« Foreign Policy 100 Top Global Thinkers | Main | Be Biopolitical At Home »

New Fast Company: Futures Thinking: Scanning the World

...And just now my latest Fast Company piece popped up on the site. "Futures Thinking: Scanning the World" is the third in the occasional series on thinking like a futurist.

In my opinion, it may actually be the hardest step of all, because you have to navigate two seemingly contradictory demands:
  • You need to expand the horizons of your exploration, because the factors shaping how the future of the dilemma in question will manifest go far beyond the narrow confines of that issue.
  • You need to focus your attention on the elements critical to the dilemma, and not get lost in the overwhelming amount of information out there.

You should recognize up front that the first few times you do this, you'll miss quite a few of the key drivers; even experienced futurists end up missing some important aspects of a dilemma. It's the nature of the endeavor: We can't predict the future, but we can try to spot important signifiers of changes that will affect the future. We won't spot them all, but the more we catch, the more useful our forecasts.

It boils down to this: keep reading, keep asking questions, keeping looking for outliers... and if you think you have enough, you don't.


Hey Jamais,

Just a heads-up that when I clicked on your "add this" button to post to Twitter, it gave me a generic tweet to your site: "Open the Future: http://www.openthefuture.com/ via @addthis." It didn't link to this specific post.

Also - tr.im has been overloaded for a while now making clicking through to some of your tweets difficult or impossible.

Congrats again on being named one of 100 global thought leaders by Foreign Policy!


Emily, thank you!

I'll see about fixing the code for the AddThis widget.

I normally use bit.ly, but today tried out the tr.im feature in the twitter app I use. Apparently I should stick with bit.ly. Thanks for letting me know.

Congratulations on the listing.
It's a little surprising they don't mention any of your work beyond 'Hacking the Earth', though.

Post a comment

All comments go through moderation, so if it doesn't show up immediately, I'm not available to click the "okiedoke" button. Comments telling me that global warming isn't real, that evolution isn't real, that I really need to follow [insert religion here], that the world is flat, or similar bits of inanity are more likely to be deleted than approved. Yes, it's unfair. Deal. It's my blog, I make the rules, and I really don't have time to hand-hold people unwilling to face reality.


Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered By MovableType 4.37