Today’s present is yesterday’s ridiculous future.
Change is a constant. If there’s one thing we can count on when it comes to the future, it’s that the future will look different to the present.
In hindsight, we can see how the past transitioned into the present. We take the transition as fact and can tell a story about it that makes sense.
When we are in the present and looking forward, it feels foolish to entertain a future that is radically different from today.
To avoid this, we default to preparing for futures that are much like today, even though paradoxically the future is more likely to be remarkably different than the present.
“Any useful idea about the futures should appear to be ridiculous.” – Dator’s Second Law of the Future
Don’t be ridiculous!
Many organisations have a culture that values expertise. It’s important to be seen as someone who is knowledgeable and certain. To be seen as ridiculous is a career-limiting move.
But the future is not a space of knowing or certainty.
We can fall into the trap of doubling down on what we know from the past and the present, and blinker ourselves to possibilities that don’t align with what has already come before.
Think about the unthinkable
Foresight creates space and provides tools to safely explore unthinkable futures.
This is rather important, because the unthinkable happens on a regular basis.
Play with the ridiculous
One way to create space and invite in the ridiculous is to bring play into our work.
When we play, we lower our skepticism and allow ourselves to entertain ridiculous ideas. We give ourselves permission to take ourselves less seriously, lean into uncertainty, and see where it takes us.