Looking Back at Looking Forward

sharing knowledge about organisational foresight

Belief systems

Over my two and half weeks vacation I read Michel Onfrey’s The Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The introduction contains some excellent observations. For example, “no one reaches the opinion that the critical mind, so relevant and always so welcoming when applied to others, would be put to good use in a scrutiny of one’s own beliefs.” (page 2).

This problem arises in strategic thinking too. Substitute “assumptions” for beliefs in the quote above. And what’s more, in my experience people are willing to hang on to dated assumptions in a way that believers hang on to faith – reason is suspended and dialogue is not possible.


October 26, 2007 Posted by | philosophy | , | Leave a comment

Distributed collaboration

Today I participated in a seminar in Melbourne run by www.education.au. The subject was A Vision for the Future with a keynote address and group discussion with Howard Rheingold.

In thinking about the future, Howard talked about a key uncertainty: centralised vs decentralised control. The debate on network neutrality out of the US is an example of the tension between centralised control and distributed control likely to spread around the world. The uncertainty is the extent to which network operators discriminate about what traffic they allow over their network. I agree with Howard’s expectation that this issue is likely to spread around the world. Another example of this key uncertainty is over copyright, or digital rights management.

The open nature of the internet enables innovation at the edge. The threat is if innovation is centralised – or as Howard put it, Who will control innovation?

Guess what? The same tension was identified in Vision 20/20 (see posting below). More on this later.

October 2, 2007 Posted by | foresight | , , , , , , | Leave a comment