One of the tools that a futurist uses is a framework to help discearn where things are, where they have been, and where they are going.  By developing a framework, the futuist is able to have a document in hand that can be the springboard for ideas and planning, but keep the conversation in focus.  Since I’m in the process of writing a framework anyways, I’m going to blog some about the actual process on here as well.

By creating a framework for forecasting, we can begin to imagine what the “official” or “baseline” future is.  Essentiall, this is the most predictable future.  By looking at current trends and expectations, you can extrapolate what the “most-likely” future is.  For example, if the temperature of water is increasing every minute, you should be able to predict at what point it will boil.

In futures studies, however, the “official” future is usually considered to be the most unlikely.  This is because everything changes, and the greatest changes come from wildcard scenarios.  An example of a crazy wildcard would be an asteroid hitting the Earth.  One that should be known to you is the invention and subsequent adoption of the Internet.

The first step of a framework is to choose your topic; your domain.  For the purposes of this blog, I will be focusing mostly on religion and, from that, mostly on the Christian religion.  The framework would then breakdown as follows:

  • Definition: what is included in the domain and what is not
  • Summary: a reader’s digest of the findings
  • Current Assessment: how things are today
    • Current conditions
    • Stakeholders
    • Past Events
  • Basline Forecast: the “official” future
    • Constants
    • Cycles
    • Trends
    • Projections
    • Plans/Goal
    • Expected Future
  • Alternative Futures
    • Discontinuties
    • Uncertainties
    • Alternative Futures

I’ll be working on these things in the coming weeks, trying to find my own definition of the future and exploring the best ways to do it.  The summary comes last, as it is a synthesis of the information I find.

We live, obviously, in a rapidly changing time.  According to futurist Ray Kurzweil, “the 21st century will be equivalent to 20,000 years of
progress at today’s rate of progress.”  We’re moving at a faster and fater rate with our present cultures and morals being faced with new, major questions literally weekly (and, perhaps soon, daily).

This blog is my attempt to keep up with some of those new questions and try forecast what the next questions will be after that.  The Church often gets left out of the early days of framing an idea, simply because we don’t know about it.  While we still struggle with homosexuality in the workplace, our teenagers are accepting bisexuality as a norm (as a perk?) and our children are being picked up by pedophiles.  While some churches are discussing what color carpet to use (I know, it’s cliche), businesses are discussing biodegradable carpet and entreprenuers are discussing how to get carpet to the moon.

I am a hopeful optimist.  I hope that I can survey as many positive changes to culture as we do negative ones.  I don’t think that the church has done “something wrong” or failed at our role.  I think we are just uninformed and missing out on the oppertunities to be a part of the greater conversation that’s going on around us.

Thanks for stopping by; thanks for thinking about the next question.