Brisbane City Council Future Thinking Presentation May 2009

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A Presentation and Workshop to Brisbane City Council Staff on How to think about the future by Sandy Teagle May 2009

A Presentation and Workshop to Brisbane City Council Staff on How to think about the future by Sandy Teagle May 2009

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  • Welcome and a short introduction of myself and Emergent Futures. How I got to be a futurist and how EF was formed This morning’s seminar is an introduction to futures thinking and some strategies to help you think about the future and complexity.Why do you need this?BCC has been a lead organisation in the uptake of foresight. It was felt that this training would be useful for people new to council to expose them to futures thinking and also a timely refresher for others who may have already had some exposure. It is also an opportunity to get an alternative perspective on foresight and learn some new things.
  • A brief summary of what we are going to do today:Firstly getting you out of your current headspace and into thinking about the future with a look at some emerging issuesA brief summary of foresight with two basic models that we use. The first of these is a basic business model that demonstrates that foresight capacity is in intrinsic part of any business model or organisational model. The second breaks the concept of foresight capacity into separate chunks that can be learned and practiced.A short exercise using one foresight tool.Sum up the key messages and questions. It also provides you with one of those rare opportunities to network with colleagues so we will make this as interactive as possible including a short practical activity towards the end. We have 1.5 hours and will finish by 10.00am if not a little earlier depending on how chatty you are. Please ask questions and I will be available afterwards as well.Ive been told you all tend to be a bit addicted to your mobile phones so this is a reminder to turn them off if you havent already done so. Also in the unlikely event of fire, bomb threat or other emergency I have been assured that staff from Mercure will pop in to give us instructions on what we need to do.So with the housekeeping out of the way, I’d like to start off by asking a question – in the form of a short video clip…5 minutes on ‘Did You Know?’ please excuse the US-centric focus.
  • Following are some additional emerging issues we have picked up in our own scanning in our business which may be of relevance to BCC and some of them are just quirky and interesting…We wont look at these in depth but there will be an opportunity to revisit these when we do the practical exercise later on.While these issues are interesting and even challenging it is important to remember that these are emerging possibilities, they are not hard and fast forecasts of what WILL happen.This is important because the next thing Im going to tell you is that no one can predict the future – not even a futurist!
  • The original version of that clip was developed in August 2006 for Colorado high school staff of 150 by Karl Fisch.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMcfrLYDm2U&feature=relatedDiscuss the video clip in the context of what this means for you, the organisation and the city.Select a few groups to comment after a few minutes.
  • http://www.mcclatchydc.com/226/story/66530.htmlRobots guided by their own computer “brains” now can pick up and peel bananas, land jumbo jets, steer cars through city traffic, search human DNA for cancer genes, play soccer or the violin, find earthquake victims or explore craters on Mars. \"The truly interesting question is what happens after if we have truly intelligent robots,'' Saffo said. \"If we're very lucky, they'll treat us as pets. If not, they'll treat us as food.''Some far-out futurists, such as Ray Kurzweil, an inventor and technology evangelist in Wellesley Hills, a Boston suburb, predict that robots will match human intelligence by 2029, only 20 years from now. Other experts think that Kurzweil is wildly over-optimistic.While the technology is steaming ahead we are no where near having dealt with moral and ethical consequences.What implications might this have for how we live, work and play?
  • With implanted chips for controlling prosthetic limbs, implantable telescopes to fix macular degeneration, drugs that improve our cognitive function, artificial red blood cells, we are just entering the age where significant augmentation of human bodies and minds will be possible. Add in gene therapy and you have a world of significant possibility and significant moral hazard. BCC – what will this mean for future needs of society and therefore city design (no blood banks, no street signs?) and how we work – access to cognitive enhancement drugs for haves and have nots and consequences for employment, schools etc.
