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Forecasting Session at TAM
 

Forecasting Session at TAM

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A presentation and forecasting session given by Elizabeth Merritt, founding director of the Center for the Future of Museums, and Peter Bishop, associate professor of strategic foresight at the ...

A presentation and forecasting session given by Elizabeth Merritt, founding director of the Center for the Future of Museums, and Peter Bishop, associate professor of strategic foresight at the University of Houston, at the 2010 Texas Association of Museums conference.

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  • This goes up during my introduction
  • Encourage museums to look farther into the future and plan for a longer time frame Providing forecasting data that can inform planning Facilitates innovation and experimentation Helps museums to help society face the challenges of the future
  • Goals To highlight some of the attributes assigned to the Millennial generation To look at how the world has changed in the past three generations- so that we might understand the interaction between generations that we find in schools/work. To look at why this might be important to education Generations are characterized by groups of people born within the same time period– and have a strikingly similar values and view of the world based on shared early life experiences. It is about passing through life stages together… The theory is that b/c of our shared experiences- we might share beliefs towards science, technology, government, ‘progress’, national pride, gender, celebrity… Story isn’t that young people have changed- or parents have changed– but that some things in our world have changed– and others have stayed the same… We are all just responding and adapting as best we can…. It’s not about finding the best approach. Just recognizing how we might look at the world differently b/c we were born at a certain time– and passed thru the world changing at a different stage in life…
  • Symbol in the middle
  • Goals To highlight some of the attributes assigned to the Millennial generation To look at how the world has changed in the past three generations- so that we might understand the interaction between generations that we find in schools/work. To look at why this might be important to education Generations are characterized by groups of people born within the same time period– and have a strikingly similar values and view of the world based on shared early life experiences. It is about passing through life stages together… The theory is that b/c of our shared experiences- we might share beliefs towards science, technology, government, ‘progress’, national pride, gender, celebrity… Story isn’t that young people have changed- or parents have changed– but that some things in our world have changed– and others have stayed the same… We are all just responding and adapting as best we can…. It’s not about finding the best approach. Just recognizing how we might look at the world differently b/c we were born at a certain time– and passed thru the world changing at a different stage in life…
  • Three primary mechanisms create change, according to our model – Trends – continuous change over a long period of time, but usually confined to one era Discontinuities – discontinuous change that occurs rapidly, usually ending one era and starting and new one. Together these constitute “in-bound” change, the change we describe when we forecast the future. Choice – our response to change and strategies for influencing and creating change – the “outbound” change that is also involved in creating the future.
  • Incorrect assumptions are most often the root of failed forecasts or expectations about the future. Therefore, futurists are much more in the assumptions business than in the data business.
  • Three primary mechanisms create change, according to our model – Trends – continuous change over a long period of time, but usually confined to one era Discontinuities – discontinuous change that occurs rapidly, usually ending one era and starting and new one. Together these constitute “in-bound” change, the change we describe when we forecast the future. Choice – our response to change and strategies for influencing and creating change – the “outbound” change that is also involved in creating the future.
  • We will be collecting the game sheets and the end of the exercise, and would love to share your ideas with the field on the CFM website. The presumption is, if you write it down, we have permission to use it. So, if you want to be credited, write your name and institution on the bottom of your forecast sheet. If you want something you write to be confidential, write “Private” in big letters on that sticky.
