Futures Thinking: STEEP to SCEPTIC

  • Many futurists use a checklist approach to make sure they’re covering a sufficiently wide set of topics, in terms of both research and brainstorming during a foresight exercise. The traditional heuristic is STEP: Society, Technology, Economics, and Politics. In the 1990s, this was expanded to STEEP: Society, Technology, Economics, Environment, and Politics. It’s not hard to find futurists using their own personal variations on this theme — for a while, I played with SCEPTIC: Society, Culture, Environment, Politics, Technology, Infrastructure, and Commerce.

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