I have transferred this blog to a new address to reflect my developing interests in personal futures and self knowledge. All future posts will be found at FutureOfSelfKnowledge.org
How happy are you?
Questions used by the independent national statistician are likely to focus on “evaluation”, “experience” and “purpose” and could include:
1 How satisfied are you with your life these days, on a scale of 0 to 10 where 0 is “not at all” and 10 is “completely satisfied”?
2 Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?
3 How much purpose does your life have?
4 Are men and women treated fairly in the workplace and home?
The Delphi Party Panel of Experts
An article for The Future We Deserve collaborative book project launched on Kickstarter
Increasingly, people are taking advantage of advanced experiential forecasting techniques to take greater control of their personal futures.
Personal Futures is an emerging futures practice that is becoming more popular as we seek to interpret and understand our future life paths. Achieving the future we deserve will depend upon how we are able to experience our future self and the impact of our day-to-day decisions.
Humans have always had a hard time imagining and acting on alternative futures and have tried to discover and understand their potential futures using whatever methods they have available. Esoteric societies and cults have sought to promote various divination techniques to help people understand their fate or how to control it with foresight and prescient knowledge. In times past, certain members of society have happily invested in the apparent special insights of others to interpret signs and symbols.
Today people are looking for more secular and advanced systems, frameworks and alternative world views to help manage their emotions and relationships and guide them to make more informed decisions that will affect their potential and possible future paths. Some new techniques can reveal alternative futures and guide or provoke us to drastically change our behaviour and directly affect our future self. Systems mapping and future scenario planning are both methods used in industry to help predict markets and quantify and describe potential future worlds.
Personal Futures - the foundation to my personal futures thesis project.
As part of the IFTF’s Future of Persuasion conference I was asked to introduce my Personal Futures research project that became the foundation to The FATE Institute thesis work I have been developing since the RCA. I was billed under the part of the conference known as ‘Future As Persuasion’ and introduced by Lyn Jeffery, director of Technology Horizons Program and Jason Tester, the IFTF Research and Design Manager who introduced the notion of Future as Persuasion and discussed the human-futures interaction techniques he uses at the IFTF.
I used this opportunity to showcase some of the FATE personal futures services and processes and to discuss the interaction and debate around alternative futures, technology, and personal action in the present. I introduced my personal futures background research and highlighted some of the key drivers that influenced my thesis.
Examples included: My internship on the Tackling Obesities project at the government think tank called Foresight that looked at the causes of obesity and how it will affect society in 40 years time. Here I was introduced to horizon scanning methods and systems modelling.
Another moment of realisation for me was when i stumbled upon the ‘jessica the palm reader’ service and thought to myself I wonder what Jess has to say about my future? So i began to look in to a number of different esoteric and ancient divination services people spend their time on money on.
Jessica The Palm Reader
And finally i was particularly interested in the rise of commercial predictive risk personal genome testing companies that were popping up in the US and the UK and the impacts it would have in how we understand our futureselves.
Why Personal Futures?
To me these drivers indicate how more and more people are looking for systems, frameworks, mapping or beliefs to manage their emotions, ideas and relationships and guide them in the everyday decisions they make and enable them to have a sense of their potential and possible future paths. Each of these drivers affect the way we interpret and understand ourselves and the Personal Futures phenomenon will continue to grow as more people will find more techniques and models to borrow from.
The FATE Institute
This became the segway into introducing some examples that demonstrate my research into personal futures by the services and interactions i created for my design interactions masters thesis whilst i was at the royal college of art in london. Here i introduced The FATE Institute : the futures association for therapy and entertainment and explained how I bought together this research to then generate and develop a range of personal futures service.
The FATE Institute
I continued to explain the infrastructure of the institute and how it is divided up into 3 research and therapy areas, nurture, nature and neither. Each research & therapy group develops their own range of personal futures services depending on the focus of the research.
The FATE Institute Infrastructure
Crowdsourcing Your Future postcard - ask your friends to predict your futures
For my recent talk at IFTF’s Technology Horizons Program Future of Persuasion conference at the Quadras Conference Center last week I brought along some newly printed ‘Crowdsourcing Your Future’ postcards to hand out to the audience in conjunction with my presentation about my Personal Futures research and The FATE Institute.
Crowdsourcing Your Future is a double sided postcard that you send to friends to ask them to predict your futures.
To start them off, you as the sender will plot your ideas of what you think their possible and preferable future timelines might be. Once they receive your predictions they are kindly requested or perhaps provoked to send the postcard back to you with their predictions of your future timelines.
The more you send out perhaps as a birthday card, the more collective ideas you will receive of what your friends think about your possible future timeline and perhaps their preferable idea of your future lifepath.
1. Download this ‘crowdsourcing your future’ A4 postcard pdf document
2.Print on to A4 card, do not select fit to page but choose’ A4 borderless’ on your printer settings
3. Print both sides and cut down th emiddle to make 2 separate double sided postcards
4. Choose a friend and plot their possible and preferable timelines
5. Fil in the postcard section
6. Stick a stamp on it and put in the mail.
7. Wait to see what your friends predict!
Persuasive Microtrend Card: Disagreement?
Persuasive Microtrend Card: Narcissistic?
Tomorrow I am off to Palo Alto to participate in a 2 day conference called The Future of Persuasion as part of the Technology Horizons program at the IFTF. The conference will be using a variety of formats and methods to enable participants, clients of IFTF, to experience the emerging theories and behaviours that will shape the development of persuasive technologies over the next few years.
I have been helping out with some of the developments of certain immersive experiences at the conference alongside the magnificent Jake Dunagan (Institute For The Future) and Stuart Candy (Long Now Foundation). I will also be presenting some of the personal futures methods I have been exploring in The FATE Institute work including The Microtrend Diary and The Delphi Party alongside the wonderful Jason Tester.