Congratulations. Someone has asked you to speak about the future of your area of expertise. Are you a futurist or a foresight practitioner? Have you received any training in thinking about the future? If you answer yes, then this post isn't for you. If you answer no, read on.
I am becoming a follower of the learning by doing approach. In a past life, I believed I learned best by reading and reflecting. If I wanted to see a practical example, I would try it in practice at work (or more realistically, I'd inflict it on my staff), or I would seek out an example sourced from an internet search. It never occurred to me to ask my teachers for a case study or an example - as far as I can remember anyway. I always thought that it was my job to work out how to use the process.
When I established Thinking Futures in 2007, I saw the name as an abbreviation for 'thinking about possible futures'. Over time I've adapted that in my mind to 'thinking in new ways about the future'. I've talked about the need to change how we think about the future in writing, in webinars and workshops, but I don't think I've ever really been able to articulate what it meant.
The end of the year is list season but for some reason this year I am seeing too many inane lists called 'predictions for 2015'. Inane because a prediction is a narrow guess about future unknowns usually requiring a crystal ball - and what is probably going to happen in 2015 is not unknown. It's too close to even need 'predictions'.