Chapter 9. Visions and Challenges – Priorities for Professionals

I. Big Foresight: Visions of Emerging Practice

In our first chapter we proposed that a Foresight Renaissance (rebirth, repopularization) is now beginning. One name we might give for this renaissance is “Big Foresight,” a term that encompasses several key traits of emerging practice that we can now address.

As big data, social sharing, sensors, maps, simulations, and algorithms proliferate, many new collective and machine intelligence foresight tools and methods are emerging: predictive analytics, statistical models, crowdsourcing/funding, ideation, innovation and prediction markets. An accelaware foresighter knows that these are going to be most powerful levers of change we can use in our foresight practice, across the UPOG Foresight Tetrad.

The name Big Foresight is inspired both by Big History, which is the study of universal change from early matter to modern minds, and Big Data, the recent rise of massive, global, structured and unstructured data in the digital world.

Let’s look now at nine attributes of Big Foresight that offer a rough outline of this new type of foresight work emerging all around us. When we understand the general outlines of Big Foresight, we will be in a better position to selectevaluate, and use the best of all these exponentiating tools and knowledge for our clients.