such as Future Centers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-225
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society
StatePublished - 19 Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Immigrants
  • Information retrieval
  • Israel
  • Personal needs


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