  • Better Place is trying to create a robotic system for electric cars where the batteries are swapped in and out instead of waiting to recharge the battery. Their goal is to have battery change take the same time as putting petrol in your tank so their is not time difference for consumers. Sort of like the swap and go system for gas cylindersLooks like a good idea to me and goes with the principle that we are very strong on - that you have to make a great product that is easy for people to use if you want real change that will affect climate change.
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/12/business/media/12papers.html?_r=1&th&emc=thSome economists and newspaper executives say it is only a matter of time — and probably not much time at that — before some major American city is left with no prominent local newspaper at all “It would be a terrible thing for any city for the dominant paper to go under, because that’s who does the bulk of the serious reporting,” The steady trickle of downsizing that sapped American papers for almost a decade has become a flood in the last few years. For more than two centuries, newspapers have been the indispensable source of public information and a check on the abuses of government and other powerful interests. And they still reach a vast and growing audience. Daily print circulation has dropped and online readership has risen faster. But no one yet has unlocked the puzzle of supporting a large newsroom purely on digital revenue, a fact that may presage an era of news organizations that are smaller, weaker and less able to fulfill their traditional function as the nation’s watchdog.“I can’t imagine what civil society would be like,” said Buzz Woolley, a wealthy San Diego businessman who has been a vocal critic of the paper there, The Union-Tribune, and the primary backer of an Internet news site, VoiceofSanDiego.org. “I don’t want to imagine it. A huge amount of information would just never get out.”Not everyone agrees. The death of a newspaper should result in an explosion of much smaller news sources online, producing at least as much coverage as the paper did, says Jeff Jarvis, director of interactive journalism at the City University of New York’s graduate journalism school. Those sources might be less polished, Mr. Jarvis said, but they would be competitive, ending the monopolies many newspapers have long enjoyed.
  • The UK based OfficePOD company provides fully self contained office pods that are leased to employers to install in the backyard of employees. Full service includes surveys, all enabling work, installation, helpdesk, health & safety assessments, repairs, removals etc.Benefits include:Reduced fixed cost baseAttract and retain staffDramatic improvement in CO2 – 46-67% compared to traditional office occupation (independent study results)Increased productivity – via properly managed home-working programBusiness that is flexible/dynamic to change – allows incremental growth, one POD at a time, and easy relocation
  • http://www.southwestmichiganfirst.com/userfiles/file/Ceo_Corner/02052009_Business%20Review_The%20VC%20model%20isn%27t%20broken%20in%20Kalamazoo.pdfhttp://www.southwestmichiganfirst.com/About_Us.cfmNationally recognized for innovation in economic development, Southwest Michigan First is a private, nonprofit organization committed to being the catalyst for economic success in the Kalamazoo Region. Since our inception in 2000, Southwest Michigan First has assisted over 120 organizations with retention, expansion and recruitments projects, overseen 26 life science company start-ups and funded ten companies through its venture fund. Having announced almost 6,000 jobs in 2008, we are dedicated to the creation of jobs, company growth and entrepreneurship in Southwest Michigan. Southwest MichiganWhile other VCs are struggling, the First Life Science Fund is alive and well, thank you very much.Established in 2005 as a limited-partnership venture fund to invest in early-stagelife sciences companies, the $50 million fund is believed to be the largest sum ofcommunity-based private capital ever to be raised and managed by an economicdevelopment organization. The fund announced six company investments during 2008,adding to the four already announced.Two cornerstones set our venture fund apart from other venture capital or seedfunds. First, the SMFLSF has a dual bottom-line approach. Not only does it seek to turn aprofit for its investors, but it only invests in companies that already have a presence or arecommitted to establishing a presence in southwest Michigan. It also requires strong business model and provides advice and guidance to ensure success.
