Tool Spotlight – Futures Wheels: Reimagined!
Uncover Consequences Across Multiple Dimensions And Time Horizons With This Creative Foresight Mapping Tool
Futures Wheels are simple. In the center of the tool is the issue to be explored, surrounded by a series of concentric circles that increase in time further away from the subject. The exercise begins with identifying immediate consequences that result from the initial issue. Each ring that follows is further out in time and includes consequences of the ones before, like ripples from a pebble in a lake.
Since the first Futures Wheels was created in the 1970s, many thought leaders have crafted unique versions of the tool. At the World Futures Society in 2008, there was a crowd-sourced Futures Wheel that covered an entire wall and required a ladder to finish!
TFSX’s version of Futures Wheels is designed using the STEEP framework. STEEP stands for Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental, and Political. We call this version of the tool “Drivers Wheels” because STEEP represents drivers of change. It’s easier to imagine implications when we consider an issue’s impacts on society, technology, the economy, and so forth.