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Personal Futures: Foresight & Futures Studies for Individuals

Author: R. Verne Wheelwright
Organisation: The Personal Futures Network
Publish Date: August 2005
Country: Global
Sector: Development
Method: Foresight
Theme: Tourism
Type: Other publication
Language: English
Tags: Personal, Individuals, Foresight, Leisure

There is evidence that throughout recorded history, individuals have desired to know about the future. In the past, and to some degree in the present, they have consulted seers, fortune-tellers, astrologists and others in hopes of learning about the future.

Since the middle of the twentieth century, methods have been developed to help business and governmental organizations anticipate possible futures. Although the methods of the discipline of Foresight and Futures Studies are recognized and accepted around the world, the concepts and practice have not been applied to individual lives in any appreciable numbers. The complexity of the futuring process appears to be the primary barrier to applying futures method to individual lives.

This research seeks first to reduce the complexity barrier by identifying foreknowns in human life, the elements of life that can be reasonably anticipated. Three categories of foreknowns emerged during the research:

• Life stages, which provide time frames and images of the future
• Personal domains, representing the forces within life
• Major life events, the indicators of change or transformation.

These foreknowns, when combined, form a framework of information from which an individual can explore and prepare for the future using recognized futures methods such as scenario development and strategic planning
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