Every year there are hundreds of quality scenarios developed by futurists in conjunction with industry leaders and universities. To this we can add the many images, videos and short stories that are little ‘snippets’ of alternative futures that people generate each year. These are great resources to start some conversations about what the future might hold, but until recently there was no single place to look for these.
Action Foresight with the support of the Smart Service CRC changed this by developing the Open Futures Library. The Open Futures Library contains hundred of links quality scenarios and other depictions of the future. The library support search by subject, tags, time frame, topics and many other features. It’s free to join and you can add images as well as add comments to existing ones.
This provides you with a free entry point to have a look at some futures work and to be able to use it in your strategy, innovations and organisation design process. The video snippets can act as great conversation starters and the larger documents come with the authority of leading experts in the topic field, great for overcoming the “I don’t believe that” conversation shut down. The larger documents also provide the backing references and materials making them a great place to start your research and update.
Tips and traps for using material from the Futures Library;
- Look for a mix of topic specific and general country, regional or world overviews
- Look at all the scenarios in the set, not just the one that might back your business case
- There are often great summaries which can be used as introductions
- Look for at least one with quality experts to back the conversation
- Use the references to start your own research
- Wind tunnel test you business idea, design or innovation in each scenario in the set.