  • Sabotage attacks knock out phone service Source: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/04/09/BAP816VTE6.DTL&tsp=1vandals who chopped fiber-optic cables and killed landlines, cell phones and Internet service for tens of thousands of people in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties.The sabotage essentially froze operations in parts of the three counties at hospitals, stores, banks and police and fire departments that rely on 911 calls, computerized medical records, ATMs and credit and debit cards. Ten fiber-optic cables carrying were cut at four locations in the predawn darkness. Residential and business customers quickly found that telephone service was perhaps more laced into their everyday needs than they thought. Suddenly they couldn't draw out money, send text messages, check e-mail or Web sites, call anyone for help, or even check on friends or relatives down the road.Several people had to be driven to hospitals because they were unable to summon ambulances. Many businesses lapsed into idleness for hours, without the ability to contact associates or customers. The first four fiber-optic cables were cut shortly before 1:30 a.m. in an underground vault along Monterey Highway. Four more underground cables, at least two of which belong to AT&T, were cut about two hours later at two locations near each other along Old County Road. In each case, the vandals had to pry up heavy manhole covers with a special tool, climb down a shaft and chop through heavy cables. AT&T announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the perpetrators, and Santa Clara County officials declared a local state of emergency. Electricity grid penetrated by spieshttp://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE53729120090408Cyberspies have penetrated the U.S. electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system. The intruders have not sought to damage the power grid or other key infrastructure but officials said they could try during a crisis or war. a former Department of Homeland Security official.\"There are intrusions, and they are growing,\" the former official told the paper, referring to electrical systems. \"There were a lot last year.“Authorities investigating the intrusions have found software tools left behind that could be used to destroy infrastructure components. Officials said water, sewage and other infrastructure systems also were at risk.
  • A simple definition of foresight – repeat as we go through the presentation.We all think about the future in some way everyday but there are some common problems in the way we do this and some ways that we can overcome these which we will look at next using a couple of models.
  • This quote from Blackadder is really the antithesis of foresight. And not an uncommon response when faced with high levels of uncertainty.This is what we futurists want to prevent you doing.First we need to understand where foresight fits within organisational strategy.
  • The first model that we use is our adaptation of well known strategist and scenario specialist Kees van der Heijden’s Business Idea which is a basic business model with some foresight stuff thrown in.Van der Heijden is author of ‘Scenarios: the art of strategic conversation’, Director and co-founder of GBN, Global Business Network, and famous for heading up planning at Royal Dutch/Shell.
  • At the centre of the business model is the Value Proposition (first click brings this up). This is the proposition that you are making to your customer or your client about why they should use your services. The Value proposition to the customer is what they want, not what you want to give them.This value proposition is underpinned by single or a combination of distinctive competencies. These are just not skills, they can include things like an intellectual property patent, a mining lease, a geographic franchise area, land, water etc.A good value proposition underpinned by a set of distinctive competencies that are hard to copy produces competitive advantage and this produces results, which produces resources that can be reinvested in the organisation to keep it strong.We divide the competencies that you need into Survive competencies and Thrive competencies.
  • When I used to live in Brisbane we used to frequent one of the Vietnamese restaurants in the Valley. You could get a decent meal of rice paper rolls with duck plus green tea for under $10. Now in terms of their value proposition and competencies they produce great value, good tasting food but you do not go there for a fine dining experience. Having said that if you go there and the place you eat at serves you with dirty cutlery then you are never going back. The ability to clean their plates and cutlery is a “survive” competency – they are never going to advertise their place with “we have clean cutlery” or “eat here – you won’t get food poisoning”– that is a given, a ticket to play in the game. However great tasting food will get you to come back – a thrive competency.