  • Next we are going to build on a forecast someone else wrote. Use the little square stickies to respond to the forecast you are about to read, written by your neighbor. Choose how you want to respond, and select the corresponding sticky: Challenge = I disagree! Why? In what way? Support = I agree! And what’s more… Adapt = Here is what this future will look like for me/at my institution Investigate = I have a question related to this forecast, can someone answer it?
  • Here is an example of a response to our sample mini-forecast
  • Goals To highlight some of the attributes assigned to the Millennial generation To look at how the world has changed in the past three generations- so that we might understand the interaction between generations that we find in schools/work. To look at why this might be important to education Generations are characterized by groups of people born within the same time period– and have a strikingly similar values and view of the world based on shared early life experiences. It is about passing through life stages together… The theory is that b/c of our shared experiences- we might share beliefs towards science, technology, government, ‘progress’, national pride, gender, celebrity… Story isn’t that young people have changed- or parents have changed– but that some things in our world have changed– and others have stayed the same… We are all just responding and adapting as best we can…. It’s not about finding the best approach. Just recognizing how we might look at the world differently b/c we were born at a certain time– and passed thru the world changing at a different stage in life…
  • Three primary mechanisms create change, according to our model – Trends – continuous change over a long period of time, but usually confined to one era Discontinuities – discontinuous change that occurs rapidly, usually ending one era and starting and new one. Together these constitute “in-bound” change, the change we describe when we forecast the future. Choice – our response to change and strategies for influencing and creating change – the “outbound” change that is also involved in creating the future.
  • Trends, discontinuities and choices are each the primary ingredients to the three types of futures we deal with – Trends (and other elements like plans) lead to the expected, baseline (probable) future. The probable future occurs if all the assumptions made about the world are correct. It is more likely than any other single future, but its absolute probability is quite small since so many other things could happen instead. Discontinuities (or alternative assumptions) lead to the other alternative (plausible) futures. As a set, they are much more likely to occur, but any single one is still quite improbable. Choices (and actions) lead to the preferred future.
  • Our CFM lecturer this fall will be Gregory Rodriguez, director of the California Fellows Program, Irvine senior fellow at the New America Foundation and an op-ed columnist for the L.A. Times, as our 2009 lecturer. (Live lecture to take place in DC Dec 9, recorded for webcast in January 2010.) We have challenged Gregory to speculate on the implications of demographic trends for museums. The live lecture will be in DC in December, and it will be webcast on January 27 th . We have engaged the Cultural Policy Center of the University of Chicago to lead our next research project Demographic Transformation and the future of museums: trends and implications. A synthesis of existing research mined from census data, poll data, published research on Demographic projections for the next 25 years, Current patterns of museum attendance (and cultural participation more generally) by race, ethnicity, cultural origin and other relevant factors, culturally/ethnically specific attitudes towards museums, including perceptual and behavioral barriers to museum attendance, Diversity of the museum workforce and museum governance. It will include some illustrative case studies of museums that are already dealing with these emergent trends, and draw on some focus groups or one-on-one interviews with young people from ethnic groups that are currently under­represented among museum audiences; these stories will help illustrate and humanize the other data. Will conclude with an analysis of holes in the existing research and recommendations for additional research and policy initiatives. The University of Houston’s Futures Studies Program is offering museum professionals affiliated with CFM a 25% discount on their week-long certificate course in Strategic Foresight Jan 11-15, 2010. (The discounted tuition is $1500.) The project-based workshop will “teach participants to anticipate disruptive change and work towards the creation of transformational change in order to influence the future of their organizations, companies and communities.” (The course offers 4 CEUs for attendance and a certificate upon completion of a project after the workshop.) Hope some of you might be interested in joining me at the course.

