Futures Thinking

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Futures Thinking Caught my Attention

“As we see the future, so we act; as we act we become.” — Barbara Marx Hubbard via Gerd Leonhard

Learning, Community Management, Personal Knowledge Mastery, and Futures Thinking.

I explore and am passionate about those disciplines.

I think my curiosity for futures thinking started when I was followed by Gerd Leonhard (@gleonhard) on Twitter.

By the way here is below Gerd’s podcast episode 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.”

Let’s discover other perspectives and principles of foresight to develop the fundamentals of this discipline.

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.”

But how can we start to look at the world differently?

Futures Thinking with Fresh Eyes

“To look at the world differently is already to change the world.” — Werner Heinsenberg, physicist and inventor of quantum mechanics

Does foresight start with seeing the world through fresh eyes?

Here is a summary and sketchnote by Tanmay Vora of the article on this subject.


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How can we go deep into futures thinking practices?

Futures Thinking – IFTF Specialisations & Community of Practice

Here are a few recommended ways I use and suggest:

Ready, Set, Future! Introduction to Futures Thinking.

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

Futures Thinking Specializations.

Urgent Optimists Community

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 was one of the founding members 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.

Take a listen.

Your turn. How are you developing your futures thinking to stay relevant and ahead of the game?

Futures Thinking & Future Skills

Did you enjoy my post? Check out Future Skills.

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