  • However to keep an organisation strong you need to keep innovating (first click) because it is likely that over time either your value proposition will need to change, or the competencies that underpin your value proposition will have to change, or both.In order to maximise the chance of that innovation being successful you need to :Understand the evolving needs of society.Make sure that your organisation is open to possibilities in the future – not caught in the straitjacket of the presentSo what I am saying is that foresight capacity “that ability to think about the future and apply that thinking to strategy” is an essential organisational capacity that we all need. The next model that we developed ourselves breaks that foresight capacity into separate areas and tools we can all learn and practice
  • http://www.everystockphoto.com/photo.php?imageId=2581738I don’t mean you but I do mean the human brain
  • The human brain has evolved rather than been designed from scratch. Evolution does not have the luxury of going back and starting again. This means that for example we still carry around in our heads the basic brainstem from our ancient ancestors as well as a whole lot of structures that have developed over time from reptiles to mammals to humans. Therefore our brain works in strange and complicated ways that are important to understand if we are going to think better about the future.
  • We like to think that we are rational, logical beings. If this were the case, then economic modelling – which is based on the premise that people are rational actors and that they will make rational decisions when they are given the relevant information – would often be accurate!Dan Ariely is of Professor of Behavioural Economics at MIT. It is often said that economists create economic models and then when they do not turn out to be correct they blame the error on the fact that people did not behave as they should. Most classical economic theory is based on the premise that people are rational actors and that they will make rational decisions when they are given the relevant information. The field of behavioural economics is a relatively new field that tries to look at how people actually behave when given information. There are a number of examples in the book on how people seem to behave irrationally: Tell the story about the experiments with brain energy drinks from this bookWe are sometimes rational and sometimes irrational (I prefer the term non-rational) because, while we are capable of rational thought, we carry in our heads the evolutionary history of our brain development. Evolution does not have the luxury of a complete re-design at each stage of development, only the ability to build on what has gone before. Therefore our brains still contain the primitive brainstem of our ancient ancestors, and brain evolution has gone from reptiles to mammals to modern humans. Our thought processes and our responses are a combination of all of these components, although we like to believe we are mainly rational thinking creatures when we make decisions. Understanding these issues and where the balance lies is critical to thinking about the future.
  • Story: a trial was conducted where two groups of people were given the same energy drinks. One group was told the drinks cost $2 while the other group was told the drinks cost $10. Both groups reported they felt better after exercise after using the drinks. This could easily be explained by placebo effect. However when given problems to solve, the group that had the more expensive drinks also solved more problems. Many other experiments have shown similar irrational thinking patterns. IMPORTANCE: we may be naïve in thinking we can accurately predict consumer behaviour in future and therefore what services will appeal. Probably also applies to adoption of desirable behaviours by citizens – get someone to give an example.SOLUTON: latest strategy theory talks about getting close to your consumer/client – actual direct contact, not filtered information. Many cmpanies are using strategies like consumer-led innovation (rewards for ideas) and open-source development (software).
  • If you take one thing away from today it is that no-one can predict the future and anyone that tells you they can is lying to you, lying to themselves or both at the same time. It is important to note that I am not talking about what the approximate population and demographic mix of say Melbourne in three years time although even that can be problematic. I am talking about events or outcomes that have multiple interacting factors. We will come back to this later.
  • Most people do not go back and look at their forecasts or get held to account on forecasts they have applied to others.Philip Tetlock , a social scientist performed the best forecasting experiment that I know of and the results of it are contained in this book (click to bring up the picture).What Tetlock did was to ask people to forecast certain complex events. He did not ask for specific outcomes like the value of the Australian dollar in a year’s time which would have been impossible to answer. He asked questions like in 1988 “Will the soviet communist party have more, less or the same power as they do now” He also asked people to assign a confidence level to their forecast eg if they were absolutely certain then they allocated 100%. If they were just guessing then they assigned 33% as there were only three options so each one was equally likely in a guessing situation.Tetlock asked experts in the particular area of forecasting and also asked non experts who he felt were well informed across a range of subjects but not an expert in any particular subject.The forecasts were for 5 years out dn he repeated the experiments 3 times – over 15 years.
