A Futures Periodic Table

By Robert Hickson 15/06/2012 4


I’ve been playing around with a graphic to make it easier to keep track of important trends and drivers influencing the future. This Table of Elements is what I have come up with.  It arranges the elements into the basic Futures Framework of Social, Technological, Political, Economic and Environmental trends (or other drivers/influencers of change).

I have loaded a PowerPoint presentation of it on SlideShare – A Futures Periodic Table – which gives more explanation of what each element is. I took my inspiration from the Periodic Table of Meat.

You may quibble that there are too few futures elements. But that’s the point. It is easy to get confused when you have lots of trends to contend with. So I have tried to keep it at a high level. And I have pandered to the geeks with a special “Lanthanide”and “Actinide”  science & technology series of elements  later in  the slide presentation. Yes, I have been somewhat arbitrary in what I have included.

Combine the elements (there are no rules about what can bond with what) to see if that helps consider future possibilities. Don’t forget about the Black Swans (or wild cards). Have a look, and let me know how I can improve it.

A Futures Periodic Table


4 Responses to “A Futures Periodic Table”

  • Putting aside this further abuse of the Periodic table :-). (though I cant imagine anything worse than a Periodic table of meat OMG!)

    Could you explain future how it works on slideshare? I’ve played around with it a bit but am not quite sure how to use it.

    It certainly looks like you have covered a lot of key areas, so well done, I look forward to looking it over more thoroughly when I get a chance.

  • Okay, ignore previous comment, viewing it via iPad confused me a little bit. Think I have it sorted now.
    A fascinating tool, which nicely summarizes key points about the future.

  • Brilliant Robert… when I got to the slide illustrating ways of combining elements to generate “what if” questions I thought what a great way to think out of the square. A game that randomly chooses X element and requires the players to come up with a question could be helps of fine. Well done.

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