Futures Methods

A collection of Futures Methods other than Scenario Planning for practitioners to explore

  • Cover Image 2005: Getting better at predicting the future
    Abstract:

    2005: Getting better at predicting the future

    The publication of “Expert Political Judgement” was a key event in 2005. Professor Phillip Tetlock of the University of California at Berkeley started to explore how to get better at predicting the future in 1987. It was then that he started to collect forecasts from about 300 experts – initially about preventing a nuclear war but then extending to encompass about 27,500 much wider political and geo-political events. 

    Written by SAMI Fellow Gill Ringland

    Keywords(s): SAMI 25; 1989; 2014
  • Cover Image A Blueprint for Organizing Foresight in Universities - FOR-UNI Blueprint
    Author(s): Curaj, Adrian; Michel, Alain; Saritas, Ozcan; Rossel Pierre; Tuomi, Ilkka; Miller, Riel;
    Keyword(s): Methodology; Ilkka Tuorni; Issues; Futures Literacy; Malaysia; Riel Miller; Contingency; Risks; Anticipatory Systems; Big Picture; Synthesis; Challenges; Ireland; Modelling; US; Conclusion; Modalities; Higher Education; Romania; Optimisation; Exploration; Ozcan Saritas; Governance; Public policy; Canada; Alain Michel; Turkey; For-Uni Blueprint; Introduction; Analysis; References; Foresight; Pierre Rossel
  • Cover Image A taxonomy of experiential futures - Joe Tankersley
    Abstract:

    Experiential, or Immersive Futures, have been getting a lot of discussion among members of the APF and others in the foresight community of late. In general these are events designed to make “real” the most relevant elements depicted in a narrative scenario.

    Keywords(s): APF; Compass; 2015; WFS; Conference
  • Cover Image A ‘World Game’ for complex foresight - by Anthony Hodgson
    Abstract:

    Anthony Hodgson comes to futures work with a deep background in systems thinking, and in some ways his ‘World Game” is a result of this collision of ideas. It is designed to help groups deal with the complexity that exists in the world around them, without either over-simplifying it or becoming overloaded. At first sight it appears that it might be too high level a model to help people deal with the futures of their organisation or immediate operating environment. In practice, it is surprisingly effective. (AC)

    Keywords(s): 2015; APF; Compass; Futures Methods; Understanding Methods
  • Cover Image Change itself changes: new tools for futures thinking
    Abstract:

    Change itself changes: new tools for futures thinking

    Foresight, forecasting, and futures thinking balance in the centre of a tug-of-war between data-driven research and exploratory, intuitive, and imaginative research. Forecasting, especially demographic and econometric forecasting, relies heavily on quantitative data and statistical analysis. ‘Scenarios as the art of strategic conversation’ are, in contrast, exploratory, imaginative, and make use of human intuition in both pattern-sensing and story-telling

    Written by SAMI Principal, Dr Wendy Schultz.

    Keywords(s): SAMI Blogs 2040 Feb 2016 - Some snapshots of 2040
  • Cover Image Compass-Methods Anthology (2015-SE-APF)
    Author(s): Curry, Andrew (editor)
    Keyword(s): 2015; APF; Compass; Futures Methods; Understanding Methods
  • Cover Image More about a new typology of wildcards - by Oliver Markley
    Abstract:

    This is an expanded version of “A New Typology of Wildcards” in the APF’s Future of Futures digital publication edited by Andrew Curry, which was based on a Type II Wild Card pilot test reported in Q4 of the APF Compass (Markley, 2009). John Petersen was an early co-author of this work.

    Keywords(s): 2015; APF; Compass; Futures Methods; Understanding Methods
  • Cover Image Mānoa: The future is not binary - by Wendy Schultz
    Abstract:

    The Mānoa method, developed by Wendy Schultz, is one of the many innovative futures methods that has emerged from Hawaii’s Futures Studies center. It is a method that is designed to maximise difference and to explore the impact of emerging issues. Until now, however, the Mānoa process has not been well documented. I was delighted that Compass was able, in 2015, to publish the first practitioners’ guide to Mānoa. (AC)

    Keywords(s): 2015; APF; Compass; Futures Methods; Understanding Methods
  • Cover Image Play with possibilities - Stuart Candy
    Abstract:

    The Thing From The Future is a card game that scaffolds imagination, strategic conversation and storytelling about possible futures

    Keywords(s): APF; Compass; 2015; WFS; Conference
  • Cover Image Raising the Bar for Professional Futurists: A tribute to Joe Coates 1929-2014 - Andy Hines
    Abstract:

    Joe Coates, who died in October 2014 at the age of 85, did much to improve the practice, profession and reputation of professional futures work. He was forensic in his approach to futures, by turns as direct as he was generous. In a tribute written while Joe was still alive, Graham Molitor once remarked that he didn’t know whether to “toast - or to roast” him, though he opted for the former.

