The Long Now (1.4)

The Long Now: Foresight-Fueled Action

The issue we’re examining in January is the prevailing Battle Against VUCA. Despite our greatest efforts to wage war on the volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous landscape, the world continues to shift in unpredictable ways. The result is a constant exercise in futility that only leads to frustration, equivocation and breakdown. Surely we must continue to fight against forces that seek to disrupt the status quo – or should we?

We don’t think so. That’s why we reframed this issue into Embracing the Long Now; the idea that we have been misguidedly “shrinking the future” and must instead make long-term thinking more common, stretch out what people consider as “now,” and flow with the possibilities that exist within a VUCA universe. Join us as we seek to flip our collective brain on its head!


We’ve challenged the idea that battling VUCA should be traded for a greater embrace of a long now perspective, but what does that mean in practice? More specifically, what does it mean for those who are practicing foresight in their institutions, governments and lives? In the final episode of the Embracing the Long Now series, Yvette and Frank question the role of the futurist as a discipline that tackles uncertainty, and instead offer the persona of the anticipatory transformationalist that empowers organizations to stretch time as a means to realize emerging possibilities and unseen opportunities. What can we say… we’re contrarians!


In this month’s interview, Nora Bateson dives deep into the role of complexity in shaping the future, sharing the concept of Warm Data as well as her thoughts on personal and collective agency, cooperating with emergence to co-create novelty, and “being in mutually learning relationships.” As Nora states, “what it means to be attentive to the future… it’s not about what I get out of it; it’s about what is made possible in the next moment.” Join in and listen to this conversation between Nora and The Futures School Co-Founder and Kedge Founder Frank Spencer.

Watch the interview here