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Futures Tools: scanning, futures wheels, Verge.

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Quick introduction to the first basic steps in futures thinking and foresight: scanning for emerging change, exploration impacts and implications of emerging change, and delving deeper into potential …

Quick introduction to the first basic steps in futures thinking and foresight: scanning for emerging change, exploration impacts and implications of emerging change, and delving deeper into potential transformations of change.


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  • 1. 28 August 2010 Futures Tools: Exploring Dr. Wendy L. Schultz Director, Infinite Futures Fellow, World Futures Studies Federation Fellow, Royal Society for the Arts Possibilities and Implications Scanning, Futures Wheels (basic and augmented) and Verge (Ethnographic Futures Framework) Monday, 30 August 2010
  • 2. Mapping a trend’s diffusion into public awareness from its starting point as an emerging issue of change. system limits; problems develop; unintended impacts Number of cases; global; multiple dispersed degree of cases; trends and drivers 3rd horizon public awareness institutions and government newspapers; news magazines; broadcast media laypersons’ magazines; local; few cases; websites; documentaries emerging issues Pockets of specialists’ journals and websites future found In present scientists; artists; radicals; mystics Time “present” “future” Monday, 30 August 2010
  • 3. Scanning TIMELINES SYSTEMS MAPS HORIZON SCANNING + the 3rd Horizon TREND FORECASTS IMPACT MAPPING USED & DISOWNED FUTURES FUTURES TRIANGLE Scanning provides a starting point to SCENARIOS INFLECTION POINTS monitor possible transformative / DECISION HORIZONS disruptive changes. 3 Horizons let us organise and consider the interplay of trends and emerging • How will emerging change affect changes. people’s lives, lifestyles, belongings, houses, pets, communities, Uses: work, retirement, and investment patterns? Challenge system robustness; • How will different emerging changes intersect with each Enable plausible provocative scenarios; other to either amplify or constrain their related impacts? Get beyond incrementalism. 3 Monday, 30 August 2010
  • 4. “3 Horizons” and Horizon Scanning Dominance of paradigm / worldview STATUS QUO, MOMENTUM, INERTIA 3rd horizon Invent, Develop, Deploy Fading paradigms & technologies Research, Demonstrate, Disrupt CURRENT 2nd horizon Transition TRENDS & paradigms & DRIVERS technologies Envision, Explore, Embody EMERGING Pockets of ISSUES OF future found CHANGE In present 1st horizon Time “present” “future” Monday, 30 August 2010
  • 5. Futures Wheels Monday, 30 August 2010
  • 6. Futures Wheels: Origins Jerome C. Glenn Invented futures wheels in 1971 as a method for policy analysis and forecasting Also called Implementation Wheels, Impact Wheels, Mind Mapping, and Webbing. Reference: Jerome C. Glenn, “The Futures Wheel,” in The Millennium Project Futures Research Methodology 3.0 (CD) Joel Barker “Cascade thinking:” go out at least three orders of implications to find big surprises http://strategicexploration.com/ implications-wheel/ Monday, 30 August 2010
  • 7. Futures Wheel Monday, 30 August 2010 What are the first effects you can extrapolate would emerge from this shift in the computing infrastructure – and everything connected to, or depending upon, it? For example: •working – and education – environments noisier; •nobody needs to remember passwords anymore; •precipitous drop in incidence of work-related carpal tunnel syndrome; •market emerges for ”great voice” modules to personalize computer speech. These are just a few examples of primary effects. If your thinking gets stuck, look at the subdivisions in the futures wheel. These effects address the areas of work, education, daily life, health, and the economy – what about hobbies? our homes and family life? the arts? etc. Next, take each of these primary effects, one by one, and ask what effects they in turn will have on our lives: •working – and education – environments noisier: •wireless ”earbud” headphones/microphones to communicate with your computer; •development of ”workpod” office and schoolroom furniture, with built-in sound barriers: •people in the same room conversing through their computers’ wireless network; •”visual display” goggles for silent response, eye movement navigation through menus: •accelerated development of augmented reality. While listing the secondary effects of the chosen primary effect, tertiary effects also emerged, as the indented, italicized items illustrate.
