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How to Future

How to Future

rw-book-cover

Metadata

Highlights

  • The reality is that most foresight doesn’t ‘work’ in the traditional sense, at least if your definition of ‘working’ includes making a difference in decisions that really matter. Unfortunately, this realization isn’t new. A study in the Journal of Technological Forecasting and Social Change, one of the field’s best and longest- running academic journals, reviewed over 50 years of foresight studies and found a disturbing pattern. (Location 166)
  • ‘People need a motivating vision of what comes next and the awareness that more will happen after that … the future is a process not a destination. The future is a verb, not a noun.’5 This is especially true in the context of our current experience of social, political and economic upheaval. (Location 184)
  • My job is not to arrive at a final answer, and just deliver it. I see my job as holding doors open, or opening windows. But who comes in and out the doors, what you see out the window, how do I know? URSULA K LEGUIN7 (Location 254)
  • ‘Your utopia is always somebody else’s dystopia.’ The offered narratives are made to feel universal, but points of view are relative. The debate is a proxy for support of commercial or political platforms. The choice is: ‘Are you with us or against us?’ (Location 284)
  • You can create a structure from the insights that emerge, map them in a way that makes sense to you, and prototype and share them as a way of engaging others to stress test them, then derive tangible decisions and realizations from them. (Location 305)
  • Ogilvy tells us that in the face of greater challenges beyond utopia or dystopia – the false choice of unchecked optimism, or Cassandran pessimism – ‘we need some tools to handle the uncertainty and complexity of an unpredictable future’.1 (Location 310)
  • Reactive repositioning when events are moving erratically, and at computational speed, merely leaves an organization responding defensively. (Location 321)
  • People need a motivating vision of what comes next and the awareness that more will happen after that, that the future is a process not a destination. The future is a verb, not a noun. Our minds may reach the ends of their tethers, but we’ll never stop futuring. BRUCE STERLING (Location 399)
  • According to Kahneman, people taking the inside view follow information and experiences that seem directly relevant to a prospective question: in effect, taking a straight-line, narrow perspective of what matters – that is to say, extrapolating from what’s known. This view, Kahneman found, overvalues the information directly at hand and neglects the value of information from outside the specific domain or knowledge of the forecaster, by discounting or ignoring current or future factors that may later influence an outcome. By contrast, an outside view takes into account a broader range of factors, experiences and references: in effect, opening the view of the forecaster to a wider range of downstream issues that may shape a particular outcome. In his research, Kahneman found an outside view helps produce better forecasts over time. (Location 453)
  • Different cultures understand time in broadly disparate ways, and, as a result, they frame the notion of ‘The Future’ accordingly. For example, some cultures understand and behave based on a linear progression from the past to the future, and process questions of possible futures accordingly. Other cultures see time as cyclical, which presents possible futures in a wholly different perspective – for example, the future and the past may seem to be connected and repeating, rather than a straight line. (Location 480)
  • For most of us, the idea of ‘The Future’ is increasingly co-opted by technology marketing, which delights in summoning futuristic concepts into the current moment, through promises of the future happening now: ‘Tomorrow, today!’ (Location 497)
  • When asked in a 2015 BBC Radio 1 interview what he and billionaire Elon Musk talked about, the entertainer and celebrity icon Kanye West famously replied, ‘The Futch.’ In two words, West managed to further collapse all the complexity of the future into a cultural commodity to be designed, packaged and traded. (Location 509)
  • Official futures are attractive because they are easy, default foundations on which to build narratives, and they provide comfort and certainty instead of opening up questions about the forces that may shape possible futures and exploring other ways of working, living, communicating and so on. Understanding and surfacing them are also important for setting the baseline for a productive discussion about the future. (Location 561)
  • Anticipate: Prediction, early warning, quantification, identification of risk and opportunity. The question is, ‘What can we expect from X in the next five years’? Envision: Exploring how current trends and new possibilities might shape what comes next. The question is, ‘What might happen if X and Y converge or conflict’? Discover: Probing possibility to uncover previously unforeseen obstacles, surprises and opportunities. The question is, ‘What do we not yet see about opportunities from X plus Y in a Z world’? Shape: Creating simulated experiences of possible futures via prototypes, media, artefacts, or immersion, to test drive new realities. The question is, ‘How different is the experience of a Z world, and how/ what might we change as a result’? (Location 587)
  • The iconic process of scenario planning, refined in the 1970s by Royal Dutch Shell as it faced highly uncertain petroleum markets, is as much about understanding hidden linkages between forces and surfacing previously unseen relationships or sensitivities as it is about early warnings or reversal of change. (Location 612)

public: true

title: How to Future longtitle: How to Future author: Scott Smith and Madeline Ashby url: , source: kindle last_highlight: 2021-04-29 type: books tags:

How to Future

rw-book-cover

Metadata

Highlights

  • The reality is that most foresight doesn’t ‘work’ in the traditional sense, at least if your definition of ‘working’ includes making a difference in decisions that really matter. Unfortunately, this realization isn’t new. A study in the Journal of Technological Forecasting and Social Change, one of the field’s best and longest- running academic journals, reviewed over 50 years of foresight studies and found a disturbing pattern. (Location 166)
  • ‘People need a motivating vision of what comes next and the awareness that more will happen after that … the future is a process not a destination. The future is a verb, not a noun.’5 This is especially true in the context of our current experience of social, political and economic upheaval. (Location 184)
  • My job is not to arrive at a final answer, and just deliver it. I see my job as holding doors open, or opening windows. But who comes in and out the doors, what you see out the window, how do I know? URSULA K LEGUIN7 (Location 254)
  • ‘Your utopia is always somebody else’s dystopia.’ The offered narratives are made to feel universal, but points of view are relative. The debate is a proxy for support of commercial or political platforms. The choice is: ‘Are you with us or against us?’ (Location 284)
  • You can create a structure from the insights that emerge, map them in a way that makes sense to you, and prototype and share them as a way of engaging others to stress test them, then derive tangible decisions and realizations from them. (Location 305)
  • Ogilvy tells us that in the face of greater challenges beyond utopia or dystopia – the false choice of unchecked optimism, or Cassandran pessimism – ‘we need some tools to handle the uncertainty and complexity of an unpredictable future’.1 (Location 310)
  • Reactive repositioning when events are moving erratically, and at computational speed, merely leaves an organization responding defensively. (Location 321)
  • People need a motivating vision of what comes next and the awareness that more will happen after that, that the future is a process not a destination. The future is a verb, not a noun. Our minds may reach the ends of their tethers, but we’ll never stop futuring. BRUCE STERLING (Location 399)
  • According to Kahneman, people taking the inside view follow information and experiences that seem directly relevant to a prospective question: in effect, taking a straight-line, narrow perspective of what matters – that is to say, extrapolating from what’s known. This view, Kahneman found, overvalues the information directly at hand and neglects the value of information from outside the specific domain or knowledge of the forecaster, by discounting or ignoring current or future factors that may later influence an outcome. By contrast, an outside view takes into account a broader range of factors, experiences and references: in effect, opening the view of the forecaster to a wider range of downstream issues that may shape a particular outcome. In his research, Kahneman found an outside view helps produce better forecasts over time. (Location 453)
  • Different cultures understand time in broadly disparate ways, and, as a result, they frame the notion of ‘The Future’ accordingly. For example, some cultures understand and behave based on a linear progression from the past to the future, and process questions of possible futures accordingly. Other cultures see time as cyclical, which presents possible futures in a wholly different perspective – for example, the future and the past may seem to be connected and repeating, rather than a straight line. (Location 480)
  • For most of us, the idea of ‘The Future’ is increasingly co-opted by technology marketing, which delights in summoning futuristic concepts into the current moment, through promises of the future happening now: ‘Tomorrow, today!’ (Location 497)
  • When asked in a 2015 BBC Radio 1 interview what he and billionaire Elon Musk talked about, the entertainer and celebrity icon Kanye West famously replied, ‘The Futch.’ In two words, West managed to further collapse all the complexity of the future into a cultural commodity to be designed, packaged and traded. (Location 509)
  • Official futures are attractive because they are easy, default foundations on which to build narratives, and they provide comfort and certainty instead of opening up questions about the forces that may shape possible futures and exploring other ways of working, living, communicating and so on. Understanding and surfacing them are also important for setting the baseline for a productive discussion about the future. (Location 561)
  • Anticipate: Prediction, early warning, quantification, identification of risk and opportunity. The question is, ‘What can we expect from X in the next five years’? Envision: Exploring how current trends and new possibilities might shape what comes next. The question is, ‘What might happen if X and Y converge or conflict’? Discover: Probing possibility to uncover previously unforeseen obstacles, surprises and opportunities. The question is, ‘What do we not yet see about opportunities from X plus Y in a Z world’? Shape: Creating simulated experiences of possible futures via prototypes, media, artefacts, or immersion, to test drive new realities. The question is, ‘How different is the experience of a Z world, and how/ what might we change as a result’? (Location 587)
  • The iconic process of scenario planning, refined in the 1970s by Royal Dutch Shell as it faced highly uncertain petroleum markets, is as much about understanding hidden linkages between forces and surfacing previously unseen relationships or sensitivities as it is about early warnings or reversal of change. (Location 612)