About Silke de Wilde

I am a foresight-expert and practitioner. As a freelancer, I help organisations think about the future and how to get there, for example by trendanalysis and scenarioplanning. As a facilitator I give workshops to inspire and help people think out of the box. I'm one of the co-founders of the Dutch Future Society. I also organise training in foresight at the School for Foresight. And in the time that's left I like getting into science fiction and working on my phd-research: Cities constructing futures. Yes, you might say I'm a future-fanatic, and I'm grateful that I'm able to make a living out of doing what I love. Thank you for visiting Futurista and please don't be a stranger!

5 Tips to ensure your foresight project has impact

How do you ensure that your foresight project really has an impact? In future studies and foresight endeavours, creative thinking and imagination are central. Often, the process itself provides insight to the people directly involved in the project. But how do you transfer your results into the rest of your … Continue reading

4 reasons to take Science Fiction seriously

Science fiction shows and movies seem to be gaining popularity. For many people, however, science fiction remains something for ‘nerds’ and not something to take seriously. And certainly not something to concern yourself with during work time. We disagree. We believe that futurists, foresight experts, strategists, researchers and others who … Continue reading

Three Horizons of the future in the present

The Three Horizons framework is a model of longer-term change. The framework can be used for theoretical analysis as well as in workshops settings. One of the things that makes the framework so useful and comprehensible is the fact that it consists of three lines, that each represent a ‘horizon’. … Continue reading

Multiverses in “The Long Earth” (review)

The Long Earth is the produce of the collaboration between Science Fiction writer Stephen Baxter and my favourite fantasy writer: Discworld-author Terry Pratchett. It was published in June 2012 and, recently, in 2013 it’s sequel The Long War was published. The underlying social dilemma that is addressed in The Long … Continue reading

17 trends to inspire Dutch Government

When researching trends, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by publications. Every now and then, however, we are pleased to find a clear, well-written overview of relevant trends. The Dutch Interdepartmental trend-scan for 2025 is such an example. The first edition was published in 2011, the update in June 2013. Read more … Continue reading

“Studying the future is similar to studying history”

Interview with Boudewijn Steur Boudewijn Steur works as strategic specialist for the Dutch Minististry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (“BZK”). Futurista interviewed Boudewijn on his work as a strategist and his thoughts on foresight. It might be surprising to realise that while Boudewijn focuses on the future on a … Continue reading

4 Pitfalls for Foresight Practitioners

Thinking about the future and practicing foresight is no cakewalk. This is made very clear in the book Foresight in Action. The authors have done ethnographic research on how foresight practitioners proceed in practice, with respect to the policy practice. The study took place at several Dutch ministries and planning … Continue reading

A socio-cultural framework for scenarios

Recently, I have become very enthusiastic about using socio-cultural perspectives as a framework for scenarios. This framework is well suited for complex societal issues and is often used for scenarios in the field of environment, sustainability issues and water management.  It’s point of departure is the idea that individuals, communities, … Continue reading

Scanning the Dutch Horizon to 2050

Jacintha Scheerder is exploring what challenges await the Netherlands in the next four decades. She is the projectleader for the project ‘2050 Horizonscan’. The project is initiated by The Netherlands Study Centre for Technology Trends (STT). This is the second time that STT is involved in horizon scanning. In 2007, STT … Continue reading

Scenarios as a warning: Limits to growth

Probably the most controversial and most famous scenario study published is the Limits to Growth report. It was published as a book in 1972 and presents scenarios, based on computer modelling, on the consequences of economic and population growth. The book was funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and produced by … Continue reading

Scenarios on contact with ETI

Scenarios are used for many different purposes and in all types of organisations. One of the most surprising and inspiring scenario studies I ever came across is the NASA & Pennsylvania State University study on whether contact with extra-terrestrials would benefit or harm humanity. The scenarios were published in 2011 … Continue reading

The Mont Fleur Scenarios

One of the most well-known scenario exercises is the one that took place at the Mont Fleur centre in South Africa, in 1991-1992. At the time, South Africa was dealing with economic decline, social disintegration and political unrest (in this period the negotiations to end apartheid took place). This particular scenario … Continue reading

VTV 2014: Exploring the future of public health in the Netherlands

  For Futurista, Silke interviewed Jeanne van Loon and Johan Melse: Jeanne van Loon is project manager for the VTV 2014. Johan Melse is a member of the project team VTV 2014, who also contributed to previous VTV- editions.  Jeanne van Loon and Johan Melse both work on the Dutch VTV 2014: … Continue reading

Technological trends in agriculture

Technological innovations provide us with chances to increase supply, upscale en produce more cost effectively. Robotics could be a solution to the looming shortage of labour in the agricultural sector. In this blog I describe several important technological trends relevant to the agricultural sector. There are three (possible) technological ‘breakthroughs’ … Continue reading

Trends that impact agriculture in the Netherlands

When it comes to agriculture, many research and foresight-exercises can be found on both national and international level. A summary of some of the most important trends that impact the debate on agriculture in the Netherlands:   Demographic trends: The world population will increase  up to approximately 9 billion people … Continue reading

Visionaries of the future: Arthur C Clarke

Arthur C Clarke (1917-2008) foresaw the evolution of science, but also helped creating this evolution. He asked us: who are we? Why are we here? And what is our place in the universe? His earliest work, Childhood’s end’, is the first in a series of Clarke’s ideas on alien contact … Continue reading

Can we measure foresight impact?

How can we meausure foresight impact? When it comes to policy-oriented foresight, like many other creative processes, proving or measuring it’s impact on policy does not come easily. Foresight professionals might recognize some of these experiences I’ve had in the past:  the impact of the foresight endeavour is limited to … Continue reading

Visionaries of the future: H.G. Wells

Herbert George Wells (1866-1946) considered himself more a social critic and historian than a fiction writer. At times he seemed convinced of the idea that humans would eventually annihilate themselves with advanced technology. But at other times he would point out technology’s possibilities to overcome for example racism, sexism and other … Continue reading

Visionaries of the future: Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) was aware of the risks of technology, but always celebrated the possibilities of science. He reinvented the way we see robots: instead of a threat to humankind, Asimov pictured robots as a huge aid to humans. Many see him as the first roboticist, ahead of his time … Continue reading

Visionaries of the future: Robert Heinlein

Many experts see Robert Heinlein (1907-1988) as the father of modern social science fiction. Not only did he think about the technology and science of his time, his stories are also strongly influenced by world politics. Heinlein started out as a military (navy) man in his early twenties. He held the military … Continue reading