Six things fiction writing taught me about foresight

May 13, 2013

I have posted at, the inverse of this theme: Six things studying the future has taught me about fiction writing I’ve spent a couple of years deep in the ranks of amateur novelists, working on a couple of novels, which I will confess, though I am a futurist, are set in the past, one […]

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How a futures scenario is like a Rube Goldberg contraption

March 12, 2013

One of the delightfully crazy makers who built a device for the Nabisco Cookie vs. Creme Challenge uses a hatchet and an electric router to get the creme, which he hates, off of Oreo cookies, which he loves. Here’s the Youtube video. It’s great fun to watch, but these Nabisco Challenge devices sure seem to be […]

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What do futurists really do?

January 10, 2013

My elevator speech, unfortunately, takes more than the ten-floor standard height of a downtown Washington DC building to get across. I should move to Manhattan or Kuala Lumpur. The reason is, I need more time to gently but clearly clarify things for folks who have in their heads a direct, sure, and understandable idea of […]

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The essential power of we in shaping the future

October 15, 2012

Please note: is 5 years old today. Thanks to all my readers, followers, commenters and linkers for all the great help over the years. I am delighted to celebrate with a Blog Action Day post. #BAD12 #PowerOfWe #Blogactionday “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the […]

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Use foresight to challenge organizational instincts

October 9, 2012

In watching the organizations I serve confront change and make strategy, I have realized that each of them works intently to do the right things, day by day. They follow their instincts and often those instincts are cautious or self-protective or defensive. Confronted with a changing marketplace, rising competition, or new technology, they often respond by […]

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Sensemaking and strangemaking

September 27, 2012

At the 2012 Association of Professional Futurists Professional Development day in Toronto, July 2012, we explored design thinking and its role in futures. In the orienting discussions that led off our design work, we talked about the roles futurists play in helping people explore our changing world and what it means. And that role is […]

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The weaknesses and threats of SWOT analysis

August 2, 2012

Used in the typical way, SWOT analysis can do more harm than good. Why? Because the tool too easily forces thinking that ignores the future. Using the four SWOT categories; strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats is a recipe, if you don’t take care, for a firm focus on the present. It gives you an organizational assessment, […]

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A futurist recharges his batteries

July 31, 2012

I first drafted this piece for my own records, but found it worth sharing, so I fixed it up a little, and present it as personal reflection that may somehow be useful to others in and near the futures community. I plan to share some of the thoughts on foresight that my experiences in Toronto […]

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Our Role in Shaping the Future

June 27, 2012

I am hoping you’ll take a moment to complete a quick SURVEY. It’s focused on how what people do shapes the future. In late July my colleague Jennifer Jarratt and I will offer a conference session at the WorldFuture 2012 Conference called “Our Role in Shaping the Future“. We will explore the critical role of […]

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The future is a foreign country; they do things differently there

April 30, 2012

The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.–L.P. Hartley, The Go-Between, 1953 That’s a thoughtful and useful quote. And we can also truly say, “The future is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” In considering a future time, you have to reckon with a whole thing: a complete culture, marketplace, […]

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