2015 Future thinking and strategy formation

Professor Sohail Inayatullah

Future thinking and strategy formation

These are a selection of notes from a presentation at the first PD at school this year.

  1. Zero loops: So much data and people respond that it is too much. His work is to say thinking about what you might do on Monday morning.
  2. Single loop- take aways ? - doing
  3. Double loop learning:-  learning about learning. Outside of the paradigm of learning – learning.  Why do I think of time, space and people
  4. Narrative foresight – we all have a story about ourselves our future and our life

Find a story that makes your objective reality better.

Challenge assumptions – can science produce what is says it can do?

Not just observe – transform

Reshape the future as an asset.  To get to this space there is an inner journey and  outer journey.

The new family – the marrying of robots

Mapping the future – if you going to  a city you need a make – same for the future

Changing images of power

Changing images and changing demographics

Mindfulness- meditation  - genes can be turned on and off


Old behaviours dies hard – the used future.  The power of the past image – challenge the factory. Knowledge revolution.  What are you doing today which is non-sensical? Police drive around – does not work 90% of crime in 10% of the area. Tall policeman – used future.  12 year old hacker is more useful.

Discussion: - examples of used futures

  • First day back the same all the time
  • Playground duty – could be different
  1. Scan the environment and make the changes.  Coke -  in years to come you will be considered as cancer sellers. How can you have a business model around health.  Driverless truck- impact on trucking. Rental  car at Cairns  airport will be driverless. Cast away to casting networks – use the rivers.  In Asia – poor people use rivers.

Discussion: What might be one major disrupter that could change education.

  • Remote students
  • No funding for independent schools
  • Students from smaller families risk averse
  1. Don’t wait for the bad times.  Engaging in foresight when the organization is in trauma. First address the worst case scenario.

Discussion: Early innovation - 4 library futures 2025.

  • Digital dinosaur,
  • library as direct brain download – Shakespeare hologram,
  • Redo the business model – one stop shop - facilities for co creation.
  • Become a publishing house.
  • What are the missing scenarios?
    • Training centre
    • Library is no longer a place but an idea
    • Library as a physical space for people to gather like European piazzas
    • As a pastoral  space, spiritual space
    • Bit torrent
  1. Link the story with the strategy. Culture eats strategy as breakfast.  Metaphors and crime – metaphor is linked to the strategy.  Crime a virus there need education.  Crime happens therefore punishment.  Climate change story or data – consistently story beats data.  From collection  to innovators of gardens.  Librarians are not the keepers of the collections.  Singapore – transport – everything within reach.  They  change or I change.

Discussion: Assumption culture eats strategy.  What is the core metaphor? Castle surrounded by hungry wolves – parents students, teachers and media. Bring the wolves into the castle.  Domesticate the wolves. Create a garden so they can be creative – wolves sitting in the sun. Looking at the differently – re introduced to Yellowstone NP and the park has changed. Lowering the draw bridges and sending people out and in.  Military examples send your juniors out to see the leaders of the pack and kill them.

Merry-go-round every three years new govt – new story fair ground.  Singapore nothing in reach to everything in reach for public transport.

Thought: bring the wolves into the castle does not equal bring the walls down all at once or at all.  But that is how it was perceived.

Your life or work

  1. Today
  2. Preferred

School Metaphor

  • Boat analogy – all individuals perhaps rowing in different  directions.  Would prefer a hovercraft

Mall pick and choose then department store pick and choose with a personal shopper and helper.  What would this be in 2030

  • Grown the village community – bring in neighbors and parents – choir with them.
  • Mary Ward carries the traditions and things needs to move forward.

Different groups had a story which did not match with the strategy.  Find a deeper story which brings them in.

  1. Now focus on the change agents Jenny Brice
  • Carriers of infections, change agents
  • Resisters quarantine
  • Asleep, wake up
  • Possible carriers, infect them

Doing futures - Cancer Futures.  Change the story – cancer is a way of life.  Measure health, one stop shop, person plus community and as a way of life

What works?

  • Challenge future
  • Scan environment
  • Don’t wait for good times create future futures
  • Link story to strategy

Emerging issues analysis

Seeds of possible change


What happened

  1. Peer to peer from pyramid to flatter worlds
    1. User adds value
    2. New economy – monetize everything
    3. The new cooperative co-creation economy
    4. Maker revolution
    5. Inivitro meat 3d print
    6. Nodes have incredible influence
    7. Inequity and implications
      1. If middle class disappears due to rich and poor
      2. Artificial intelligence
        1. Global classroom Kahn Academy
        2. Free universities Sebastian Thrun
        3. Dating  futures okcupid.com best predictor – your view on horror movies
        4. My health scanner
        5. Everything and one is a hyperlink
        6. Brain controlled tablet.
        7. Migrant to native- they lead the shift. Technology is everything invented after you were born
        8. Rise of Chindia
          1. Last century London NY Paris
          2. Now Beijing,  Seoul....
          3. Aging society
            1. Aging workforce
            2. Few people to look after them
            3. De population  and housing process will drop every generation
            4. New book out working till 100 years
            5. How do we measure where we want to go
              1. Gross National Cool  moneitise the coolest industry in South Korea
              2. Mother’s index

Discussion:  what happens if these become reality. Anticipation – futures wheel. Everyone on your table is your asset.

  • All friends in the same retirement community
  • Decline of the middle class – impact on education. Rich could learn from  the poor. Go into jobs with surveillance
  • If world bots – depressing perhaps, take away purpose now purpose, maybe people have more time for themselves.


The grass is greener where you water it.