Developing a New Story

Map of the Future_2010

[from IFTF 2010 Map of the Decade]

The rate at which organizations and individuals are experiencing social interaction — online and off line — is game-like. One that is testing the stories of brands, companies, and people alike with its ability to show different paths, and often also different consequences, fast.

The Institute for the Future just published its 2010 Ten-Year Forecast Map of the Decade. It is a map of this emergent game space, which is the way IFTF organized the narrative this year. It starts by benchmarking the big forces that will shape the decade:

  • The Carbon Economy
  • The Water Ecology
  • Adaptive Power
  • Cities in Transition
  • Molecular Identity

Overlapping with these forces are four main decisions. Suggested as signals on the map, these four alternatives are very much in play today. They are:

  • Growth: one step ahead of disaster
  • Constraint: sustainable paths in a low-capital world
  • Collapse: local disaster, regional conflicts
  • Transformation: superstructed systems

What shall it be? What will your new story look like?

Next week we'll talk about the implications of this information and for your business. For now, let's raise the question. We have so many answers already. What we don't have are good questions. And a new story demands different questions.

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0 responses to “Developing a New Story”

  1. I’m not 100% sure I agree that the future – which none of us can reliably predict with a great deal of certainty – can be so elegantly mapped out like that?
    Certainly, I agree that the first list of big forces (across the top in the illustration) will play a role. Many of those topics are already making headlines, but am I supposed to pick one of the decisions? Surely, all our conversations aren’t headed towards a simple multiple choice question, are they?
    [Aside, I see what you’re trying to do, Valeria. Something about the matter-of-fact-ness of the graphic rubs me the wrong way.] 🙂
    For example, constraint? Sustainability is always an excellent choice, but should be exercise constraint when pursuing sustainability? Superstructured systems seems appealing as well, but it would seem the creator of that graphic is downplaying the value of staying ahead of disaster or trying to prepare for collapse.
    Of course, I could be reading this thing upside-down. I’m not very good with maps. 😛

  2. @Brian – not a chance. By now, you should know I am not the multiple choice, check the box, kind of person 🙂 Hat off to you for thinking beyond the chart/map, too. I find guides helpful in terms of classifying the information. Hope you did download the PDF, which has a more complete explanation of the information.
    @AJ – this is the kind of information that needs time to digest. So I’m putting it out there for people to play with and then we will be back to talk about what it means to us.

  3. The hardest future events to predict are the true game changers. It is somewhat easy to be right by extrapolating based on current events and problems but the unforeseen big events are the ones that will be relevant when we get there.

  4. @Valeria – 🙂
    Unfortunately, I didn’t think to grab the hyperlink; just looked at the graphic. Today, it seems the hyperlink is dead. Bummer.
    As someone disinterested in maps (always provide existing routes to existing places), I can see how this graphic might be suggesting directions for those of us who prefer using a compass. It makes a bit more sense, now that I’ve had a day to think about it. Thanks!

  5. @Mark – I agree. True game changers are not a tweak or a version of what we have now. Is direction unhelpful then?
    @Brian – try now. I fubarred the link. Glad you had a chance to digest. It’s a lot of info.

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