Five promising trends for the future of food packaging

Packaging may sometimes appear very wasteful to people. Used only temporarily and the act of throwing it away does not feel good. The times of a ‘throw away society’ have definitely given way for the circular society, where we share and reuse as much as possible. However, packaging, even for … Continue reading

Three key values of the farm of the future

The Netherlands is a densely populated country. It is also one of the biggest agri-economies, exporting its dairy, meat and fresh produce all over the world. There is a great pressure for farm companies to grow their business, which changes the character of their businesses. The threat of animal diseases, … Continue reading

18 ‘known’ trends about the future and 4 what if’s – Dutch Horizonscan Prosperity and Environment

Predicting the future is a ‘no go’. However, uncertainty about the economy, emerging markets, climate change, biodiversity loss and many, many more, raises the urgency to know as much about the future as possible. Governments and industries need this in order to anticipate on future situations. Dutch Future Study on … Continue reading

How our Present is steering us into an Innovation Centric Future

Our world is in transition; from the information age into the innovation age. The symptoms are the unprecedent accelerations in the speed of change all around, particularly where technology is the subject matter at the core. Upon the transition, what awaits ahead, is a prolonged period of time that is … Continue reading

Scientists’ prediction of climate change: business as usual versus alternative futures

The foremost group of scientists of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has again published a landmark report on the evidence of climate change. In scientific terms, they now called it “unequivocal” and for the first time they said that humans are “extremely likely” to be the dominant … Continue reading

Ross Dawson about the role of a futurist

Ross Dawson, futurist and entrepreneur, presented his vision on the role of a futurist at a meet-up of the Dutch Future Society. Location of the session was the Living Tomorrow, former house of the future, now headquarters of ID&T, pioneering company of dance events and electronic music experiences. In sync … Continue reading

Cooptation of Future Studies is a Formidable Threat

Future Studies or Strategic Foresight is a professional field that studies, analyses and predicts the future, to enable and empower the recieving stakeholders of those predictions to better plan, strategise and prepare for the time ahead. This regardless as to whether those stakeholders are governments, political organisations, social movements, educators, … Continue reading

Recapturing the future, strengthening strategic capacities

Governing bodies take decisions for the future all the time. However, they may not be aware of possible future in their daily business. The municipality of Haarlemmermeer, home of Schiphol Amsterdam Airport, realised that they needed to enhance their imagination of the future and take this into account in their … 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

Future studies to get you unstuck from the present

Many times people wish that futurists could look into the future and see the things that they don’t see yet. However, futurists cannot predict the future. But it can help to think more widely about potential events and potential convergence of trends and development. One of the most exciting aims … Continue reading

Why Systems Thinking is Critical for Effective Roadmapping

The Core Function of Futurists The core function of any Futurist is to study the future, to help clients, whether internal or external, to develop roadmaps from the present point, to a long-term future point in time. That is the core and most important purpose of future studies. Basically, the … Continue reading

Understanding Convergence is Key to Effective Strategic Foresight

Do you know that your present day laptop is a result of convergence? It is the result of a convergence of technological advancements, where batteries were developed to provide independence from fixed power sockets and hard-disks were made compact enough to carry in portable devices. The smartphone resulted from the … Continue reading

Resilience, why things bounce back

From the banking crisis to earthquakes, from the Arab spring to major floods, we have seen many disasters and disruptions, year after year. Given the risks of climate change and the grand challenges of feeding nine billion people, the potential of disruptions is not expected to diminish soon. It is … 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

Pioneers of the new public sector

Something is bubbling in society. They do not want to wait for the government to set targets and take action. Sustainability initiatives like Urgenda are born that way. Self organised actions to change the status quo. Grass roots initiatives that reach thousands of people. But don’t think that people working … Continue reading

Watch your genes

The June edition of magazine Wired features an interesting article about the threats of DNA hacking in the near future. The author argues that the rapid advancements in the sequencing of DNA will have considerable implications for bio-crime. Costs for the mapping of a complete personal genome have dropped very … Continue reading

Three maxims for essential futures thinking

Futures thinking seems essential in our times. With so many uncertainties about water, food and energy for 9 billion people in the next forty years, and so many exciting new technologies on the way, futurists can help to see new possible futures and support decision makers. However, futurists are not … Continue reading

Searching for unknown unknowns

In future studies one of the ultimate results is becoming aware of things that were previously unknown to most people. Especially in horizon scans, like the current STT project in the Netherlands, we want to know what is beyond the horizon. What are the unknowns that are unknown to most … 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