After disabusing them of the wisdom of thinking about the “deep future” (looking out just a few years is hard enough), I responded that I could still help them meet their goals but I needed to do three things first:
#1: Ensure that they are seeing the present clearly. It never ceases to amaze me how many organizations are so obsessed with short-term goals and projects that don’t see or understand how their business has already changed today.
#2: Fully comprehend the trends shaping tomorrow. It is not enough to understand the technological trends (e.g. artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, genomics, and the Internet of Things (sensors), etc.), individuals must consider how these technological trends will also shift and influence demographic, cultural and societal norms.
#3: Open people’s mind to new “impossibilities.” To do this effectively requires a real unwillingness to let go of past assumptions, habits and beliefs about how the world of tomorrow can and will operate.
Here are three questions/exercises I use to cleave open people’s minds:
Only once these three steps have been taken can a fruitful discussion of the deep future take place.
Interested in other future-related posts by forecaster and futurist Jack Uldrich? Check out these related posts: