Chapter 12. Visions and Challenges – Priorities for Professionals

II. Key Community Practice Challenges

Each of you will have some great adventures ahead exploring probabilities, possibilities, and preferences with your clients in this extraordinary, accelerating, evo devo world. Hopefully this chapter’s closing advice will help a bit with those adventures.

We return now to the topic of foresight practice challenges introduced in Chapter 1. Then we look at a few common foresight biases and practice mistakes. Next we consider a few social roles some future thinkers engage in that are usually unhelpful and problematic. Avoiding these roles most of the time, and helping your colleagues do the same, is usually a good thing, for yourself and for the profession. Finally we’ll outline some attributes of Big Foresight, a name we give for the digital, data-rich, open, global, acceleration-aware, and evo devo informed version of our field that will continue its journey of emergence in coming decades. We’ll conclude by asking how we can keep prioritizing and growing the breadth and quality of our vision, and that of our clients.

You may recall the starter list of personal practice challenges introduced in Chapter 1. These were:

  • Valuing Probabilistic Foresight
  • Being Quantitative and Scientific
  • Seeing Hard and Soft Trends
  • Knowing the History of Foresight
  • Making Critical Judgments
  • Finding Weeble and Other Stories
  • Creating Progress Stories
  • Navigating Human Psychology
  • Maintaining Intelligent Optimism

These are a sample of important issues that all practitioners must confront in doing good work. We’ll now consider a small set of community practice challenges. A significant number of us will have to do better with these challenges in order for the foresight field to keep growing and professionalizing. As in Chapter 1, we’ve introduced these challenges in a way that encourages you to take a universal as well as a personal, organizational, and global approach to your work.

We hope you find this a good complement to Appendix 1 (Peer Advice), in which foresight leaders share their own practice challenges from a variety of experienced perspectives. Please let us know what is helpful to you, what you disagree with, and what else you’d like to see covered here for tomorrow’s readers.