    Many practicing futurists, especially in the US (and including several APF members) served their apprenticeship in his consulting companies.

    In this Compass tribute, Andy Hines, who worked for Joe for seven years, offers his reflections on Joe Coates’ work and his contribution.

    We also take the opportunity, with the kind permission of his widow, Vary Coates, to republish one of his classic pieces on futures. (AC)

    Keywords(s): APF; Compass; 2015; WFS; Conference
  • Cover Image The colors of the system - An interview with Dylan Hendricks
    Abstract:

    The Systems Mythology Toolkit, published in 2014 by the Institute for the Future, is designed to help people understand and analyze the future systems they design and create in terms of their behaviors, incentives, and culture. As the toolkit says, “We cannot build anything without communicating some kind of meaning.” Systems Mythology was developed by the IFTF’s designer Dylan Hendricks, and evolved partly out of the work that the IFTF does with Archetype Scenarios. It is still a work in progress.

    Compass talked to Dylan Hendricks about the rationale, history and future of Systems Mythology.

    Keywords(s): 2015; APF; Compass; Futures Methods; Understanding Methods
  • Cover Image The Foresight Maturity Model - An interview with Terry Grim
    Abstract:

    Terry Grim’s paper, ‘The Foresight Maturity Model (FMM): Achieving Best Practices in the Foresight Field’, won the APF’s Most Significant Futures Works award in 2013, in the category of Works that Advance the Methodology and Practice of Foresight and Futures Studies. It was first published in the Journal of Futures Studies in 2009, and the full paper can be downloaded from the Journal here.

    The Model, whose framework is based on the Capability Maturity Model used in the software industry, breaks futures practice into six areas: Leadership, Framing, Scanning, Forecasting, Visioning and Planning. Under each there is a number of practices, the detail of which can be found in the JFS article. As companies improve their futures capability, they move through the model (there’s a diagram on the next page).

    Compass talked to Terry about the history of the FMM, her learning from using it, and its future. (AC)

    Keywords(s): 2015; APF; Compass; Futures Methods; Understanding Methods
  • Cover Image The Thing From The Future - by Stuart Candy
    Abstract:

    Stuart Candy, Ph.D. (@futuryst) is a pioneer of experiential futures for strategy, education, activism, and entertainment. The Thing From the Future is available from www.situationlab.org or directly via http://tinyurl.com/futurething.

    Keywords(s): 2015; APF; Compass; Futures Methods; Understanding Methods
  • Cover Image Three Horizons and working with change - by Bill Sharpe
    Abstract:

    This summary of Three Horizons makes use of material from Bill Sharpe’s book, ‘Three Horizons: the patterning of hope’, by permission of International Futures Forum.

    The first published version of a three horizons model was in the management book The Alchemy of Growth (see the references at the end of this article for more information). The idea of using the three horizons as three orientations to the future in the present was introduced in the UK Government’s Intelligent Infrastructure Futures project. The evolution of the approach presented in this book, and its relationship to other futures techniques such as scenario planning, is described in a paper by Andrew Curry and Anthony Hodgson, commended by the APF as a Most Significant Futures Work. Their paper provides a good list of references for those with a technical interest in the futures field. (AC)

    Keywords(s): 2015; APF; Compass; Futures Methods; Understanding Methods
  • Cover Image Working with Verge - by Richard Lum
    Abstract:

    The Verge framework, also known in Europe as the Ethnographic Futures Framework, was developed a decade ago by Richard Lum and Michele Bowman.

    Since then it has found its way into futures practice largely by word of mouth, as practitioners shared it as they collaborated on projects. But there hasn’t been a written account by either of its creators.

    As a futurist who has used Verge regularly as a framework for scenario-building, and has also shared it with colleagues with more of an innovation focus, it has long been a source of frustration that such a valuable tool was so poorly documented.

    I was therefore delighted when Richard Lum agreed to publish in Compass in 2014 the first article on Verge, its history and underlying theory, its methodology, and its application. (AC)

    Keywords(s): 2015; APF; Compass; Futures Methods; Understanding Methods