  • And these were the results.Just as interesting the experts were worse than the non experts and the experts were prone to make errors of certainty ie “that is going to happen, that will never happen”So the question is which chimpanzee do you trust (two clicks will bring up two different chimpanzees n- a thinking one and a “non expert” one)
  • Uncertainty rises with time and complexity and time is a relative concept – tell the story of David Geddes and his start up business.In some sectors the business environment can change very rapidly, while other sectors, change much more slowly.An acquaintance with a start-up business in social networking changed his business model three times within first 12 months. However we would not expect businesses in the mining sector to experience a similar rate of change.
  • If we have just four variables – lets say we are looking at population forecasts then these would be births, deaths, migration and immigration.These four variables have 6 different possible connections and 64 different patterns of combinations. While this is still a reasonably large number of possibilities it is still within reason to examine all these.
  • Now lets say we have ten different variables – and we could easily come up with ten or more for something like the price of oil eg. OPEC supply, middle east stability, US biofuels production and policy, cost of alternative fuels, fuel efficiency of vehicles, purchase of cars, advancements in technology and public transport, GHG legislation etc.The number of connections is 45. can anyone guess what the number of possible patterns of combinations are? 10 to power of 9 or 3.5 trillion.This is why we say it is impossible to predict the future in the case of complex situations.
  • Pattern entrainment is how our brains filter information based on pre-existing mental models which are based on our life experiences and beliefs thus far.In Why Don’t People Listen, Hugh McKay talks about the concept of a cage that we carry around our heads with us which is built from our experiences and the information we have gathered. The reality is that we receive thousands of pieces of information every day and it is impossible to process each of those pieces of information consciously. Therefore our brains have evolved to be pattern recognition machines and what we do is only let inside the cage information that matches the bars of the cage, that matches our experiences and our mental models of the world. How many times have you been to a movie, or read a book, or been to a conference and noticed a news item about that same subject in the following week? Or have bought a new car and then start seeing people driving the same model everywhere? The reason for this is that by exposure to new ideas you have fresh mental models in your head and therefore the information is allowed inside the cage. When we come across truly new information our brain has no pre-existing pattern to match that information to so we have a tendency to be blind to new or emerging issues. As a result we simply don’t see change coming.In terms of forecasts, this means we can be blind to new information which debunks our forecasts and biased towards information which supports our forecasts.
  • The Halo Effect is another cognitive bias.The Halo Effect is when we consider something/someone as good or bad in one category, we are likely to make a similar evaluation in other unrelated categories. For example, if you consider someone to be an attractive person then you may also automatically judge him as having a more desirable personality and more skills than someone of average appearance. Similar to the way celebrities are used to endorse products that they have no expertise in evaluating.The halo effect means that good results can bias our opinions, resulting in glowing reports on a company regardless of what really happened, which may include just being at the right place at the right time. In the book ‘The Halo Effect’ by Phil Rosenzweig, one example the author quotes a study where groups of people were given the task of analysing the financial reports of companies and providing a report on present and future performance. When this was complete the researcher threw all the reports away (unknown to the participants) and randomly allocated each group a “great’ or a “poor” rating on their analysis. He then got the groups to self rate their teamwork within the group. The groups that were randomly told that they were great rated their teamwork far higher than those that were randomly told they performed poorly. This is an example of what we call retrospective coherence – people feel a need to make sense of what they see and great teamwork does not make sense to people in the situation of a poor result even if that result was totally made up. The halo effect and retrospective coherence are important factors of how people view the past, and how they reached the present. This affects how they think about the future and needs to be taken into account when working with people on thinking about future strategy.
  • Pre-hypothesis convergence is the tendency to fit all new information to a pre-conceived idea or theory. As our brains are pattern recognition machines they tend to quickly formulate a hypothesis based on what is already known or believed and then go about matching supporting data. The problem is we then ignore data that doesn’t fit with the hypothesis or we interpret in such a way to make it fitExample: the Singapore Military found that the order in which information was received by terrorism surveillance staff resulted in significantly different conclusions by individuals. This was so concerning to them that they have adopted systems to help avoid pre-convergence of ideas.All of these cognitive biases have an impact on our ability to forecast in an accurate and objective manner.