  • 8. Augmented Futures Wheel Monday, 30 August 2010 What are the first effects you can extrapolate would emerge from this shift in the computing infrastructure – and everything connected to, or depending upon, it? For example: •working – and education – environments noisier; •nobody needs to remember passwords anymore; •precipitous drop in incidence of work-related carpal tunnel syndrome; •market emerges for ”great voice” modules to personalize computer speech. These are just a few examples of primary effects. If your thinking gets stuck, look at the subdivisions in the futures wheel. These effects address the areas of work, education, daily life, health, and the economy – what about hobbies? our homes and family life? the arts? etc. Next, take each of these primary effects, one by one, and ask what effects they in turn will have on our lives: •working – and education – environments noisier: •wireless ”earbud” headphones/microphones to communicate with your computer; •development of ”workpod” office and schoolroom furniture, with built-in sound barriers: •people in the same room conversing through their computers’ wireless network; •”visual display” goggles for silent response, eye movement navigation through menus: •accelerated development of augmented reality. While listing the secondary effects of the chosen primary effect, tertiary effects also emerged, as the indented, italicized items illustrate.
  • 9. Futures Wheels: Instructions  Enter your assigned change in the inner circle of your worksheet.  Everyone take five minutes by themselves to imagine the possible impacts of this change.  Share your individual lists within your group. Which of these are immediate, or primary, impacts? Immediate primary impacts are the direct caused by the change. Write those down next to the appropriate “spoke”.  Some of the impacts on your lists may actually be the result of a primary impact, or occur after a primary impact - draw a line from the relevant primary impact, and write the suggested secondary impact in a circle at the end of that line.  Now consider each primary impact, one by one. Brainstorm two or three impacts it will have, and map those, connecting each to its primary impact. Monday, 30 August 2010 Let’s create a futures wheel from the statement, ”By 2010, we talk to our computers, they talk back, and recognize us via biometrics.” This statement is a vivid way of expressing several related trends: 1) increasing multiplicity of input and display devices for computers, with consequent decline in use of keyboards; and 2) increasing use of “biometrics” – identifiers based on unique characteristics of living organisms, like our fingerprints, retinal patterns, blood type, or DNA.
  • 10. work? travel? economy? primary effects home/ critical education? families? emerging change impact communications? hobbies? environment? impact secondary impact effects Futures Wheel Monday, 30 August 2010 What are the first effects you can extrapolate would emerge from this shift in the computing infrastructure – and everything connected to, or depending upon, it? For example: •working – and education – environments noisier; •nobody needs to remember passwords anymore; •precipitous drop in incidence of work-related carpal tunnel syndrome; •market emerges for ”great voice” modules to personalize computer speech. These are just a few examples of primary effects. If your thinking gets stuck, look at the subdivisions in the futures wheel. These effects address the areas of work, education, daily life, health, and the economy – what about hobbies? our homes and family life? the arts? etc. Next, take each of these primary effects, one by one, and ask what effects they in turn will have on our lives: •working – and education – environments noisier: •wireless ”earbud” headphones/microphones to communicate with your computer; •development of ”workpod” office and schoolroom furniture, with built-in sound barriers: •people in the same room conversing through their computers’ wireless network; •”visual display” goggles for silent response, eye movement navigation through menus: •accelerated development of augmented reality. While listing the secondary effects of the chosen primary effect, tertiary effects also emerged, as the indented, italicized items illustrate.
  • 11. office sound silent, eye-tracking “earbud” headphones to barriers menu navigation goggles talk to/hear computer developed work noisier work? travel? economy? primary effects home/ voice input / output, education? families? biometric passwords impact communications? hobbies? environment? impact secondary impact effects Futures Wheel Monday, 30 August 2010 What are the first effects you can extrapolate would emerge from this shift in the computing infrastructure – and everything connected to, or depending upon, it? For example: •working – and education – environments noisier; •nobody needs to remember passwords anymore; •precipitous drop in incidence of work-related carpal tunnel syndrome; •market emerges for ”great voice” modules to personalize computer speech. These are just a few examples of primary effects. If your thinking gets stuck, look at the subdivisions in the futures wheel. These effects address the areas of work, education, daily life, health, and the economy – what about hobbies? our homes and family life? the arts? etc. Next, take each of these primary effects, one by one, and ask what effects they in turn will have on our lives: •working – and education – environments noisier: •wireless ”earbud” headphones/microphones to communicate with your computer; •development of ”workpod” office and schoolroom furniture, with built-in sound barriers: •people in the same room conversing through their computers’ wireless network; •”visual display” goggles for silent response, eye movement navigation through menus: •accelerated development of augmented reality. While listing the secondary effects of the chosen primary effect, tertiary effects also emerged, as the indented, italicized items illustrate.
