“Imaginable: How to see the future coming and be ready for anything” is about creating deja vus for the future to help us prepare for what she calls the age of unimaginable events and unthinkable change. I am a fan of Jane McGonigal. Her first book about gaming is classic. This book is close.
How do you plan for the future in an age of seemingly endless shocks?
As all (good) futurists will tell you, you cannot predict the future. You can only prepare for the future. Multiple futures. That is why I am such a fan of scenario planning. Scenario planning prepares the mind and moves your company more rapidly to adapt and act resiliently when the future actually arrives. McGonigal calls it pre-feeling the future. A deep immersion into a possible future creates lasting mental habits, especially when it comes to watching the real world for evidence that the simulated possibility is becoming more likely.
In the book, she gives us perspectives on the future of learning, the future of work, the future of food, the future of money, the future of social media, the future of health care, the future of climate action and the future of government, all to give you a better insight in the risks, opportunities, and dilemmas ahead. To help you become more resilient to future shocks.
She always goes for the ten-year time horizon. The future is whatever time feels far enough away for things to really change. The purpose of looking ten years ahead isn’t to see that everything will happen on that timeline — but there is ample evidence that almost anything could happen on that timeline. Ten years helps unstick our minds, and ten years allows us to consider possibilities we would otherwise dismiss. Ten years even relax us a bit as we try to imagine preparing for dramatic disruptions or for a radical rethinking of what’s normal — because ten years gives us time to get ready.
Ten years also has to do with a psychological phenomenon known as time spaciousness. Interestingly, brains respond to abundant space the same way as they do to abundant time. So she likes to think of a ten-year timeline as a kind of cathedral or Grand Canyon for the mind. It lifts the ceiling on our…