The Neuroscience of Foresight
Foresight is a neurological capacity so we all have it. Some of us recognise this, some of us don’t.
Imagining possible futures is an innate human capacity, one that is constructed through the intersection of brain functions, time preference and the degree of openness to experience. We all have the capacity to imagine new futures in the present.
Yet, at almost every workshop I ran since 1999, at least one person has commented that it is too hard to imagine the future, that they can’t do it, that it doesn’t make sense because we don’t know what the future is like (all real comments). I wondered why some people could immediately engage with this unknown, uncertain and complex entity that is ‘the future’ while others felt compelled to resist and become frustrated - because you want people to leave workshops feeling energised, with new ideas and new perspectives about the present.
My PhD research led me down a wormhole at one point, when I was pointed in the direction of time perspectives and the neuroscience of foresight. A whole new world opened up for me, which I have published as a pap…