Tagged: foresight

Futures of work - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Mar 27, 2019

It’s hard to find a way through the forest of forecasts about the impact new technologies will have on work and life. Is it going to be terrible, awesome, same same, all of the above, or something else? The answer is no one knows, or can really know. However, it’s useful to explore the issues and consider what policy options … Read More

Revolutionary cycles - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Mar 14, 2019

Like business and politics, futurism and foresight are susceptible to short-termism, shallow historical perspectives, and a focus on parts not the whole. That’s not necessarily bad, but you need to recognise what perspective you are taking. Good foresight needs to balance the tension between detail and distance. As one interviewee noted for the Thinking the unthinkable report: … Read More

The further future of healthcare - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Oct 23, 2018

Following on from my last post, the UK has just released its Future of healthcare policy paper. It’s essentially a fluffy digital health information policy. No timelines and no systems-level thinking (apart from IT systems). Just add digital and other technological bits, encourage innovation, and it’s sorted is the short version. I found it a dispiriting read. It … Read More

Futurists, a field guide - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Dec 20, 2017

While you are out and about over summer keep and eye and ear out for futurists. They are not so common in the antipodes, but more are starting to appear on our shores. There are several species (and subspecies), so I’ve created a little guide to help you identify the most likely ones that you’ll come across in the wild. Read More

The science of prediction - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Dec 04, 2017

It’s coming up to that time of year when predictions start popping out like buskers playing Christmas jingles. We all know a litany of bad predictions: “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” Western Union internal memo, 1876 “I think there is … Read More

Tomorrow really never comes - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Oct 10, 2017

In Zeno’s philosophical paradox Achilles can never overtake the tortoise. Similarly, it sometimes seems that future technologies never arrive. Grace Ballenger and Aaron Mak writing in Slate highlight the “Goldilocks” zone of technological predictions – the next big thing is neither too close to be here by Christmas, nor too far away to become purely fictional. The … Read More

NZTech suggest a Ministry of the Future - Ariadne

Robert Hickson May 24, 2017

NZTech have promoted the creation of a Ministry of the Future in their 2017 Manifesto “New Zealand’s Digital Future“. As a country, we need to wholeheartedly embrace this change, installing a dedicated Ministry of the Future, and Chief Technology Officer, to consider the implications of change across social, economic, educational and all other areas of policy.   … Read More

Foresight as a gravitational force - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Mar 21, 2017

Jonathan Boston, of Victoria University, is launching two books this week on anticipatory governance. These are based on his study tour looking at how other governments look ahead. One, Safeguarding the future, from Bridget Williams Books is an extended précis of his larger Governing for the future. Jonathan notes New Zealand and many other governments have … Read More

The silent “y” in futures - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Sep 23, 2016

Many discussions about the future are about “what?” and “how?” What will … [insert favourite industry or issue here] … look like? How will we … [insert favourite activity] … in the future? The outcomes are usually lists or descriptions. These are fundamentally second order futures questions. They are a consequence of a need for answers in the face of … Read More