How to Future Book Summary - How to Future Book explained in key points
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How to Future summary

Scott Smith with Madeline Ashby

Leading and Sense-making in an Age of Hyperchange

4.1 (78 ratings)
25 mins

Brief summary

'How to Future' by Scott Smith with Madeline Ashby is a guide to navigating the complex and rapidly evolving world of technology. It offers tips and insights on how to anticipate change, stay ahead of the curve, and create a more positive future for ourselves and our communities.

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    How to Future
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    Futuring offers a structured way to plan for multiple future scenarios.

    In today’s world, different versions of the future are influenced by events, activists, leaders, and innovators. Indeed, we hire, elect, and promote people to plan what will happen in the future for us.

    By doing so, we’re choosing people to engage in futuring, the practice of researching and constructing plausible futures. Futuring is vital for human advancement; in the bigger scheme of things, it can help us mitigate the possible repercussions of climate change. And on a smaller scale, it can also allow corporations to future-proof themselves against different possible market turns.

    But the practice of futuring isn’t restricted to big names in business, politics, and science. All of us should be futuring regularly. Whether it’s regarding your personal future or that of your business, futuring is guaranteed to help you get a better idea of where you might end up in the next five, ten, or even 20 years.

    The key message here is: Futuring offers a structured way to plan for multiple future scenarios.

    When you future, you try to broaden your understanding of what’s happening in the world, an industry, or some other specific area. For instance, imagine you’re trying to plan a weekend excursion to the seaside. You can’t be certain that your trip will fall on a sunny day. But you can use weather apps and your knowledge of the region during this time of year to make a pretty accurate forecast.

    Now, using futuring in preparation for a trip to the beach is simple enough. But how do you future for more complex questions, like how to address challenges that don’t even exist yet? For that, you need a structured approach that can be repeated and refined over time.

    But there’s one big problem: nothing is certain. You can’t be sure what’s going to happen, so why even try to predict it? At the end of the day, uncertainty is here to stay. But by gauging which scenarios are more plausible than others, you can whittle down the infinite number of possible futures to a smaller list more relevant to your current project, problem, or situation.

    The following blinks explain the method to the madness that’s futuring. The end goal is to equip you with the tools to outline multiple plausible futures. This, in turn, will guide your strategic decisions, whether you’re developing an AI product, leading a country, or just deciding what to do with the next ten years of your life.

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    What is How to Future about?

    How to Future (2020) arms you with a structured approach to prepare for multiple futures, as a business and an individual. In a fast-moving world where so much seems unpredictable, we can orient ourselves toward plausible future scenarios by recognizing changing trends in information – and using these observations to inform strategic decisions. In a business setting, effective futuring can mean the difference between relevance and obsolescence. 

    How to Future Review

    How to Future (2021) is an insightful book that explores the future of technology and its impact on our lives. Here's why it's a book you should definitely consider reading:

    • With a forward-thinking perspective and thought-provoking examples, it offers fresh insights on the potential of emerging technologies.
    • Through its practical tips and strategies, the book empowers readers to navigate the complexities of the digital age and adapt to future challenges.
    • By examining the intersection of technology and society, How to Future presents a holistic view, ensuring it is far from a dry or tedious read.

    Who should read How to Future?

    • Business or government leaders looking to future-proof their organizations
    • Knowledge-hungry people interested in futurology
    • Futurist writers looking to hone their skills

    About the Author

    Scott Smith is the founder and managing partner of Changeist, a consulting company that conducts futures research for businesses, NGOs, and governments. Changeist’s clients include Nokia, NASA, UNICEF, and the UK government. This is his first book.

    Madeline Ashby is a science-fiction writer and consulting futurist. In addition to authoring Company Town and the Machine Dynasty book series, Ashby has also written numerous short stories and is a regular contributor to Slate and the MIT Technology Review.

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    How to Future FAQs 

    What is the main message of How to Future?

    The main message of How to Future is that we must embrace change and uncertainty in order to thrive in the future.

    How long does it take to read How to Future?

    The reading time for How to Future varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is How to Future a good book? Is it worth reading?

    How to Future is a thought-provoking read that offers valuable insights on navigating an uncertain future. Highly recommended!

    Who is the author of How to Future?

    The author of How to Future is Scott Smith with contributions from Madeline Ashby.

    What to read after How to Future?

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