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Building a Better Future for Everyone Using Strategic Foresight, Telos Visioning & Transgenerational Thinking

Who predicted This 2020 pandemic?

Futurists!

While predictions are not plans or actions, they can help us prepare for whatever lies ahead.

Prepare your community for its desired future through futurist thinking.

What is a futurist?

A futurist studies long-term trends from a global perspective to identify potential implications for society.

A futurist speculates about work, education, healthcare, technology, and transportation may change.

A futurist helps you understand how these trends may impact you.

So you can see the potential future scenarios and better plan for them.

Futurists use Strategic Foresight, Telos Thinking, and Transgenerational Thinking.

STRATEGIC FORESIGHT

While no one can predict the future, strategic foresight mines the external environment for trends and issues, leveraging those insights to develop maps of an emerging landscape.

Mapping out potential future scenarios based upon trends helps you develop strategies to achieve your vision, regardless of the future.

Strategic Foresight helps community leaders develop adaptive strategies that embrace new technologies and innovation.

Sounds easy, right?

Getting people to think like a futurist requires a creative approach based upon brain science.

Why is IT so difficult to think like a futurist?

Breaking through

4 Psychological Barriers

BARRIER 1:

The Permanent Present

We usually ignore clues and ideas that don’t fit with our experiences. We get stuck in a loop based upon what life is like today.

Our brains naturally project what we currently expect in the future, seeking certainty and continuity.

This is a mindset called the PERMANENT PRESENT.

Futurists think differently. They help your think "outside of the box."

Barrier #2 - Nostalgia

Imagining the future is a kind of NOSTALGIA because humans predict the future based on memories.

We hold on to the past because things we do repeatedly become routine.

Memory helps people predict how they will perceive new experiences.

Barrier #3

Cultural Life Script

Where do you see yourself in 10 or 20 years? Your answer likely relies on something called a "CULTURAL LIFE SCRIPT."

This is the expected progression of events that tend to define life in different cultures.

Your accumulated experiences — and cultural life script — are the only building blocks you're given to construct a vision of the future.

This makes it harder to accept the unexpected.

People often assume the future will be more like the past or the present than other unexpected scenarios.

BARRIER #4

EXTREME POSITIVITY BIAS

It is also difficult for people to identify challenges because our life script makes us optimistic with EXTREME POSITIVITY BIAS toward the future.

Without prompts, data, research, visualizations, and STORYTELLING, it is literally impossible for people to think about the future as something completely different.

When Trying to solve problems, we Must begin with the end in mind.

Telos Thinking

Telos comes from Greek, and it means “ultimate aim” or “ultimate purpose.”

We need an aim, a vision to pivot from the past and the present, to think proactively about the future.

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s “I Have a Dream” speech laid out a list of problems, but also painted a vivid and compelling vision for the future.

The ability to rally people around a common vision helps them break the barriers and plan for the future.

Once the vision is set, open the process to different perspectives.

One way is to think about the needs of ALL generations through the lens of a storyteller using transgenerational thinking.

What is TRANSGENERATIONAL THINKING?

OUR PERSPECTIVE

When we think about doing good in the world, we tend to think about doing it at some point between our birth and our death.

But with transgenerational thinking, you expand how problems are processed, our roles in solving them, and the expected consequences.

TRANSGENERATIONAL THINKING means putting yourself in the shoes of other generations to solve problems in a future-forward way.

Meet our Storytellers

Transgenerational thinking helps us take a triple-bottom-line approach to issues with equity at the center.

Helping people think like futurists builds empathy and increases capacity in local knowledge so that we can collaboratively problem solve.

We learned how to apply strategic foresight in the community engagement process.

We learned that putting global trends in the context of local data to assess potential impacts and opportunities related to their unique communities.

We learned about the importance of data-rich tools, visualizations, storytelling, and transgenerational thinking techniques to engage community.

Thanks for learning how to build a more resilient world by thinking more inclusively.

Credits:

Created with images by Melissa Askew - "I shot this picture in a breathtaking wheat field in Mexico as the sun was going down. I love how it captures their individaul personalities and who they are as a collective. Together they are facing all the world throws at them. They are each other’s safe harbor. As a mother it blesses my heart to know she has such incredible friend to do life with." • Evgeni Tcherkasski - "corona pandemie" • Marc-Olivier Jodoin - "Space" • ben o'bro - "July. Market place. Friendly face. Lisbon. Portugal." • Jonathan Sebastiao - "untitled image" • Arthur Osipyan - "untitled image" • Markus Winkler - "2040, twenty years in the future" • Marten Newhall - "Bend man" • Xuan Nguyen - "Ferry in leather" • NOTAVANDAL - "shadows" • Dion Beetson - "Drone over quarry in Barossa Valley, SA, Australia " • Akriti Singh - "untitled image" • Kiana Bosman - "International Business Day" • Tyler Lastovich - "Watching the sun set beyond the mountains never gets old." • Larm Rmah - "Happiness of the poor children. Taken in Chupah district, Gialai province Vietnam." • Markus Spiske - "Horse jumping show jumping" • Curtis MacNewton - "The Centre Pompidou calendar" • Siora Photography - "untitled image" • Kira auf der Heide - "untitled image" • Erda Estremera - "Moving Day" • Arie Wubben - "While walking near the Lake of the four Cantons in Lucerne, I discovered five cars that were completely covered. I asked the security officer, what was underneath the cover. He started removing the covers and this exclusive Bugatti Fleet appeared." • Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis - "untitled image" • Priscilla Du Preez - "BTS: (what the camera doesn’t see) the mountain of random office supplies, tools, instruments, a pedalboard and a cat lying on the bed behind me after clearing the entire table for this shot. Spent a half hour cleaning up after I was done. Also definitely did not properly brew a chemex coffee, but poured day-old bean water into it. Ah, the secret is out. " • Joanna Kosinska - "A collection of vintage photos" • Clem Onojeghuo - "Man with stick on Brick lane" • Laurenz Kleinheider - "Blurred Thinking" • sydney Rae - "untitled image" • Susan Holt Simpson - "These colorful, scuffed blocks are part of a collection I purchased from a sweet elderly couple who kept them in a box for their grandchildren. Their grandchildren long-grown, they were happy to share them with me." • Ross Findon - "The most powerful word in the world pops up everywhere. Ironically, this is on Sandown Pier on the Isle of Wight (UK) — a place that has not changed for 30 years." • Aziz Acharki - "untitled image" • Miki Fath - "Farmer Egg" • Lidya Nada - "Happy Face" • Artur Matosyan - "Bull’s eye" • Nils - "untitled image" • Bee Calder - "untitled image" • Markus Spiske - "FIGHT FOR A BETTER TOMORROW. Global climate change strike - No Planet B - Global Climate Strike 09-20-2019" • Allie - "Coffee cup on table with inspirational quote" • Rod Long - "I love this photo of my mums hand reaching out to share a moment with her great grandson. Even when we can’t understand each other in language, we can all understand what a simple touch means." • Benji Aird - "untitled image" • maskedemann - "untitled image" • Haley Phelps - "untitled image" • Guillaume de Germain - "untitled image" • Helena Lopes - "Saturday. Summer. Beautiful sunny day, so my friends and I decided to make a picnic and watch the sundown. Pretty fun and relaxed day." • mauro mora - "Crosswalk in long-exposure" • Husniati Salma - "The teacher also needs to study again" • William Iven - "Crunching the numbers" • Colton Sturgeon - "A great urban view of the Kansas City skyline. Shot in Mid July."