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What is Foresight?
August 14, 2014
This week I had the honor of presenting about the Foresight Education and Research Network at The World Future Society Conference and at the APF Pro-Develoment Day in Orlando. Foresight is a very interesting field in long term strategy planning. Outside of these conferences though, I am often asked the question: what is foresight?
While there are many definitions of foresight, here is my answer -- in three quick and related definitions:
What is Foresight?
Definition Part 1: Foresight (noun): the ability to see what will or might happen in the future.
Definition Part 2: Foresight is an academic and strategic way to better understand what the future holds for businesses, organizations, countries and industries. This helps people understand and strategically shape the future and understand various alternate futures that can happen.
Definition Part 3: Foresight tools such as scenario planning and horizon scanning when utilized help people be pro-active, instead of reactive, to events and to the world that will happen in the near and distant future (such as the disruption of digital technology to the publishing industry etc.)
What is the Foresight Education and Research Network?
The Foresight Education and Research Network (FERN) is a network that all people can join free of charge via our LinkedIn pages and online at www.fernweb.org. FERN strives to connect people in our network, provide low-cost to no-cost foresight resources and help people advance their own foresight skills. We hope to lead the future of foresight so many people will understand how to shape their own futures. In my own work with FERN, for almost three years, I have had the honor of meeting various academics, professionals, students, and world leaders all interested in foresight and long term strategy planning.
Since I started managing FERN activities via our website and LinkedIn groups (click to see: Foresight Education and Research Network and Global Foresight), I've learned a lot about foresight. I've also been teaching my students how important it is to understand their own futures 5-10 years down the road as well as their work organization's future 5-10 down the road when they are in true hire and fire decision making territory.
The Foresight Guide
This summer, I spent some time redesigning our website at www.fernweb.org to best explain the upcoming projects and opportunities we will provide to people interested in foresight.I welcome you to learn more about foresight by visiting our website and LinkedIn groups!
In the coming months, we'll be releasing an book called The Foresight Guide. If you would like a pre-release draft that we are giving to conference attendees in the form of an ebook, please leave me a comment below or send me a message and I will send you the link for download.