Anxiety about the Future

Anxiety about the Future

I was interviewed during 2018 by Chloe Adams, a freelance journalist, about anxiety about the future. The original article didn’t appear but an adapted piece was published today, with some comments from me about the power of multiple futures:

"People talk about ‘the future’ but they don’t really understand what they’re saying," she said. "They think it’s pre-ordained, but it’s not. The future is not one linear progression, there are too many complex factors at play. There are always multiple futures."

The Foresight Switch

The Foresight Switch

I was privileged to be interviewed by Peter Hayward for a new futures/foresight site called FuturePod. It launched today and the podcastswill continue to increase in number over time. My podcast is Number 6.

I talk about my work, my book Foresight Infused Strategy, my PhD on possible futures for the university, my thoughts on artificial intelligence, and my concept of the ‘foresight switch’ - once turned on, you can’t turn it off!

Podcast on the Future of the University

Podcast on the Future of the University

Thanks to Christopher Manfredi for interviewing me for their Some Future Podcast series. I'm not sure I could give them the definitive answers they were looking for, but it was a great conversation.

There's lots of great podcasts about the future at Some Future, so head on over there to listen.

Link to podcast

Interview with Female Futurists Bureau

Interview with Female Futurists Bureau

Thanks to Tracey Fellows from the Female Futurists Bureau for her interview with me about my work - she knows me better than myself I think!

Maree Conway is one of the most thoughtful foresight practitioners around, little wonder she calls her consultancy ‘Thinking Futures'. She describes her work as helping people in organisations re-frame strategic conversations about the future. And I am reminded of that great quote from Pierre Wack: “To operate in an uncertain world people need to be able to re-perceive: to question their assumptions about the way the world works, so that they can see the world more clearly”. And when I read or hear from Maree I always think that she’s encouraging me to change my view of reality. 

Tracey is doing a series of interviews with female futurists; I'm in some great company.

Link to interview

 

List of the world’s top female futurists (Update #2)

List of the world’s top female futurists (Update #2)

Ross Dawson, an Australian futurist, and one of his team, Vanessa Cartwright, compiled a list of female futurists across the world - he's done two updates since its original publication in September 2017. I'm on this list too, one of 17 in Australasia. Check out the full list.

Follow Ross and Vanessa on Twitter.

Women of Foresight: Changes in Education for Future Student Success

Women of Foresight: Changes in Education for Future Student Success

I was invited to contribute to a publication on the future of education, in particular changes that need to be made in education generally. We were asked to answer the question: If there was one thing I could change in education to better prepare students for the future of work, it would be…

The link takes you to the website where the contributions are pubished, but I’m also included it here.

“Use the future to underpin what we learn and how we learn it, putting people at the centre of our education system and moving away from today’s structures and systems derived from the past. Putting the future at the core of education will mean students have skills and knowledge that they need not only for work today but that will also sustain them as the future of work emerges, whatever that may be.”

Maree Conway is a Strategic Foresight Practitioner and Researcher at Thinking Futures in Melbourne, Australia. Twitter: @mareeconway

40 Futurists

40 Futurists

Liz Alexander from Leading Thought, published a report on the future of work: 40 Futurists: Your Child’s Success in Tomorrow’s World of Work in 2016. I was one of the 40 futurists - my contribution was:

“Look ahead with an open mind. Watch for change that will" keep rearing its head, making you adapt how you work. If you don’t, you’ll stay trapped in the present and miss the future until it’s too late. In this process of grappling with constant change, stay connected. Keep the human in your work and your technology use–they’re equally important to your work and future careers.”

Liz also published an ebook on how to use a futurist, which you can download. It focuses on answering the questions: "How can we help businesses, nonprofits, academic institutions and more achieve “future-smart” results? How can we help you?" Download here.

125 Top Women Futurists & the End of Business as Usual

125 Top Women Futurists & the End of Business as Usual

Marshall Kirkpatrick, then at LittleBird (now Sprinklr) produced a report on the top 125 women futurists in 2015. The link to the original article is no longer available sadly. It was written in response to an article in The Atlantic "Why Aren't There More Women Futurists?” by Rose Eveleth which generated a ton of interest on social media. Marshall wrote:

"So we used our technology to build a list of 125 important women futurists online.  You can access the full list of all 125 via their Twitter accounts here. Then we reached out to them and asked for their thoughts on gender and the study of the future.  Of course there are important women futurists who do not use Twitter, but when looking for women futurists, we think this is a great place to start plugging into the conversation. "

LittleBird's technology identified six of the 125 as the top sharers in our peer group on social media - I was honoured to be one of them. Here's what I added to the conversation about gender and the study of the future:

 "I'm not sure there's anything specific to say about female futurists that doesn't apply to professional women everywhere….Personally, I don't think trying to get a higher profile for women futurists (or a futurist or any gender) in the media is worth the effort. By spending energy there, we are playing today's game rather than working out how the field can add value to organizations and societies today and into the future - by, for example, helping leaders and managers understand that strategic planning needs to be reframed and redesigned using foresight approaches and tools.  Also, my view is that foresight work is personal, network and relationship driven and women - theoretically - are better at that than men!”

Follow Marshall Kirkpatrick on Twitter, and his Twitter list of the 125 women is here.

Innovation Management Posts

Innovation Management Posts

I was asked by Shaping Tomorrow to write some trend alerts for one of its partners, Innovation Management. Here’s how they describe themselves on their website:

InnovationManagement.se (IM) was first launched in the Swedish language in 2009. Based out of Lund, the founders recognized very early an unfulfilled need in the market for knowledge, training and inspiration on how to manage innovation in organizations of all shapes and sizes.

I wrote three posts, summarised here.

21st Century Learning Tipping Point – When?

May 02, 2012

The legacy of the industrial education model is strong. There is little dispute that the model must change at a system level, but progress towards and evolution of the needed changes are still glacially slow. Inspiring examples of a 21st century model are present today, but the imperative to build an education model that is open, connected, engaged and personalised has not yet reached its tipping point.

Healthy and Sustainable Tourism

Jul 25, 2012

In a global world, we can travel for leisure to practically any part of any country, if we have the money and the time. Our expectations of how, where and why we travel continue to change as technology allows us to plan, connect, share and experience destinations in new ways. Yet, travel brings with it health risks for us and increased risk of disease spread. Emerging technologies also signal new ways of thinking about tourism, and the potential to allow us to have rich, immersive tourist experiences without leaving home – with the added benefit of reducing health risks.

Innovation Ahead for Higher Education

Aug 29, 2012

Higher education is facing unprecedented levels of change – MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) providing remote access, new providers developing new approaches, students’ expectations and demands rising. These changes will increase competition and require radical innovation from existing organisations in order to survive.