Thinking about the future
In my view the purpose of futures research is simple – it tries to answer the question: what’s the best thing to do next?
The conditions we are experiencing now are the result of past decisions, individual and collective. Today’s events cannot be avoided – they are the fruit of past actions – but how we respond will either tend to amplify their effects into the future or reduce them.
What we call the future is a constantly changing projection of today’s conditions and decisions, not something fixed and inevitable. Futures research explores today’s future and uses it as a mirror to show us the consequences of today’s actions and conditions.
Futures research starts by asking what is changing and what could change. This requires wide-ranging research into present conditions and imaginative extrapolation into the future.
Creating a picture of possible future conditions prompts us to consider how we need to change in the present. In other words, the aim of futures research is to make better decisions now, to achieve improved outcomes later. This activity also has another name: strategy.
The writing that I have brought together on this website has all resulted from my ongoing personal search into big picture present conditions and future change. My understanding keeps developing, so this website records a journey rather than an arrival.
Most of the writing is also an exploration of the kinds of changes we could make in the present that would amplify the best tendencies of the present and damp the worst.
I hope you find the results interesting and thought provoking, and possibly even an inspiration for gazing into the future mirror for your own benefit.