There is some unusually good coverage of futures thinking (and the legacy of futures studies training in Honolulu) in this month’s issue of Hawaii Business Magazine. In an article entitled, “Hawaii: Global Headquarters of the Future,” the magazine introduces readers to the little-known and often misunderstood field of futures studies (that’s us!).
While most mainstream media coverage of futures amounts to throw away lines about “crystal ball gazing” futurists and “futurism” (we’re not an outdated artistic movement), the HBM article really tries to convey what trained futurists do and why it can be so beneficial in today’s operating environments.
For those who want the super-abbreviated version of what futures studies is and what we (academically trained futurists) do, here it is:
Futures studies is an academic field that is centrally concerned with understanding and anticipating change in society. Think of the field as having two halves: an analytic half that uses theories and forecasting to anticipating change, and a “synthetic” half that tries to use that insight (foresight) to reframe people’s expectations for what can happen and for what they want to see happen.
Our work, which spans a wide range of approaches and methods, often entails some combination of the following:
- historical analysis
- images of the future
- trend research and emerging issues analysis
- various types of forecasting
- application to strategy development, innovation processes, and creativity
- (re)formulation of goals and vision
If you’re interested in a little more on the field, then download the primer we put together, link below.
And, yes, the article does feature yours truly in it!
Here’s hoping future media coverage of the field does as good a job in their reporting.