  • So how you think is more important than what you think. Assuming our brains are rational, logical and that patterns of the past are reliable indicators of the future is a risky approach.This would be like playing Russian Roulette – if the person before you didn’t die when they pulled the trigger would you assume it was safe for you play?So how can you make better decisions in complex uncertain situations?
  • If you know what logic and assumptions underpin their forecast then you have the ability to question the forecast and see when this might be at risk of collapsing.The same can be said of an organizational strategy – if we articulate the assumptions and drivers we are basing strategy on then we are in a better position to monitor the ongoing relevance of the strategy.
  • Next we will look at a model which helps us break foresight capacity into chunks and tools that you can use that help overcome some of the problems.
  • The SHUE model – deliberately named this way to be easy to remember.
  • Make comment that I have picked odd looking shoes for these pictures because we are trying to think differently about the future than we have previously.
  • No notes required – just click and the four lines will come uop one by one with each click – and read them out and say we will go through each of these in more detail
  • Pick someone out of the audience and say “ imagine Jim is standing behind me in a just a grass skirt and doing a Hoola dance. You can all see him but I can’t. If I am looking in the wrong direction I cannot see information that is important to me. We once did a project for a small not for profit organisation and as part of the process we did an initial survey on what newspapers they read, what were the last three books they had read, what TV shows did they watch, what were the last three movies they saw. They had 21 staff so it was possible but unlikely that they had seen 63 different movies. How many different movies do you think they had seen?.............................................The answer is 8. If you have an organisation that hires similar people all the time and has a group think culture you can have a very narrow range of what your are looking at.
  • No need to talk about these individually – just enough that there are tools out there that can help and these are only examples. Longer term if we are using facilitators we may need more information here for questions.
  • Seeing something is not the same as noticing it. In Why Don’t People Listen, Hugh McKay talks about the concept of a cage that we carry around our heads with us which is built from our experiences and the information we have gathered. The reality is that we receive thousands of pieces of information every day and it is impossible to process each of those pieces of information consciously. Therefore our brains have evolved to be pattern recognition machines and what we do is only let inside the cage information that matches the bars of the cage, that matches our experiences and our mental models of the world. How many times have you been to a movie, or read a book, or been to a conference and noticed a news item about that same subject in the following week? Or have bought a new car and then start seeing people driving the same model everywhere? The reason for this is that by exposure to new ideas you have fresh mental models in your head and therefore the information is allowed inside the cage.
  • No need to talk about these individually – just enough that there are tools out there that can help and these are only examples. Longer term if we are using facilitators we may need more information here for questions.Eg complexity thinking – narrative inquiry story? – John AMCOR and recruitment:
  • You can find evidence to support your own mental models anywhere – a good fun slide with a message
  • No point having all this information that you have taken notice of that makes no sense to you. If you can make sense of information in a timely manner then you will be better prepared to take advantage of future opportunities and avoid potential risks. If you do this before anyone else then you get access to areas that no-one else has – if you can put all the pieces together you get to go through the door.There are a range of sense making tools that you can use – many of them also cover point 2 – Did you heed it because they are about uncovering assumptions and mental models
  • One click after the slide comes up will have all the tools flying up on the screen.We are going to concentrate on a couple of these in more detail because they are important for you to take away in your heads.
  • The classic story that is told about scenario planning is that of Shell in the late 1960’s. Since World War 11 the demand for oil had been growing 6-8% per year so if you made a mistake in excessive capital spending you just waited a while and it self corrected. The whole industry worked on the assumption that this would continue indefinitely. Shell did some scenario work which included a scenario where OPEC restricted supply and drove up prices, reducing oil demand. As a result senior management was prepared for such a change and was able to move more quickly than its competitors and moved from 7th to second on the international league. Anyway that is the general told public story. I had lunch in Helsinki a couple of years ago with Arie de Geus who was part of that team. He said that when the senior management team was presented with the scenarios they basically ignored them. So the scenario team went back and tried to think about what to do because they were convinced that the scenario they had created was a serious possibility. In the end they created another scenario which was the last five years projected forward with all of the things that had to stay the same for that scenario to be true. At that point the senior management realised that they might be living in a fantasy world of their own construction and took more notice of other forward possibilities. I tell that story because scenario work is as much about understanding your own assumptions and mental models of the future as it is about thinking about different possibilities.
