Three Ways to Think About the Future: Part 1 - Nesta | Leadership - today and tomorrow |

by Geoff Mulgan


"But the best analysis of the future has also shown some slightly more surprising patterns. For instance, the more publicly visible a futurist is, the more likely they are to be wrong. The media reward exaggeration, in a reinforcing feedback loop that turns otherwise sensible people into quite silly ones (you could cheekily call it the TED paradox: the more coherent and articulate the picture of future possibilities, the more misleading it probably is).  

"Another lesson is that the more you hold onto a single dominant explanation for change, the more likely you are to be wrong - whether it's the inevitability of democratisation, technology's power to liberate humanity, or the eternal nature of ethnic conflict. The world obeys many laws, not one, and trends produce countertrends. That's why technological determinism - the assumption that new technologies will diffuse into a grateful world and drive change in a linear way - so often misleads, even though it's as popular as ever. "

Via Jim Lerman