3.2.6 What are my own unconscious assumptions about the future?

No matter how you try, your own assumptions about the future, worldview and understanding of interrelationships and “how the world works” play an unconscious role in creating scenarios, since they inevitably influence your view of the future.

According to Inayatullah (2008)6, there are the following basic views on how the future plays out:

  • The future is linear, stage like, with progress ahead. By hard work, we will realize the good future.
  • The future is cyclical, there are ups and downs. Those at the top will one day find themselves at the bottom. Because they are on the top, they are unable to adapt and adjust as the world changes. Their success was based on mastery of yesterday’s conditions. Few are able to reinvent their basic values.
  • The future is spiral – parts are linear and progress based, and parts are cyclical. With courageous leadership and foresight a positive spiral can be created. The dogmas of the past are challenged but the past is not disowned, rather it is integrated in a march toward a better future.
  • New futures are driven by a creative minority. They challenge the notion of a used future. Instead of imitating what everyone else is doing, they innovate. This can be social, political, cultural, spiritual or technological innovation. These change agents imagine a different future, and inspire others to work toward it. When there is no creative minority, instead of sustainable systems what results are bigger and bigger empires and world-states. Power and bureaucracy continue unchallenged, charisma becomes routinized and the hunger for something different, that can better meet human needs, drifts away. Size or growth takes over, inner and outer development disappear.
  • There are hinge periods in human history, when the action of a few can make a dramatic difference. […] What succeeded before no longer works now. We are likely in this phase now.