Twelve Common Types of Foresight Thinking

From http://www.accelerationwatch.com/futuristdef.html

Social Types

1. [Preconventional futurist]. One who thinks about the future in relation to self (ego, personal vision), but without either concern for or broad understanding of the norms and conventions of society.

2. [Personal futurist]. One who uses foresight to solve problems primarily for themselves, within the conventions of society, and whose current behavior is oriented to and influenced by their future expectations and plans.

3. [Imaginative futurist]. One who habitually develops future visions, scenarios, expectations, and plans in relation to self and others, knowing but sometimes breaking the conventions and norms of society.

4. [Agenda-driven futurist]. One who creates or works toward top-down developed (received, believed) ideological, religious, or organizationally-preferred agendas (sets of rules, norms) and their related problems, for the future of a group.

5. [Consensus-driven futurist]. One who helps create or work toward bottom-up developed (facilitated, emergent), group-, communally-, institutionally- or socially-preferred futures.

6. [Professional futurist]. One who explores change for a paying client or audience, who seeks to describe and advance possible, probable, or preferable future scenarios while avoiding undesirable ones, and who may seek to help their client or audience apply these insights (manage change).

Methodological Types

7. [Critical futurist]. One who explores, deconstructs, and critiques the future visions, perspectives, and value systems of others, not primarily to advance an agenda, to achieve consensus, or for payment, but as a methodology of understanding.

8. [Alternative futurist]. One who explores and proposes a range of possible or imaginable futures, including those beyond one’s personal, organizational, and cultural conventional and consensus views.

9. [Predictive futurist]. One who forecasts probable futures, events and processes that they expect are likely to occur, in a statistical sense, both as a result of anticipated personal and social choices, and for autonomous processes that appear independent of human choice.

10. [Evolutionary developmental (Evo devo) futurist]. One who explores evolutionary possibilities and predicts developmental outcomes, and attempts differentiate between evolutionary (chaotic, reversible, unpredictable) and developmental (convergent, irreversible, statistically predictable) processes of universal change.

11. [Validating futurist]. One who seeks to evaluate, systematize, and validate the completeness (for critical and alternative futures) and accuracy (for predictive and evo devo futures) of methodologies used to consider the future.

12. [Epistemological futurist.] One who investigates the epistemology (how we know what we know) of the future, and seeks to improve the paradigms of foresight scholarship and practice

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