Mindset and Thinking about the Future
Hi friends, I want to share with you a short post that wrote on Linkedin just before Christmas that seemed to resonate with folks. So I’m sharing with you here as with the new year, many of us are thinking about what this year holds. My encouragement to you is not to lean into blind optimism, but rather to know and believe that you have agency. Together, we truly can shape the future. Below is the Linkedin post in full. (If you haven’t connected with me on Linkedin, feel free!)
“This may only be a dream of mine, but I think it can be made real.” – Ella Baker
Mindset is critical when thinking about the future.
For example, many foresight professionals think of the future in very deterministic ways, i.e. that there is a very narrow band of derivative possibility, and foresight is about anticipating or even predicting this future (singular) so we can plan for it.
I adamantly reject this approach to foresight work.
The future is not a given. It is not deterministic, and it is not something to be anticipated and planned for in reactive ways. Rather, at any given moment there are an infinite number of possible futures (plural). There are also many plausible and probable futures. The question for foresight professionals should ultimately be one of the *preferable future. What world is that we want to conceive, incubate, and inhabit?
We are not passive players letting the future happen to us. We are active agents with imaginary capacity and a suite of tools and methods to be facilitators of emergent prosperity and flourishing for people and the planet. We don't have to acquiesce to legacy institutions and systems. We can give the middle finger to "the way things are." We have the power to redefine the systems of the past and design something radically different. Something radically better.