Change the Way You See Uncertainty

After some great conversations with friends this week, and with the added spice of some good back-to-basics reading, I started thinking about what we do (foresight) and what we try to teach regular clients as well as students in our foresight training seminars.  One of the thoughts I had was about uncertainty which, along with the notion of change, is rather central to futures research and foresight work.

Most people look at uncertainty as a lack of knowledge.  Instead, look at it differently: the future is uncertain because it is unwritten.  Looked at this way, uncertainty is properly understood as opportunity.

Part of the reason so many trained futurists are far more excited about helping people rethink their goals and desires for the future rather than just doing forecasting is that they fundamentally understand this perspective.  They understand that giving people the knowledge and confidence to take more informed action gives them a far better chance of shaping the futures they would actually prefer.  The alternative is to stay in a defensive, reactive mode, accepting as foregone conclusion that which has not even been decided yet.


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