Futures Studies: Sohail Inayatullah


Burning up brain cells for a piece of work writing, and trying to keep awake. Thankfully, this (not new) piece by Prof Sohail Inayatullah appeals to the processes-side of me – I find many portions fascinating. Having plenty of visuals that describe the approaches and tools help too. I understood more in a 5×6 diagram than in 3 pages of textual explanation; actually began to have full-colour, spatially-proportionate mental images of how group conversations could take place. But that’s just me and my short attention span for technical writing :-p

I’ve always loved a good question, so I really like the six basic futures questions that Prof Sohail highlights (adapted):

  1. What do you think the future will be like? Why?
  2. Which future are you afraid of? Do you think you can transform this future to a desired future? Why or why not?
  3. What are the hidden assumptions of your predicted future?
  4. What are some alternatives to your predicted or feared future? If you change some of your assumptions, what alternatives emerge?
  5. What is your preferred future? Which future do you wish to become reality for yourself or your organization?
  6. And finally, how might you get there? What steps can you take to move in toward your preferred future?

Futures questions are summarized thus: Will; Fear; Hidden Assumptions; Alternative Futures; Preferred Future; and Next Steps. — [Six pillars: futures thinking for transforming]


About lilac butterfly

Live. Love. Learn. Laugh. Write. Draw. Colour. Blend. Play. Dream. Cry. Reflect. Pray. Sing. Worship. Bake. Cook. Rest. Give thanks.

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