Thought it would be interesting to share an example of an application of one of the newer futures methodologies, Causal Layered Analysis (CLA), pioneered by futurist Sohail Inayatullah. It’s been around for more than a decade and has been slowly working its way into the foresight mainstream.
My most recently application was to use it as a framework for an article called “Retirement as an Obsolescent Concept” for Career Planning and Adult Development Network’s special issue on “Golden Boomers” approaching retirement age. When I was planning the piece, it occurred to me that CLA might be an interesting way to frame it. I had previously used the CLA framework to organize a talk on sustainability. The basic idea is that one can think about futures issues in terms of layers of progressively greater depth.
- At or above the surface is the “noise” of the headlines that churn almost daily.
- Below that are trends, or the drivers change, often organized into systems. Understanding the trends and systems sheds some light on why the headlines are what they are.
- Influencing the trends and systems are worldviews and values (the subject of my next book) is strong. They influence which trends and systems will tend to gather more attention.
- At the deepest level, fundamental myths or archetypes (popularized by Joseph Campbell) sometimes come into play — they don’t change often, but when they do, it’s usually a big deal.
Hopefully, this all-too-brief post has piqued your interest in CLA and how I applied to “retirement.” — Andy Hines