• Dr. Timothy X. Merritt

Strategic Foresight - Futurism

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Future Savvy by Adam Gordon:


Before we delve into the complex, difficult, and sometimes even dangerous world of futurism, it will be beneficial to pick up a copy of Future Savvy. Gordon does a masterful job explaining the big concepts and approaches in a style that is simultaneously easy to read and engaging.


With over 22 years as an analyst, planner, facilitator, and educator in the field of foresight, Gordon explains where forecasts come from, how they are used, and their real-world value to make better decisions and manage uncertainty. He discusses the difference between good data and bad data for evaluating trends, bias traps, and the limits of quantitative forecasting.


Of particular concern for me in my work are his insights into using scenarios to “think the unthinkable.” From scenario-based approaches for examining plausible alternate futures, it is a short step into science fiction world-building to confront dominant social assumptions, break free from the “official future,” and consider different outcomes in a preferred future setting.


While Gordon employs systems thinking, he doesn’t like Causal Loop Diagrams (I share many of my own CLDs on this website) because they do not inherently contain any predictive value. Instead, they tend to explain only current phenomenon. It’s a terrific point that, like the rest of this foundational text, is well worth a close read.



Book Review: Future Savvy by Adam Gordon

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