Follow Your Futures Compass: How to Identify and Frame Focal Issues

If you’ve just learned about Strategic Foresight you may be wondering, “Where do I begin? Do I need to create scenarios? Should I develop trend cards?” Focal issues help us to answer these questions, making them a critical starting point in your futures initiatives.

Kill the Five-year Plan

The Current State: Good Intentions, Poor Results Having spent the majority of my career as a finance professional for large, multi-national firms, I know intimately the herculean (and often fruitless) task of strategic and financial planning.

Why Freedom Depends on Foresight

This article was originally posted on Medium February 25, 2022 At this moment in history — especially with a constant awareness of every news story or personal opinion from every corner of our world due to the “always on” nature of social media — we are painfully aware that, for many, freedom is fleeting, fading and under attack. Countries that are struggling to promote freedom are being invaded by autocracies seeking to reclaim an antiquated past. Radicalized voices are sowing…

We don’t talk about futures…no, no, no

Foresight Lessons from Disney’s Encanto Surely by now you’ve watched or at least heard of the new Disney animated film, “Encanto.” Having been quarantined over Christmas with my 14-year old, I had the pleasure of experiencing the tale of the Madrigals, an enchanted family from Colombia, more times than I care to admit. Due to my repeated viewings as I sheltered in-place on the precipice of COVID’s two-year anniversary, I couldn’t help but draw parallels between one of the movie’s…

“Can you teach me thermodynamics in 20 minutes?”

overcoming short attention spans in foresight integration Having worked in corporate America for 15 years before joining the foresight, innovation , and strategic design firm Kedge and co-founding The Futures School, I know firsthand the challenges of integrating futures thinking in all types of organizations. For-profit entities like The Walt Disney Company (where I was charged with spearheading the first division in the company’s history focused on the future) are built with a bias toward short termism, but they are…

5 Tips to Avoid “Foresight Burnout”

If you’ve learned about Strategic Foresight recently, you’re likely wondering how to start socializing it to the broader organization. You recognize that there’s disruption and opportunity just on the horizon and you want to capitalize on that information without interrupting the flow of everyday business. Sadly, the future is not on everyone’s radar (except if you’re talking risk, or certainty). You need creative ways to inspire the team to consider the pull of the future without overwhelming them. Here’s five…

“Say Goodbye to Frank and Yvette”​

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” T.S. Elliot A growing body of research suggests that our playgrounds are too safe. Apparently, giving children the ability to fail and recover builds not only resilience, but creativity and overall health. It may seem counterintuitive, but consider that if we don’t allow kids the opportunity to push the boundaries on their abilities (to “test the fences,” if you will), then when they…

Creating Foresight-Fueled Action: Katie McPherson

Originally Recorded on June 4, 2021 As a leader in climate, disaster and community resilience, Katie McPherson has spent years working to understand and promote the conditions that contribute to social and economic wellbeing, adaptation and recovery. As Vancouver’s first Chief Resilience Officer, she discovered the transformative power of strategic foresight to reframe both narratives and solutions for some of the City’s greatest challenges. Today, she sees foresight as an essential tool for resilient futures. She recently settled in Whitehorse,…

What Is Natural Foresight®?

We are operating in an increasingly complex environment, where linear and mechanistic processes do not work. To overcome this issue, The Futures School leverages a process that mimics natural growth curves.