Some futurists say a signal is like art — it’s hard to define, but you know it when you see it. So let’s share some signals here and see what sparks our imagination…
For this assignment, collect TWO signals of the future. Include a link to an article, video, podcast, Facebook page, or other website, and answer at least one of the “signals questions” for each signal.
Where to look:
- 10 breakthrough technologies in 2017; At MIT Technology Review.
- Kevin Kelly; The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future; Penguin Books, reprint; 2017-06-06; 338 pages; Amazon:0143110373: Kindle: $14, paper: $13+SHT; previously noted.
- Flash Forward, a podcast.
- The Institute for the Future
- Also, here is [Jane McGonigal's] technique
- Just google “The future of X” (and fill in the X with any topic you are interested in, like food, work, church, fantasy sports…!) Here’s an example of tons of possible signals: e.g. the future of real estate
Questions about signals: (please answer at least one of these questions, more if you’re inspired!)
- What kind of change does this represent? From what to what?
- What’s driving this change? What’s the “future force” behind it?
- What could the world be like if this signal gets amplified? What if the trend continues? becomes common? Or even ubiquitous?
- Is that a future you want?
Please post your signals here for everyone to see!
BONUS CHALLENGE: Take a look at a signal posted by someone else, and use your Positive AND Shadow Imagination. Post a reply to the signal with your answer to these two questions:
- Positive Imagination (Skill #6): What’s one great thing that could happen if this signal gets amplified? What could go right in this future?
- Shadow Imagination (Skill #7): What’s something you worry about happening if this signal gets amplified? What could go wrong in this future?
SUPER BONUS CHALLENGE: Okay, superstar futurists out there… if you really want to stretch your powers of imagination, combine two or more signals posted by yourself and other students and see if you can turn it into a forecast (Skill #5)! Tell a quick story (a few sentences is fine) about how these signals might combine to create a strange new world.