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Insight into Foresight


Jim Dator - Professor, and Director of the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies

“Any useful statement about the futures should appear to be ridiculous."

"I believe it is useful to assume that ‘the future’ will derive from three components. One will be the continuation of things found in the present, and also found in the past. The second component will be things that existed in the past, but not in the present, that will appear again in the future – and their opposite: things that did not exist in the past but are very much a part of the present but that will not exist (or be as important) in the future. These things often appear as cycles or ‘spirals’. The third component will be novelties – things that do not exist now and never existed before, but will in the future."

Arie de Geus - Business executive and business theorist, who was the head of Shell Oil Company's Strategic Planning Group and is a public speaker.

“The only relevant discussions about the future are those where we succeed in shifting the question from whether something will happen to what would we do if it did happen."

Gary Hamel - Management thinker and author and co-founder of the Management Innovation eXchange (MIX)

“The problem with the future is that it is different. If you are unable to think differently, the future will always arrive as a surprise."

Ian H. Wilson - Futurist, scenario planning expert and strategy consultant

“However good our futures research may be, we shall never be able to escape from the ultimate dilemma that all our knowledge is about the past, and all our decisions are about the future."

Peter Schwartz - Futurist, innovator, author, and co-founder of the Global Business Network (GBN)

“It is not about predictions and forecasts. It’s about preparing for whatever might happen."

"Thinking through [scenario] stories, and talking in depth about their implications, brings each person’s unspoken assumptions about the future to the surface. Scenarios are thus the most powerful vehicles I know for challenging our ‘mental models’ about the world and lifting the ‘blinders’ that limit our creativity and resourcefulness."

Edward de Bono - Physician, author, inventor and consultant. He originated the term lateral thinking, wrote the book Six Thinking Hats and is a proponent of the teaching of thinking as a subject in schools.

"Many highly intelligent people are poor thinkers. Many people of average intelligence are skilled thinkers. The power of a car is separate from the way the car is driven."

"The mind can only see what it is prepared to see."

"If you never change your mind, why have one?"

"An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea."

Dr. William Cockayne - Lecturer at Stanford University and Founder of Adinventum Labs

"We are responsible for understanding our future ahead, and ultimately, to build it."

"Foresight is not a special way of seeing. Like any ability, foresight thinking can be taught, nurtured, and encouraged."

Alexander J. Trotman - Former chief executive and chairman at Ford Motor

"Technology is changing, and so are markets. Companies that anticipate the changes will thrive. Those that don't will have the hangover of the century when the party's over."

Robbie E. Davis-Floyd, PhD - International Speaker, Author, Medical/Cultural Anthropologist, Expert on Childbirth and Midwifery.

“Because the way you tell the story influences the way people think about the future."

Pierre Wack - was an unconventional French oil executive who was the first to develop the use of scenario planning in the private sector.

“Forecasts are someone else’s understanding and judgment crystallized in a figure which then becomes a substitute for thinking for the person who uses it."

"Scenario planning is a discipline for rediscovering the original entrepreneurial power of creative foresight in contexts of accelerated change, greater complexity, and genuine uncertainty."

Kenneth Boulding - was an economist, educator, peace activist, poet, religious mystic, devoted Quaker, systems scientist, and interdisciplinary philosopher.

“The human condition can almost be summed up in the observation that, whereas all experiences are of the past, all decisions are about the future. The image of the future, therefore, is the key to all choice-oriented behavior. The character and quality of the images of the future which prevail in a society are therefore the most important clue to its overall dynamics."

Herman Kahn - was a founder of the Hudson Institute and one of the preeminent futurists of the latter part of the twentieth century.

“The most surprising future is one which contains no surprises."

Malcolm X - was an African-American Muslim minister and a human rights activist

“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today."

Paul Valéry - French poet, essayist, and philosopher

“The future is not what it used to be."

H.G. Wells - was a prolific English writer in many genres, including the novel, history, politics, and social commentary, and textbooks and rules for war games.

“I believe quite firmly that an inductive knowledge of a great number of things in the future is becoming a human possibility. I believe that the time is drawing near when it will be possible to suggest a systematic exploration of the future."

Albert Einstein - was a German-born theoretical physicist and philosopher of science.

“For all the complicated things in the world, there exist simple explanations, most of which are wrong."

Auguste Comte - French philosopher

“To know is to foresee, to foresee is to have power."


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