Thanks to the various people who have given us some feedback. Several have asked for some more details about what we’re trying to achieve. So this post tries to explain a bit more about what we’re about, starting with what Foresight or Futures practice is…
Foresight practice revolves around the idea of creating “high quality forward views” or “views of possible, plausible and probable futures.” In other words rather than saying the future is just like the present but with more ipads, really trying to explore the range of possible futures which might occur (this is a bit of a simplification). This might be based on trends or emerging social practices, new technologies and so on. Many futures methods have been developed over the years and new ones are being generated all the time. However, there are several which have been around for quite awhile and proved useful time and again. There’s a nice list of them here.
In a workshop setting you might end up using a whole host of materials to engage with the future, even string and Legos, but typically flip charts and post-it notes get a good workout. So we wondered if twitter could be used as the virtual post-it note? Can Facebook, WordPress or other social media sites be used as to replace the flip chart? Social media also presents the opportunity to develop new methods, and we’re keen to do that too, but first we want to know if existing tried and true methods can be used on social media. This means we need to try out different methods and different social media sites.
For each topic we intend to run 2-3 rounds of activity each informed by different foresight method. After each round we’ll share which methods informed the process, what we did, what we learnt and ask for feedback. This means that we expect to do an ‘Edison’ and find lots of ways not to do social media foresight processes, but we’re hopeful that we can get one or two light bulb moments as well. We want these to be available to anyone who wants to run a foresight process on line, so we’ll always publish what we did in enough detail for someone else to replicate and improve upon.
Will make any artifacts produced as a result of the trials publicly available as well for people to use or adapt as they see fit.
For the current discussion we’ll move onto the second round for this topic on Monday with a view to closing off this topic at the end of next week. We’ll then publish what we did and why, and start tackling the next topic
Feedback always welcome and thanks to everyone who has participated so far.