Thinking about the future is inherent in everyday life and a necessary part of business planning and policy development.
In the English language at least we usually talk about the past, the present and the future, all in the singular. This implies that there is one past, one present and that there will be only one future. But human decision making is concerned with directing the future towards situations that the decision- makers consider more favourable than would occur without the actions, which follow from their decisions. This implies the potential for alternative futures dependent on the decisions and actions we take.
This may appear to make the future different from the past and present.
This series of presentations explores the concept of alternative futures and relates it to the past and present. In doing so it suggests that there are also alternative pasts and presents and that understanding them is an important part of dealing successfully with our potential futures.
The future: forgotten but ever present Examines the role of the future in the everyday life of individuals and organisations, including companies and government.
Why now? Presents an argument for more careful consideration of the future in the 21st century.
Why do futures? Provides a rationale for futures work and explores the reasons for thinking about multiple or alternative futures rather than a single future.
Some difficulties of thinking about the future Explores the problems we experience in attempting to deal with the inherent uncertainty of the future.
Foundations of Futures Studies: Human science for a new era. Volume 1 History, Purposes and Knowledge Wendell Bell, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, NJ 1997
Futures for the Third Millennium: Enabling the Forward View Richard A Slaughter, Prospect, St Leonards, NSW 1999
Futures Skills offers:
Presentations and Workshops which are designed to help develop skills in methods of dealing with the future and understanding of issues that are likely to play an important part in our future.
Contact us to find out more.
Futures Skills is run by Graham H May formerly Principal Lecturer in Futures Research and Course Leader of the MA in Foresight and Futures Studies at Leeds Metropolitan University.