The Future Isn’t Your Friend

Future thinking needs a dose of cosmic pessimism if it’s to have any utility at all. I recently spent a week at Ohio University in the verdant college town of Athens, lecturing at a NASA-sponsored summer program that trains students from 
around the world for careers in the space industry. Over several intense and lengthy…

Smashing the Crystal Ball: Foresight Isn’t About Predicting the Future

Foresight practitioner Richard Slaughter defines his craft as “the ability to create and maintain a high-quality, coherent, and functional forward view, and to use the insights arising in useful organizational ways.” As an overview, Slaughter’s rendering is fairly comprehensive, but it only hints at some of the critical features of the foresight process – albeit for necessity. For one, the “forward view” that…

Decoding Desire: A Foresight Strategist’s Opinion

In the summer of 2014, a man drove around Beijing’s nightlife district in an $800,000 Lamborghini and invited random club-going women to climb in and take a ride. While a few of the women turned the offer down, most of the women that the driver approached needed little convincing to get into the car. One woman even offered her phone number to the driver without being prompted, while another invited…

Lucid Dreaming Tools & Techniques

Oneironaut: literally dream sailor, translated from the Ancient Greek — describes those who travel the less familiar realms of consciousness, whether for self-reflection, learning, experimentation, personal betterment, escape or purely for fun. Indeed, the dreamscape is a rich environment for tourism, but another industry also thrives in the dream world: mining. For all of human…

Inspiration in the Dream World: Ryan Hurd

Ryan Hurd is an independent writer, researcher and consultant who helps people rekindle their imaginations. He has written books on lucid dreaming and sleep paralysis. His newest book, Dream Like a Boss, is a beginner’s guide to dream work.  MISC: From the perspective of stoking ideation, what do dreams do better than waking life? Ryan Hurd: In dreams,…

Time Travel Sickness

There are many more ways that personal and organizational foresight can go wrong than right. Understanding the difference and developing healthy foresight practices begins with grasping how our brain succeeds and fails in exploring time in all its dimensions. As biological anthropologist Terrence Deacon points out in his book Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from…