The CLA Reader was published in 2004 and covered articles on causal layered analysis from 1994-2004. CLA 2.0 followed suit in 2015 focusing on new applications in theory and methodology. CLA 3.0 celebrates the last thirty years of theory and practice; innovation and application. In this volume, the authors investigate varied topics such as conflict, education and learning, environment and sustainability, economy and society, city, and science and technology. The book consists of twenty-six chapters written by forty-seven authors.

Chapter titles include:

  • Causal Layered Analysis: Theory, Conceptual Framework and Methods
  • Living Between Myth and Metaphor
  • Russian Aggression against Ukraine: Past, Present, and Futures
  • Australian Riot:  Causal Layered Analysis for Conflict Resolution
  • School District Leaders as Agents of Equity and Public Education Futures
  • Self-Writing: A Causal Layered Analysis Prospective on the Learning Identity Framework
  • Causal Layered Analysis of Construction Labour Productivity in Developing Countries
  • Applying Futures Based Frameworks for Emerging Sector Investments
  • Futures Impacts of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) Transforming its Cities to Carbon
  • Negative Arcologies
  • Insights from a Causal Layered Analysis of “Isfahan 2040”
  • Understanding the Futures of Science
  • Not Organic Gardening or Rocket Science: New Metaphors (and a Politics) for
  • Geoengineered Imaginaries

Along with chapters by the editors, Sohail Inayatullah, Ralph Mercer, Ivana Milojević, and John Sweeney, contributing authors include Paula Adalyiza, Oluseyi Julius Adebowale, Justus Ngala Agumba, Noorah Alhasan, Kasturi Behari-Leak, Vitor Bruno, Marcus Bussey, Nalini Chitanand, Russell Clemens, Joseph Corneli, Adam Cowart, Phillip Daffara, Mohsen Taheri Damneh, Charles J. Danoff, Zabrina Epps, Elissa Farrow, Nele Fischer, Rieta Ganas, Sirkka Heinonen, Jeanne Hoffman, Marcelle Holdaway, Patricia Iribarne, Sterling Jackson, Alireza Karimi, Camila López-Echagüe, Sanna Ketonen-Oksi, Marila Lázaro, Konstantin Marquardt, Matti Minkkinen, Alex Murphy, Maryam Ebadi Nejad, Edward Niedbalski, Marjukka Parkkinen, Charlotte Pierce, Raymond S. Puzio, Chris Riedy, Dominique Rumeau, Colin Russo, Siya Sabata, Peter Scupelli, Petro Sukhorolskyi, Veli Virmajoki, Leo Vivier, and Ali Zackery.

The price for the PDF version is 24.95 AUD – available for order from Paperback version costs 49.95 AUD (excluding postage). For bulk orders, please email Professor Sohail Inayatullah ( for further arrangement or of CFAR for orders in Taiwan. For more on CLA, please visit to

Comments on CLA 3.0

CLA is a core methodology that ADB is using in internal and external foresight work with staff and Government clients. We value its power to segregate systemic, organizational, and personal blockers that limit change. It allows a highly structured, evidence and data driven community to understand human behavior. It enables teams to reflect on themselves and create new roles in a future they want. We have documented this approach in the ADB book, Futures Thinking in Asia and the Pacific Region.

– Dr. Susann Roth, Chief of Knowledge Management, ADB

“I have found that CLA provides the framework to have more open, constructive explorations of possible new futures, rather than merely defending what is – their used future. This has been especially useful when working with organisations who are seen as, at best, sunset industries, and at worst, barely tolerated polluters. I have seen that CLA changes the conversation, makes people less defensive, and helps them to embrace new ways forward, to find their preferred, more acceptable, and sustainable futures.”

– Lee Parkinson, Strategy Director, Plato Creative. Professor of Practice, University of Canterbury School of Business, Exec Ed, Strategic Foresight.

“I describe ‘futures’ as fictions that serve five functions: they help us explore our uncertainties, help us craft visions, help us shape discourse, help us build consensus, and help us formulate plans… Unlike some frameworks, I find that CLA often has the capacity to support all five. CLA exercises begin by exploring what we think we understand, thereby highlighting what we don’t know. When CLA is conducted in groups, we engage in rich discourse about the overlap or distance between our respective worldviews and myths. In many cases CLA reveals overlaps that allow for consensus. The emergent myth leads to a new vision, which oftentimes points toward possible plans for change. CLA undoubtedly has many other functions for the various practitioners who use it, but I value its capacity to serve these five key functions that I find so critical in my definition of futures.”

– Elliott P. Montgomery,  Assistant Professor Of Strategic Design and Management Parsons School of Design

“CLA is an amazing tool for designers, it broadens the focus of exploration beyond problem-solving at the behavioral level. The four layers of CLA allow designers to explore spaces that seldom are explored from a designerly perspective. Integrating CLA into design methods opens up new possibilities.

– Peter Scupelli, Ph.D., EDAC, Director of the Learning Environments Lab School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University

Comments on CLA in general

“Inayatullah’s Causal Layered Analysis is the first major new futures theory and method since Delphi, almost forty years ago. CLA is a very sophisticated way to categorize different views of and concerns about the futures, and then to use them to help groups think about the futures far more effectively than they could by using any one of the layers alone, as most theory/methods do.

– James Dator, Retired Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Hawaii

CLA offers a way to create new and useful visions of the future by challenging assumptions, probing causes for change, and understanding the structural assumptions and myths that often constrain our thinking. New horizons open when these boundaries are identified, understood and questioned. In short CLA is a liberating method that forces us to ask why we think about the future as we do.

– Director, Ted Gordon, AC/UNU/Millennium Project

“Casual Layered Analysis is a gift to all New Millennium researchers. CLA is cutting edge, interior, in depth and simple to master. Using CLA leads us toward a richer understanding of the underpinnings of social problems and our response through social innovation. Applying CLA as a research tool transforms understanding and yields rich data about the world in which we live. I’ve especially found using the CLA methodology useful in my Community Futures practice.

Katie Donnelly, Sociologist, Community Futures, Colorado

“Low birth weight babies, obesity in children, depression among teens, violence against women, re-emerging infectious diseases, health inequalities… this is an edited list of today’s complex public health challenges. What will tomorrow’s look like? CLA offers researchers and practitioners in public health an innovative tool for delving into the connectedness of these problems, and to stimulate insights into how to bring about change at the deepest levels.”

– Sally Fawkes, School of Public Health, La Trobe University