  • 12. office sound silent, eye-tracking “earbud” headphones to barriers menu navigation goggles talk to/hear computer developed work noisier work? travel? economy? primary effects impact home/ voice input / output, impact education? families? biometric passwords impact no passwords market for “great new licensing required voices” opp’ty for drop in carpal tunnel popular singers syndrome and actors secondary rather talk to pirate market: effects your machine great voices than you… “napsterized” collapse of increase in worker keyboard wrist productivity rest market decline in worker compensation costs Futures Wheel Monday, 30 August 2010 What are the first effects you can extrapolate would emerge from this shift in the computing infrastructure – and everything connected to, or depending upon, it? For example: •working – and education – environments noisier; •nobody needs to remember passwords anymore; •precipitous drop in incidence of work-related carpal tunnel syndrome; •market emerges for ”great voice” modules to personalize computer speech. These are just a few examples of primary effects. If your thinking gets stuck, look at the subdivisions in the futures wheel. These effects address the areas of work, education, daily life, health, and the economy – what about hobbies? our homes and family life? the arts? etc. Next, take each of these primary effects, one by one, and ask what effects they in turn will have on our lives: •working – and education – environments noisier: •wireless ”earbud” headphones/microphones to communicate with your computer; •development of ”workpod” office and schoolroom furniture, with built-in sound barriers: •people in the same room conversing through their computers’ wireless network; •”visual display” goggles for silent response, eye movement navigation through menus: •accelerated development of augmented reality. While listing the secondary effects of the chosen primary effect, tertiary effects also emerged, as the indented, italicized items illustrate.
  • 13. Verge: an ethnographic futures framework Michele Bowman and Richard Lum Formulated in response to frustrations with STEEP/PESTE scan taxonomies Focus on people and society: define; relate; connect; create; consume Wide applicability as a taxonomy for scanning: organises emerging change by point of impact on people, rather than by point of origin enriches futures wheels, strengthens scenarios, deepens vision, adds specificity to strategy. Monday, 30 August 2010
  • 14. Verge: how does change affect human experience? “Human history can be dissected (and sometimes understood) as a series of eras or epochs – the Agricultural Era, the Industrial Era, the Information Age.  Common to each of these eras or ages is a set of culture points which define and shape each era and which are common to all of human experience.   For instance, while the role (and even the flavor) of religion has changed throughout time, the common need of humans to have a framework for understanding their world has not.  Likewise, while our weapons, our choice of foods and structure of our families may change throughout time, the need for them does not.” Michele Bowman Monday, 30 August 2010
  • 15. Verge in brief The concepts, ideas Social structures & and paradigms we use relationships which link to define the world people and organizations around us The technologies used to connect people, places and things The processes and The goods & services we technology through create, and the ways in which we create which we aquire and use goods & services them Monday, 30 August 2010 The Ethnographic Futures Framework - VERGE - was developed by Kaipo Lum and Michele Bowman of Global Foresight Associates, and any use of it should cite them as authors / designers.
  • 16. Use it with futures wheels: brainstorm by Verge category define? relate? primary effects impact critical emerging change impact connect? consume? secondary create? effects impact  Enter your assigned change in the inner circle of your worksheet.  Use the following questions to help you imagine possible impacts of this change over the next twenty years:  DEFINE: How will this driver affect the concepts, ideas and paradigms we use to define ourselves and the world around us?  RELATE: How will we live together on planet Earth?  CONNECT: How will this driver affect the technologies / techniques we use to connect people, places, and things?  CREATE: How will this driver affect the processes and technologies we use to produce goods and services?  CONSUME: How will this driver affect the kinds of goods and services we create, and how we acquire them, use them, and destroy them?  Map potential impacts outward as with an ordinary futures wheel. Monday, 30 August 2010
  • 17. Dr. Wendy L. Schultz Infinite Futures: foresight research and training Oxford, England wendy@infinitefutures.com http:// www.infinitefutures.com Thank you. Monday, 30 August 2010

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