  • No point doing all this if you don’t take action.
  • If you go down the path of improving your organisation’s foresight capacity you need to be careful. If you did not see something important because you were looking in the wrong direction you are unlikely to be blamed. If you saw something important but did not take heed of it because you were too busy or it did not seem important at the time you are unlikely to be blamed. If you saw something and took heed of it but it did not make sense to you then you are unlikely to be blamed. If you saw something, took heed of it and it made sense to you but you did not act then you are in a heap of trouble. Take home message – this can help you reduce risk but only if you do it properly.
  • If you go down the path of improving your organisation’s foresight capacity you need to be careful. If you did not see something important because you were looking in the wrong direction you are unlikely to be blamed. If you saw something important but did not take heed of it because you were too busy or it did not seem important at the time you are unlikely to be blamed. If you saw something and took heed of it but it did not make sense to you then you are unlikely to be blamed. If you saw something, took heed of it and it made sense to you but you did not act then you are in a heap of trouble. Take home message – this can help you reduce risk but only if you do it properly.
  • If you take one thing away from today it is that no-one can predict the future and anyone that tells you they can is lying to you, lying to themselves or both at the same time. It is important to note that I am not talking about what the approximate population and demographic mix of say Melbourne in three years time although even that can be problematic. I am talking about events or outcomes that have multiple interacting factors. We will come back to this later.
  • Just to go over it one more time
  • So Remember:The brain – be aware of your own (and others) cognitive biases or mental models – challenge assumptionsThe SHUE model – ask the cascading questionsThe monkey – don’t get fooled by forecasts or experts

Transcript

  • 1. Futures Thinking Strategies on how to think about the future and complexity Emergent Futures, Level 27, 101 Collins St, Melbourne, Vic 3000, Ph 039 018 7917, Fax 039 012 3580, http//:www.emergentfutures.com
  • 2. OVERVIEW Insights on emerging issues Foresight with two basic models Practical exercise Sum up and questions
  • 3. Emerging Issues
  • 4. Did You Know? www.youtube.com/watch? v=cL9Wu2kWwSY&feature=player_embedded http://
  • 5. Discuss what this means for: • You • BCC • The city
  • 6. Robots match human intelligence quot;The truly interesting question is what happens after if we have truly intelligent robots… do we become pets or food?'‘ Paul Saffo
  • 7. Redesigning Future Humans Chips control prosthetic limbs Implantable telescopes for eyes Artificial blood cells Erasing memories Drugs that improve cognitive function = significant possibility & moral hazard
  • 8. Batteries Not Included Better Place is trying to create a robotic system for electric cars where the batteries are swapped in and out instead of waiting to recharge the battery.
  • 9. As Cities Go From Two Papers to One, Talk of Zero As newspapers move online and downscale who becomes the nations watch dog?
  • 10. Next generation of workplace OfficePOD. Changing the way people work. http://www.officepod.co.uk
  • 11. Alternative development models Community Capitalism in Kalamazoo
  • 12. Brittle Systems Sabotage attacks knock out phone service US Electricity grid penetrated by spies
  • 13. Foresight
  • 14. Foresight Capacity The capacity to think about the future and apply that thinking to strategy
  • 15. Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/blackadder/gallery/blackadder_gallery.shtml#11
  • 16. Model #1 The Business Idea
  • 17. The Business Idea Distinctive Resources ($) and Competencies People VALUE PROPOSITION Competitive Results Advantage * Adapted from The Sixth Sense by Kees van der Heijden et al
  • 18. Survive Thrive competencies competencies
  • 19. The Business Idea Understanding the Opening up evolving needs of organisations to the society possibilities in the future Entrepreneurial innovation Distinctive Resources ($) and Competencies People VALUE PROPOSITION Competitive Results Advantage * Adapted from The Sixth Sense by Kees van der Heijden et al
  • 20. The Problems
  • 21. YOU!
