The Future cannot be Predicted: It can be Objectively Studied
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The Future cannot be Predicted: It can be Objectively Studied

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Presentation by Harish Shah on the occasion of International Future Day Conference, India

Presentation by Harish Shah on the occasion of International Future Day Conference, India

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The Future cannot be Predicted: It can be Objectively Studied Presentation Transcript

  • 1. THE FUTURE CANNOT BE PREDICTED: IT CAN BE OBJECTIVELY STUDIED Harish Shah (Sole-Proprietor @ Stratserv Consultancy, Singapore)
  • 2. DYNAMISM OF FUTURE TIME • You cannot tell what tomorrow will bring • There are no guarantees • Impossible to create an accurate image of what is yet to occur • The possibilities are infinite • Plans can always be impacted by unknowns • The Future is always a mystery until it arrives
  • 3. IMPORTANCE OF FUTURE STUDIES • Despite being unpredictable, the Future needs to be anticipated • We need to plan for the Future • We need Long-term Projections & Forecasts • To set Goals • To set Standards • To set Milestones • For Progress • For Survival
  • 4. STUDYING THE FUTURE: OBJECTIVELY • Scenario Planning • Based upon what is known • Based upon certainties • Based upon the past • Look to the Past • For the secrets of the Future • Ask: • What happened in history? • What are the historical patterns? • Derive Possibilities based on past Trends & patterns • Create Forward Sequences based on Past Sequences
  • 5. STUDYING THE FUTURE: OBJECTIVELY • Scenario Planning • Based upon the Present • Based upon what is real now • Based upon what is happening • Based upon what is in development • Based upon changes that are in progress • Likely impacts in the Future • In Convergence • Technology • Society • People
  • 6. STUDYING THE FUTURE: OBJECTIVELY • Evidence Based • Scientific Basis is necessary • If there is no indicator that something is Scientifically Possible today, it should not be a factor for forecasting or projection • Anything unproven or without Scientific Basis is unlikely to provide a useful product • On the contrary, it will likely turn out to be a speculation no more than a; • Fantasy • Imagination • Dream • Remember the Primary Purpose: To be useful in Planning
  • 7. CREATING THE MOST LIKELY FUTURE: THE IMPORTANCE • Back-Casting • From an Ideal Future State • At a Critical or Key Milestone Point in Time Ahead • Based on Realistic Possibilities • Derived from evidence based study or scan of Past & Present • To more near-term time-frames or timelines for: • Planning • Target Setting • “Reverse Engineering” • Ideas • Innovation Thinking • Models
  • 8. FUTURE STUDIES: THE BENEFITS • Be Prepared for Change – Before it happens • Accelerate the Positive • Mitigate the Negative – Through Pre-emptive Measures • Example: Environmental Destruction • Enable Pro-active Measures • Sustainable Plans & Strategies • That remain relevant
  • 9. FUTURE STUDIES: THE CHALLENGES • Human Nature • • • • • • • • • • We We We We We We We We We We are not rational are not objective are prone to bias are idealistic are selfish are subjective are myopic are adversarial are prone to denial like to Predict and Speculate
  • 10. THANK YOU