How futures can transform the world today

Sensemaking / How futures can transform the world today

A futures mindset frees us from everyday constraints on system change and helps us identify new ways of achieving our goals, says Anna Simpson.

By Anna Simpson / 19 Sep 2014

The futures platform we are building will do three things. It will listen out for signs of the emerging future and curate these for the public. It will bring communities together to explore difficult questions with a very long-sighted lens. And it will offer up insights to support people to make better decisions today for a sustainable future.

Why use futures to create change in the present? Because the changes we need to make are complex: they cut across whole systems. In order to imagine how these systems could work differently, it can help to think of a very different world – one that’s not constrained by all the reasons why such a change wouldn’t be possible today. This demands a new way of thinking. You could think of futures as a different mindset: it allows us to escape the things we take for granted in the present. It can help us to identify new ways to achieve our goals – and to rethink what those goals should be.

The overall goal, as far as Forum for the Future is concerned, is systems change for sustainability. We have to experiment with current systems to find out how to change them, Futures is a tool that we can use to open our minds to new tomorrows.

Photo credit: Jui-Chi Chan/iStock/Thinkstock

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