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Futures Thinking Caught my Attention

Learning, Exploratory Leadership, Community Management, Personal Knowledge Mastery, and Futures Thinking. I explore and am passionate about those disciplines. I think my curiosity was triggered for future thinking when I was followed by Gerd Leonhard (@gleonhard) on Twitter. Here is Gerd’s video on how he started to become a futurist.

Then I started diving into the blog posts on foresight by Venessa Miemis, especially this one: Essential Skills for 21st Century Survival: Part 4: Foresight.

Essentially, foresight the ability to see “the long view;” to look at information from the past and present, extract the patterns and lessons, and use them to inform decision-making in order to impact the direction things go into the future. There are a range of tools for foresight, the most common being: environmental scanning, trend analysis, brainstorming, modeling, gaming, visioning, and scenario development. Scanning was already covered earlier in this series, so here is a brief overview of the others.”

Futures Thinking Fundamentals

How about the principles for thinking like a futurist? Marina Gorbis, Executive Director of the Institute for the Future, introduced them in a blog post.

“In my twenty years at the Institute, I’ve developed five core principles for futures thinking:

  1. Forget about predictions.

  2. Focus on signals.

  3. Look back to see forward.

  4. Uncover patterns.

  5. Create a community.

She concludes her article with those thoughts:

At its best, futures thinking is not about predicting the future; rather, it is about engaging people in thinking deeply about complex issues, imagining new possibilities, connecting signals into larger patterns, connecting the past with the present and the future, and making better choices today. Futures thinking skills are essential for everyone to learn in order to better navigate their own lives and to make better decisions in the face of so many transformations in our basic technologies and organizational structures. The more you practice futures thinking, the better you get.”

Does foresight start with seeing the world through fresh eyes?

75 fresheyes 1


How can we go deep into futures thinking practices? Here are a few recommended ways I use and suggest:

Going Deep with the IFTF Resources

Ready, Set, Future! Introduction to Futures Thinking. Certified.

Life After COVID-19: Get Ready for our Post-Pandemic Future. Certified.

Futures Thinking Specializations.

Activating the IFTF Community Resources.

Connecting & Learning with Fellow Futurists

Cat Barnard, Anne Marie Rattray, David Kalisz, David Ross, Harold Jarche, Jennifer Sertl, Jon Husband, Kenneth MikkelsenMandar Apte, Mark Bryan, Gerd Leonhard, Jane McGonigal, Marcia Conner, Thierry de Baillon, Meredith Lewis, Mark Oehlert.

Update: I was awarded a yearly scholarship and got an invitation from IFTF to join the Urgent Optimists Global Community of practice hosted by Jane McGonigal, research director at IFTF. I am a founding member of the Urgent Optimists Community. 

Urgent Optimists is Institute for the Future’s first individual membership program. We’re bringing together people who want to feel authentically hopeful about the future, and who are working to create positive transformation in society and in their own lives.”

Consider joining us to develop imagination, courage and deep collaboration skills.

How do you activate futures thinking?

Did you enjoy my post? Check out Future Skills.

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