The Association of Professional Futurists is about to re-launch it’s Most Important Futures Works campaign. Members are asked to nominate what they feel are important and influential futures works published over the last year. Here are two nominations I submitted.
Verne Wheelright, It’s YOUR Future… Make It A Good One! (2010).
- Verne has been doing the heavy lifting in this space for the last decade from his based at the Personal Futures Network. He has adapted strategic planning to the personal level. You do some personal assessment of strengths and weaknesses and then look at trends and potential changes in your external environment. He added in a personal scenario planning activity to bring more of a futures perspective than one gets with traditional strategic planning. So, you create your baseline scenario, where you appear to be heading if present trends continue. And then you look at potential alternatives to that. This leads you to the stage of creating a personal vision– where you want to be in the future. Finally, you craft a plan for achieving that vision. He also has an accompanying workbook that provides exercises and activities to help you think through your future. Incredibly practical and useful resource!
Oliver Markley, A New Methodology for Anticipating STEEP Surprises, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, Volume 78, Issue 6, July 2011, Pages 1079-1097
- Oliver provides a much-needed conceptual breakthrough in the wildcard realm. Futurists typically define wild card (a.k.a. STEEP surprise) as a plausible future event that is estimated to have low probability but high impact should it occur. This article introduces what he calls a Type II Wild Card, which is deﬁned as having high probability and high impact as seen by experts if present trends continue, but low credibility for non-expert stakeholders of importance. The addition of credibility as a criterion makes a whole lot of sense. It helps explain how some things which seem obvious to futures (high probability and impact) can be seen as wildcards from the larger social perspective, because they have low or zero credibility. Very well thought through and explained!