Basic introduction to working with past timelines and the Three Horizons Framework, as presented at the 'Blowing the Cobwebs Off Your Mind' Three Horizons / Futures Thinking Bootcamp, 18-19 September 2013, by Wendy Schultz
Laurie – the name of this series of events came from when Gill & I were talking about the changes happening in the world and the effect on clients ’ business – and how difficult it was for successful organisations to take on board the extent of these changes. ? Use the neurobiolgy reference I sent you? Refer to Mike Johnstone ’ s work So we are delighted that so many of our friends have joined us today to start to blow away the cobwebs. And that our event today met the stringent requirements of the Royal Society – as a serious contribution to learning . The SAMI team is led by Gill Ringland, Dr Wendy Schultz and Dr Chris Yapp, and I will hand you over to Gill to brief you on the Agenda
Bill Sharpe, International Futures Forum Tony Hodgson, Decision Integrity Andrew Curry, The Futures Company http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/foresight/docs/intelligent-infrastructure-systems/technology-forward-look.pdf http://www.jfs.tku.edu.tw/13-1/A01.pdf
Three Horizons 18 Sept 2013 - Basic Introduction
• History as a launch pad for foresight:
• Robert Textor, Ethnographic Futures --
the rubber band effect.
• Paul Saffo, Technological Forecasting --
twice as far back as forward.
• Layering history of different sectors:
• Analysing different patterns of change.
• Identifying different speeds of change.
TIMELINES and the FUTURE
Mapping a trend’s diffusion into public awareness
from its starting point as an emerging issue of change.
local; few cases;
global; multiple dispersed
cases; trends and drivers
scientists; artists; radicals; mystics
specialists’ journals and websites
newspapers; news magazines;
institutions and government
Beginning of research,
not the end;
“N of 1”;
• Primary futures tool for identifying and
monitoring emerging change.
• Related to issues management and
• ”Environment” refers to the information
environment – all media – and
”scanning” to logically structured,
continuous monitoring of data sources.
• High quality scanning:
– identifies an emerging issue that is objectively
new even to experts,
– confirms or is confirmed by additional scan
– has been identified in time for social dialogue,
impact assessment, and policy formation.
Scanning provides a starting point to monitor
possible transformative / disruptive changes.
3 Horizons helps us organise and consider the
interplay of trends and emerging changes.
Challenge obsolescing assumptions;
Spot emerging constraints / opportunities;
Get beyond incrementalism.
SCANNING + the 3 HORIZONS framework
Three Horizons Framework for Layering Change Life-cyclesThree Horizons Framework for Layering Change Life-cycles
B Sharp, T Hodgson, A Curry
The 3 HORIZONS framework
• Perspective: long-term time horizon
• Need: technology road-mapping that reflects
generations of technological innovation
• Researchers: Bill Sharpe, Tony Hodgson, Andrew
• Subsequent publications and articles:
– IIS Technology Forward Look; Sharpe and Hodgson
– “Seeing in Multiple Horizons: Connecting Futures to Strategy;”
Curry and Hodgson, Journal of Futures Studies
– Bill Sharpe, Three Horizons: The Patterning of Hope, 2013.
ORIGINS of 3 HORIZONS framework:
UK Foresight Intelligent Infrastructure
Systems (IIS) Project
Three Horizons: Functional differencesThree Horizons: Functional differences
B Sharp, T Hodgson, A Curry
Dominance of worldview
Pockets of the future
found in the present
• Today’s dominant pattern(s) – accumulations of
past decisions and designs
• H1 systems are fully integrated with
surrounding culture – ‘locked in’
• Well-established ways of dealing with problems
frame approaches to new challenges
• Dominated by quantitative sense of time as a
• Imagined futures and emerging changes –
transformative shifts from the present
• Explores the ‘full range of possible social
settlements and systems that could be brought
• Surfaces and questions underlying cultural
• Dominated by qualitative awareness of time as
a defining moment of decision
• Looks both ways – past and future – to respond
to limitations of H1 and opportunities of H3
• Creates a zone of innovation and turbulence
• Danger: “H1 capture” – too mired in the past
• Dominated by feelings of opportunity,
engagement and a sense of opportunity cost –
trade-offs that must be made
“Instead of seeing a world of stability to which
change and uncertainty ‘happen,’ we instead
become aware that everything that seems fixed
and stable is just part of a slow process of
change, embedded in other processes that
extend out as far as we want to explore.”