Anticipate Possibles

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Exploring and identifying the impacts and implications of key trends forms an important part of anticipating changes that may lie ahead.

1 Workshop | Countless Insights

Using the Futures Wheel as a structured brainstorming tool, we explored each top trend in-depth to identify possible responses and first and second-order consequences, introducing systems thinking by mapping potential impacts and implications. Leveraging the collective knowledge and experience of the leadership team, the brainstorm began by identifying all the different ways to respond (R). This might include but is not limited to investing, advocating for or implementing different policies.

After each response was analyzed for first-order consequences (FO), for example, if the response to a trend were to increase regulation, it would be important to consider how this might impact businesses, consumers, and other stakeholders. Both positive and negative impacts were discussed in the workshop.

The following questions helped guide the discussion:

  • If this change is true, what are the immediate impacts?
  • What are the first impacts you would expect to see?

Next, we looked at second order consequences (SO). This involved identifying each consequence’s potential impacts and implications beyond its immediate effects. This analysis was important to ensure that the responses to the trends were effective in addressing the immediate issues and aligned with broader goals and values.

The question that guided this discussion:

  • What are the impacts and implications of this change?

This process continued as we worked around each of the first order impacts, creating a network of possible responses, first and second order consequences. By anticipating possibilities for each trend, we were able to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the implications of proposed actions and make more informed decisions about how to respond to them.

These patterns were then used to develop scenarios in the next phase of the Strategic Foresight process. What narratives and shifts emerged? That’s next.