Future Readiness Means Understanding the Dynamics Surrounding the Present

 As a Futurist many folks ask me how do we do it? Meaning they want a formula that allows them to operate as if they have a crystal ball. Well, it has often been said that future predictions is as much an art as a science. And I agree.
The first thing one has to do is have a little bit of history under their belts, committed to memory; both ancient and recent. Next one needs to know the present, especially in the sectors they wish to predict and any industries that will impede or assist upon them. So, let’s take a look at some recent news from February 15, 2009:

  • Chinese Investment Tours looking for Real Estate Foreclosures in US
  • Japan’s economy dives 3.5% in 2008 Q4 (worst quarter since 74′)
  • Last Week worst in 2009 for stock market
  • Piper Aircraft to cut 40% labor, already laid off 650 in Q4 2008
  • Chavez won eliminating term-limits for himself – can run indefinitely
  • Global Warming alarmists emboldened by Obama – PR increases
  • GM trading at $2.50/share, BK imminent – soon
  • OPEC threatening a big cut; some nation can’t – OPEC temp. collapse?
  • Some Parents stealing kid’s identity to re-establish crashed credit
  • Cessna launching a positive PR campaign against naysayers
  • Panera Bread profits up
  • Pepsi got slaughters profits down 42%

Next, we need to regionalize our predictions to focus on worthwhile predictions that might serve you locally. Let’s say you live in Hawaii, what is in the news there; on the same date, here is the major news:
Hawaii foreclosure rate up 174% in January

Entrepreneurs sell Tours & Maps of Obama’s former home in Hawaii
Hawaii to get $678 Million of Stimulus Package

  1. - 252M  Infrastructure, Science
  2. -127M  Highway Funding
  3. -257M  Education and Training
  4. -158M  Prevent Education Layoffs, Modernize Schools
  5. -30M Energy Improvements
  6. -125M Children and Poor
  7. -6M  Child Care Services low-income families
  8. -106M Food Stamps
  9. 13M Law Enforcement

If we look closely at the regional news and the national news, we can get a sense of the direction. Predicting the future 1-2 years out is fairly easy in nearly any industry. 3-5 years is a little tougher, but can be done if you fully study trends, cycles, disruptors and colliding sectors.

Please think on this.