FUTURES RESEARCH

clarity about choices

 

I want people to see more doors.

A. Nareiko

What is futures research?

 

Futures research is holistic, systematic, multidisciplinary and critical exploration of future development alternatives. (Sirkka Heinonen) We cannot predict the future, but we can learn about it and influence it.

     Everything has a future and there is also future of everything. Answers about future are not easier than questions. Futures thinking requires different minds than we were taught to develop. We cannot continue driving by looking at the rear-view window. (Markku Willenius)

Source: Nareikolainen

     Knowledge about possible, plausible and preferable futures helps take better decisions now. But is there any reliable way to know the future? The answer is yes and no. Knowledge about futures can be as reliable or unreliable as knowledge in any other field or about any other subject. Quality of knowledge depends both on the tools and on the hands that hold the tools. For great results, science and art shall go together.

How can we benefit from the knowledge about future?

  • Be informed and prepared:

    • Develop futures consciousness, futures literacy and futures thinking capabilities.

    • Use scanning and analysis tools​, systematically develop and interpret knowledge about future;

    • Organize foresight activities:

      • Foresight is a structured participatory debate about future of complex issues. (S. Heinonen) It helps learn the interests of 'others', organize the discussion and decision-making process so as to reach effective and long-lasting results. It is generally intuitive, experimental and disruptive, and aims to go beyond what pure logical thinking can inform (H. Mintzberg);

  • Act strategically:

    • Knowledge about future can be used to attack (seize new opportunities), defend (avoid risks) and create desirable futures (image + path + test), for instance through:

      • Visioning and strategizing

      • Changes anticipation, service (re)design

      • Technology foresight, product design

      • ...

    • In addition, many lateral effects can be achieved like improved learning capability (learning from inside and outside of the organization), mental shift in the culture towards future-oriented thinking, increased resilience and risk anticipation possibilities, stronger unity around long-term goals. Some typical failures become less common, e.g. partiality and sub-optimal framing, narrow views, too strong reliance on experts, wrong timing etc.​​

  • Help others:

    • Change communications from the futures perspective.

 

     Harmonizing the changing outer and inner environments and concentrating on the most important thing is probably the best recipe for success.​

 
How can we learn about (possible, plausible, preferable) futures?

 

Methods and tools vary in their purpose and suitability for different problems. Here is what a futurist's toolbox may look like:

One method is seldom enough. Usually, a combination of three or more methods is needed, particularly because the results obtained with one method need to be complemented or tested by other methods.

 
If we need help with our long-term choices, why invite Aleksej Nareiko?

 

Being a professional futurist, I know how future may unfold and how to influence it. I have worked with cases of extreme uncertainty and complexity.

     As a person who studied mathematics a lot, I believe that the best solutions are often also the most beautiful ones. As a person who is not foreign to art, I agree that 'Creativity is another form of logic ' (B. Lotto). It can be trained and developed.

     Furthermore, knowledge alone does not make a professional. High moral is a vital part, without which value is not real. A professional futurist acts to 'improve the freedom and welfare of the humankind and of all the living beings, plants and the Earth's biosphere.' (W.Bell)

     If you want to get more acquainted with me, check Aleksej Nareiko page or contact me using the details below.

a@nareika.com

+358-40-36-88-909

  • Aleksej Nareiko's Facebook
  • Aleksej Nareiko's YouTube Channel
  • Aleksej Nareiko's Instagram
  • Aleksej Nareiko's Twiter
  • Aleksej Nareiko's LinkedIn profile

© Aleksej Nareiko