Some insightful quotes about futurecasting by Peter Schwartz

In his book called « The Art of the Long View » (1991), Peter Schwartz has some good tips, which can prove useful for the futurecasting phase of Design Ethnography/Design Fiction projects:

« Scenarios are not about predicting the future, rather they are about perceiving futures in the present. »

« Scenario researchers train themselves to look at the world as horses do; because new knowledge develops in the fringes. »

« Stories are about meaning, they help explain why things could happen in a certain way. They give order and meaning to events – a crucial aspect of understanding future possibilities. »

« All that [scenario-building] was in preparation. The true work took place in the last step, rehearsing the implications. How would such a business fare in each of the three worlds? […] It is a matter of training yourself to think through how things might happen that you might otherwise dismiss – to get to know the shape of unfolding reality. To have at hand the answer to the question, ‘What if…?' »

« Consider several plots […] The trick is deciding where, in the story, to start the diverging alternative futures. In scenarios for a company, you should design at least one alternative that frightens the management enough to think–but not so much that they shut down. »