Futures 2.0: rethinking the discipline

Futures 2.0: rethinking the discipline Purpose – This paper seeks to be a thought experiment. If the field of futures were invented today, it asks, what would it look like? What would be its intellectual foundations? Who would it serve and influence? And how would its ideas and insights be put into practice? Design/methodology/approach – It reviews the literatures on experimental psychology and neuroscience to identify biases that affect people's ability to think about and act upon the future, studies of expertise that map the limits of professional judgment, and recent work on the nature of critical challenges of the twenty‐first century. Findings – It argues that futurists could develop social software tools, prediction markets, and other technologies to improve the individual and collective accuracy and impact of work. Choice architectures and nudges to lengthen “the shadow of the future” of everyday choices made by ordinary people could also be used. Research limitations/implications – The paper argues for new directions in the practice of futures, to make the field better‐suited to deal with the challenges confronting an increasingly complex, chaotic, and contingent world. Practical implications – The development of tools to augment professional activity, and adoption of choice architectures and nudges as media for communicating about the future, could improve futures work and its impact, but lay the foundation for other methodological innovations. Originality/value – The paper contributes to the ongoing discussion about where futures should go. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png foresight Emerald Publishing

Futures 2.0: rethinking the discipline

foresight, Volume 12 (1): 16 – Feb 23, 2010

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1463-6689
D.O.I.
10.1108/14636681011020191
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper seeks to be a thought experiment. If the field of futures were invented today, it asks, what would it look like? What would be its intellectual foundations? Who would it serve and influence? And how would its ideas and insights be put into practice? Design/methodology/approach – It reviews the literatures on experimental psychology and neuroscience to identify biases that affect people's ability to think about and act upon the future, studies of expertise that map the limits of professional judgment, and recent work on the nature of critical challenges of the twenty‐first century. Findings – It argues that futurists could develop social software tools, prediction markets, and other technologies to improve the individual and collective accuracy and impact of work. Choice architectures and nudges to lengthen “the shadow of the future” of everyday choices made by ordinary people could also be used. Research limitations/implications – The paper argues for new directions in the practice of futures, to make the field better‐suited to deal with the challenges confronting an increasingly complex, chaotic, and contingent world. Practical implications – The development of tools to augment professional activity, and adoption of choice architectures and nudges as media for communicating about the future, could improve futures work and its impact, but lay the foundation for other methodological innovations. Originality/value – The paper contributes to the ongoing discussion about where futures should go.

Journal

foresightEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 23, 2010

Keywords: Psychology; Research methods; Strategic planning; Thinking styles

References

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