The Future of Democracy and the Democracy of the Future

Democracy’s tenuous viability is in part due to our exponentially changing landscape of technological access, economic precarity, and environmental collapse. What might be called a “polycrisis” of multiple, simultaneous, and convergent “wicked problems” has flung open the door of widespread fear, doubt, and anger about a landscape where many have been left out of the future altogether. (As well as a present that is devoid of visions for a more hopeful future that starts right now.)

Scenario Development in the 21st Century

We have increasingly focused on the quantifiable world over the past 100 years as a means to growth and progress. Organizations have become obsessed with numbers and the warm, fuzzy feeling they give us when they neatly add up to demonstrate that the future looks bright. In reality, life has always been a mixture of what we might call “quantified and qualified metrics.” Today’s world is now forcing us to recognize the importance of qualitative measurements by virtue of its…

The Key to Unlock Your Inner Futurist

At TFSX, we have spent the past two decades establishing the idea and practice of the Inner Futurist, having created a dynamic philosophy of futures thinking as a cooperative evolutionary trait known as Holoptic Foresight that promotes the democratization of futures thinking, and that undergirds the concepts and implementation of our world-renowned framework known as Natural Foresight.

Hop in, we’re going time-traveling

“I want to see the world. Follow a map to its edges and keep going. Forgo the plans, trust my instincts. Let curiosity be my guide. I want to change hemispheres. Sleep with unfamiliar stars and let the journey unfold before me.” — The Maptia Manifesto Travel with us back to 2008 Frank Spencer, an abundance-minded futurist, is working at a foresight firm in Washington, DC. For the last several years he’s worked as a foresight consultant who was always…

You can kedge the future to today

When contemplating the future, we instinctively think of the “top trends” lists that are always making headlines. For most, the word trend has become synonymous with the future. This common but erroneous interpretation causes many strategic foresight efforts to stall because trends are not the future. Trends are visible because they are occurring today. They represent the present. In fact, trends can be our worst enemy; they tend to keep us connected to what is immediate and surrounding us, but…

“Can you teach me thermodynamics in 20 minutes?”

overcoming short attention spans in foresight integration Having worked in corporate America for 15 years before joining the foresight, innovation , and strategic design firm Kedge and co-founding The Futures School, I know firsthand the challenges of integrating futures thinking in all types of organizations. For-profit entities like The Walt Disney Company (where I was charged with spearheading the first division in the company’s history focused on the future) are built with a bias toward short termism, but they are…

Leaders who practice foresight stay ahead of the innovation curve

Leadership qualities tend to be timeless. It’s why we look back through history at the esteemed individuals who led successful businesses, governments and social initiatives. The thinking goes that, if we can emulate these trailblazers, we will be successful leaders too.

How Long Does the Future Last? The Lifecycle of Futures Intelligence

Environmental scanning is the lifeblood of Strategic Foresight. You can be a futurist and never make a single scenario, but you can’t be a futurist if you never scan. Scanning helps us to rewire our brains and supports our pattern and sensemaking skills. After weeks of scanning, it’s time to merge research into something tangible. A collection of scan hits and occurrences unveils that something larger is emerging– a trend! Trends deserve names and solid descriptions that include several examples…

Impacting Decision-Making through Transformational Futures with Sohail Inayatullah & Frank Spencer

Is the power of foresight best expressed in helping us to make meaningful decisions within our present framework, or in uncovering decisions that we didn’t even know we needed to make? (Better yet, ones that we COULD make if we realized our higher-order potential.) In this video, Futurists Sohail Inayatullah (Metafutures) and Frank Spencer (The Futures School) discuss the shifting of our decision-matrix through the powerful lens of transformational futures thinking and foresight.