Sign in

Kedge & The Futures School
Kedge is a global Foresight, Innovation & Strategic Design firm. TFS is a premiere foresight learning ecosystem.

Why Dystopian Narratives Fail To Inspire Positive Change

Another week, and another article on the power of dystopian stories to stop humanity from destroying itself and the world around it. The premise seems to make sense — scare people into doing the right thing — but has it ever really worked? We have a mountain of dystopian narratives and warnings in our schools, bookstores and popular media, but many of our long-standing problems are only escalating. Do scenarios of doom and collapse really hold the power to change our course?

The goal of practicing foresight in organizations, governments, social initiatives…

We must move past monoptic and panoptic worldviews that recycle and reinforce antiquated systems, and instead embrace holoptic models for transformative futures.

It’s no secret that Futures Thinking has been growing in popularity within organizations and governments in recent years, and many of these entities now have foresight practitioners on staff. However, it is often framed within the context of more traditional practices such as strategic planning, trend analysis and research, forecasting, data mining, competitive intelligence and organizational development. Though foresight can certainly apply to and improve those practices — and reshape them to respond to the exponentially changing environment of the 21st century — the field must not fall prey to being defined by them. Rather, foresight opens up a new…

Many are wondering what is in store for humanity after The Great Pause. Beyond asking “When?” Or “How?”, a better question may be, “Where will our futures take place?”

Only a few short years after the Internet humbly changed the world as we knew it in the late 1980s and early 1990s, researchers and social scientists were already speculating about the vast potential that could emerge from our newfound web of connectivity. …

We need to flip the idea of the traditional “hero” on its head.

We love it when a story or movie has a resolution, or when the conflicts we face can be overcome with a straightforward answer. More specifically, we love it when all of our problems and solutions fit neatly into the confines of our prevailing mental models. We get exasperated and become belligerent when our stories don’t go according to a fixed script, or when out heroes don’t always wear masks and capes when defeating the villain.

We have been conditioned to expect our answers to come in the guise of easily recognizable responses — a secret signal that summons a…

A suite of scenarios written in 2018 that included the after-effects of a global pandemic.

Over the past several weeks, we at Kedge have been asked (as I’m sure that every other foresight firm has been asked), have we ever considered a future in which a pandemic could drastically alter life as we know it? As you will see shortly, we have — and it wasn’t even that long ago when we last mapped such a possibility.

Whenever we undertake a scenario project for any client, we always try to follow several major rules:

  1. Always write a suite of scenarios (ex. Abundance, Market and Fortress), and never depict the future in a singular fashion.
  2. Never…

We’re going to have to go far beyond trend scouting, data-mining and risk management if we want to save the future.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a short article entitled It’s Time To Democratize The Future. In the article I noted that, when talking about the future, many foresight practitioners, strategists, organizational designers, social scientists or human development professionals have either focused on the rise and impact of technology or sought to understand what future the majority of humanity hopes to see unfold. In reality, neither of these approaches will help us to successfully navigate the uncertainty or unpredictability of a world in the throes of systemic corrosion, governmental incompetence, extreme social inequality, climate crisis or pandemic breakdown. As…

Flat Thinking dominates our world. How can we change this mindset and create better futures?

Have you heard about the flat-earth theory, the idea that the earth is not a sphere but is instead a flat disk that is surrounded by an ice wall and covered by a dome that stops us from falling off into space? If you haven’t heard of this growing movement of truth-seekers and conspiracy exposers, then you’ve probably been living, well… under the earth?

The organizers of the Flat Earth International Conference recently announced on their website that they are planning an expedition to the “edge of the earth” to prove once-and-for-all that the earth is not a planetary globe…

It’s time to look at the future through a new lens.

In recent years, huge companies such as Google and Facebook have adopted the practice of “Unconscious Bias Modeling,” taking their employees through workshops to uncover hidden biases and assumptions that are impacting innovation, diversity, creativity and decision making. For example, busting the bias that treats female workers as if they are less competent than their male counterparts, even though they have the same or greater level of education and skills.

Though these initiatives and efforts are admirable, their attempt to uncover unconscious biases suffer from the same fatal flaw as most of today’s organizational, governmental or social programs that are…

In a recent article published in Fast Company magazine entitled “What Faux Futurists Cost The Rest Of Us,” author Liz Alexander asks a vital and timely question of all businesses and governments: “What problem are you solving?” The question is so important because of the big world problems that each and every one of us must address such as climate change, economic inequality and population displacement. However, it’s also a question for the hoard of tech-crazed unicorn chasers who are creating the next wave of supposedly indispensable gadgets. Are they solving problems, or creating solutions where no problems exist? …

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store