  • 22. Rational Versus Emotional Source: How Brains Make Up Their Minds by Walter J Freeman
  • 23. • Irrationality Some • Pattern entrainment Thinking • Over confidence in Problems forecasts • Halo effect • Pre-hypothesis
  • 24. Brain Energy Drinks
  • 25. No-one can predict the future
  • 26. Forecasting
  • 27. Humans are marginally better than chimps at forecasting Philip E Tetlock – Expert Political Judgement - 2005
  • 28. There is a reason for this!!
  • 29. Uncertainty 12 10 8 Complexity 6 4 2 0 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 Time
  • 30. 6 64
  • 31. 45 3.5 trillion
  • 32. Pattern Entrainment
  • 33. The Halo Effect www.surrealart.com/html/___suits.htm
  • 34. Pre-Hypothesis Convergence http://lifehacker.com/software/digital-photography/enhance-your-photography-with-converging-lines-237435.php
  • 35. HOW you think is more important than WHAT you think!!!
  • 36. The two tests of a competent forecaster or futurist
  • 37. They are right more than just chance would allow
  • 38. They can tell you a coherent, logically consistent and cogent story
  • 39. BOTTOM LINE: Be critical of forecasts Keep experts in their place Be aware of cognitive biases
  • 40. Model #2 The SHUE Model
  • 41. You cannot go forward until you have your foresight SHUEs on
  • 42. Did you See it? If you saw it did you Heed it? If you heeded it did you Understand it? If you understood it did you Execute?
  • 43. s Did we ee it?
  • 44. Tools Formal/informal environmental scanning systems Categorisation models such as STEEP and Wilbur models Survey systems such as Delphi External information/scanning providers
  • 45. If we saw it did we Heed it
  • 46. Tools Mental models Understanding perceptual filters and bias Avoiding pre-hypothesis convergence – multiple perspectives, narrative inquiry
  • 47. If we heeded it did we Understand it?
  • 48. Tools Causal Forecasts Layered Scenarios Analysis Visioning Futures Trends Wheel Trend Complexity Intersections Tools
  • 49. Scenarios Scenario 01 Scenario 02 Scenario 03 Scenario 04 YOU
  • 50. Futures/Consequence Wheel www.surrealart.com/html/___suits.htm
  • 51. Did You Execute
  • 52. Execute Tools Backcasting Integration in strategic process Ritual dissent
  • 53. Warning on Risk!!!!
  • 54. Did you See it? If you saw it did you Heed it? If you heeded it did you Understand it? If you understood it did you Execute?
  • 55. Sum Up
  • 56. No-one can predict the future
  • 57. “but you have the ability to greatly improve how you think about the future”
  • 58. Did you See it? If you saw it did you Heed it? If you heeded it did you Understand it? If you understood it did you Execute?
  • 59. So REMEMBER
  • 60. Emergent Futures Services CEO Foresight Mentoring Services Training workshops for organisations Conference presentations Strategy process improvement Specific project work on future issues and intractable problems www.emergentfutures.com
  • 61. Emergent Futures Services Fortnightly Newsletter – What’s Emerging www.emergentfutures.com Tumblelog (scanning links) http://emergentfutures.tumblr.com/
  • 62. Thank you Emergent Futures, Level 27, 101 Collins St, Melbourne, Vic 3000, Ph 039 018 7917, Fax 039 012 3580, http//:www.emergentfutures.com