Finding your Space
Some reflections on the need for us to find our space in the increasingly crowded futures/foresight field.
One of the things I remember well from my days as a graduate student learning about foresight was Richard Slaughter telling us that we needed to find out the space in which we could contribute to the global conversation about futures. I set out to do this with some gusto - sharing what I knew, talking at conferences, focusing on environmental scanning for some years and ultimately writing a book. I felt as though I was contributing to the global conversation but I also had a sense that something was missing.
That sense ultimately crystallised during my PhD research and it led me to a new space, one less formed and less well understood - at least compared to environmental scanning! The reason I call this site Foresight in the Present was because I finally worked out that I wanted to focus on how we engage with futures today rather than actually developing futures scenarios.
I have always had an aversion to 'telling' people what 'the future' will be. I remember a senior staff member walki…