Forecasting Session at TAM Forecasting Session at TAM Presentation Transcript

  • Peter Bishop Futures Studies University of Houston Elizabeth Merritt Center for the Future of Museums American Association of Museums Texas Associations of Museums Texas A&M University March 18, 2010
    • Describing the Future of Museums
      • Change
      • Forecasting change
      • The expected future
      • Alternative futures
      • The “so what” for museums?
  •  
  • Change “ Events can move from the impossible to the inevitable without ever stopping at the probable.” -- Alexis de Tocqueville
  • Nothing changes everything
  • Times Levels Rates Sources
    • Anticipate…
    • Intelligence
    • Influence…
    • Policy
    … but within limits Inbound Change that happens to us Predict… Outbound We create ourselves Control…
  • Transactional Environment Enterprise Political Environmental Technological Economic Social Demographic Cultural
    • Continuous change
      • gradual improvement over long periods
      • usually preserves the framework/context
    • Discontinuous change
      • sudden change to new levels
      • usually destroys the framework/context
      • always involves short-term loss
  • S-Curve S-Curve 1 No problem. 2 What is going on here? 3 Whew!
    • Airlines
    • Automobiles
    • Telephones
    • Television
    • Health care
    • Retail
    • Utilities
    • Newspapers
    • Military
    • Election
    • Schools
    The Common Element Destruction of Monopolies Appearance of Competition
  • Speed Riding Motoring Flying Law of diminishing returns Running Inherent capacity for performance
  • x Old era New era Transitions inevitability create problems... … but problems are investments toward a better future.
    • “ Times will come in which our descendants will be amazed that we did not see the obvious.” -- Seneca .
    • Predictability, according to natural law, was one of the most powerful cornerstones of the scientific revolution
      • Newton, Leibniz, Enlightenment
    • So much so that it became the default assumption about the future for physical science, social science and the professions
    • Based on the belief of order, causality, connectedness, and flow
    • The future as a river, following one path and leading to a specific point
    • We learn history as a series of events and actions, some with clear causal connections, but often as the result of surprising contingencies.
    • In last century, the contingencies and uncertainties inherent even in natural phenomena have become even more apparent
      • Stochastic processes -- Galton
      • Quantum mechanics -- Bohr, Heisenberg
      • Biological evolution -- Gould
      • Chaos theory -- Lorenz
      • Complexity science -- von Neuman, Wolfram, Kauffman
    • Based on the dominance of chance and uncertainty over determinism and predictability
    • The future as a dice game
    • The religious, economic and political traditions of Western society place primary responsibility for the future on individuals—on their intentions and their actions.
    • Examples:
      • Religion claims that we will be rewarded and punished according to our actions; the law also holds individuals responsible for their actions.
      • Individuals in a market economy must provide for themselves and their families.
      • When something goes wrong, we look for someone to blame; when something goes well, we hand out awards.
    • Based on the dominance of human agency and free will over the forces of determinism and chance
    • The future as a blueprint
    • Trend
    • Plans
    • Overview of 2034 Report
    • Trends specific to Texas
    • Big differences in the expected future— The museum of 2034
    • Implications of the expected future—so what for museums?
    • Factors that limit our understanding of the future
    • Lack of information “what we don’t know”
    • Incorrect theories “what we think we know”
    • Unexamined assumptions “what we believe we know”
  • The Future is many, not one. Source: Charles Taylor, Army War College Present Limit of Plausibility Alternative Futures Limit of Plausibility Past Implications Baseline
    • Trend
    • Plans
    Discontinuities Trend reversals Counter-trends Unfulfilled intentions Failed strategies Potential events Wildcards Unresolved issues Novel ideas Proposals Scenarios Implications
  • Indicative Will Must Should Subjunctive May Might Could Past Present Future
    • Scenario kernel: What might happen instead?
    • Support: Crowdsourcing the Future
    • Framing the story: Characters and events
    • Implications of the alternative future –
    • So what for museums?
  • Shaping the Future Scenario planning based on “Museums & Society 2034: Trends and Potential Futures
    • Credit = your name, institution
    • Confidential = “Private”
    • Crowdsource the Future!
    Mini-forecast! Predict one thing about museums and/or society suggested by this trend. Post your mini-forecast sticky at the top of your game sheet
      • In 2034, non-profit cultural organizations must serve audiences that reflect the cultural/racial composition of their co mmunities ’
      • in order to receive state funding.
  • Challenge! Support! Adapt! Investigate
  • Mini-forecast : “…must reflect the cultural/racial composition of their communities’ in order to receive state funding. Adapt : My museum would appoint community leaders to our exhibit selection team
    • Post mini-forecast
    • Pass to your right
    • Build on the forecast passed to you
      • Challenge
      • Support
      • Adapt
      • Investigate
    • Pass to your right, repeat.
    • Which of the forecasts generated by your group do you think are the most likely to come true?
    • Which are the least likely?
    • Which forecast, in your group, is the most startling and revolutionary?
  • Storyboard
    • Two different characters
    • Three events
      • Inciting incident
      • Climax
      • Resolution
    • SO WHAT HAPPENED?
    • Leisure/Recreation
    • Education
    • Family
    • Government support
    • Health and accessibility
    • Media
    • Transportation
    • Work
  • Influencing Change
    • Trend
    • Plans
    Discontinuities Choice
  • The Future is many, not one. Source: Charles Taylor, Army War College Present Limit of Plausibility Alternative Futures Limit of Plausibility Past Implications Baseline
  • Futures Forces Thinking Techniques Expected (baseline) Constant Definite Historical Analogy Trends Scientific Extrapolation Plausible (alternative) Discontinuities Speculative Scenarios Surprises Imaginative Simulation Preferable (visionary) Choices Visionary Visioning Images Empowered Planning
  • Surprises
  • ...rather than in a big way all at once! Being surprised in little ways over a long time...
  • Learning faster than your competitors is the only sustainable competitive advantage in an environment of rapid innovation and change. — Arie de Geus, former Director Corporate Planning Royal Dutch Shell Group
    • Research: Demographic Transformation
    • and the Future of Museums—May 2010
    • Forecasting
      • Museum Forecasting Network
      • Forecasting the future of California museums
    • www.futureofmuseums.org
    • Follow the CFM Blog
    • Peruse the Research Roundups
    • Watch Voices of the Future Videos
    • Center for the Future of Museums
    • E-mail: [email_address]
    • futureofmuseums.org
    • Dr. Peter C. Bishop
    • Educator, Facilitator, Futurist
    • Phone: 281-433-4160
    • E-mail: [email_address]
    • houstonfutures.org