How do futurists understand the future?

Let’s recap and try to understand how futurists explore the future. How do they predict different outcomes of the future?

Well, an important thing to remember is that futurists need to understand the past before they can try and study the future. They need to understand changes that happen each and every day. They explore and examine trends to determine not one, but many future outcomes.

How do they do this?

One of the important things to remember is that futurists make use of data all the time. They use as much data as possible, and not just some types, but as many different types as they can. They also focus on finding patterns and linkages in the data. Based on all the information they retrieve, they attempt to map out different kinds of futures.

There are also various tools needed for futurists to do this, which we will take a closer look at later in this course.

It’s not always about ‘predicting’ the future, but rather making assumptions about future changes and patterns. 

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This article is from the free online course:

Futurism and Business: Dealing with Complexity

University of Stellenbosch Business School Executive Development