Don’t miss out on Future opportunities.
Facilitating people to solve future problems and grasp future opportunities.
About The playBook
In the midst of ongoing home-office wars, accelerating social turbulences, and surging cries for your attention, it’s easy to live your life day after day without ever thinking about what lies ahead.
What really matters is the here-and-now. Anyone (or any business) not focusing laser-like on the problems of today is wasting time and money. Right?
In 1978, socialists Elise Boulding found a name for this phenomenon: ‘Temporal Exhaustion’. It means that if you are mentally out of breath all the time from dealing with the present, there is no energy left for you to imagine the future. But you are not alone, this is a common phenomenon.
Researchers found that 53 percent of Americans say they rarely or never think about something that might happen, or something they personally might do, at least 30 years from the present. 36 percent rarely or never thinks about something that might happen at least 10 years in the future.
And even if you find some peace and quiet to think about the future, you may show some symptoms of Chronophobia: the persistent and often irrational fear of the future or the fear of passing time. It can make you feel overwhelmed by the rapidly changing world and the uncertainty that lies ahead. All these fears can prevent you from thinking about the long distant future all together. And if that wasn’t enough, most people also find it hard to think about the future, with all its possibilities and uncertainty.
But not thinking about the long term future can create problems.
36% of people rarely or never think about something that might happen at least 10 years in the future.
The issue that arises when people do not think about the future is called ‘Short-termism’, which recently headlined BBC as one of civilization’s greatest threats. People that exhibit large amounts of short-termism have less self-control and are less likely to make choices that benefit the world in the long-run. They make poor health decisions, procrastinate more, have a harder time resisting temptation, are more likely to drop out of school or be arrested, and care less about long-term challenges like climate change. Other examples of the problem of short-termism are:
- The inability to solve wicked problems like climate change because of short term economic gains…
- Companies striving for short-term profits instead of long term growth…
- People having unhealthy eating patterns because of the short term gratification of fast food and sweets…
Thinking about the future is not only about spotting future opportunities, it is about making them come to life and to communicate them effectively to take action.
It is well researched that people apply a social discount rate to their long term goals. It is a technique often used by policy-makers and investment analysts in their cost-benefit analyses to find whether an investment with a long-term impact is worth making. However, people also make this problem in their personal life. The misuse of this social discount rate, together with fear of the future, and the influence of temporal exhaustion, prevents us from looking at the future. The consequence is that we are not prepared for what the future will bring, which leads to a ‘future shock’.
Alvin Toffler in his book “Future shock” argued that society is undergoing an enormous structural change, a revolution from an industrial society to a “super-industrial society”. This rapid change causes a “Future shock”, which happens when too much change happens in too short a period of time. This change overwhelms people. The accelerated rate of technological and social change leaves people disconnected and suffering from “shattering stress and disorientation”. Alvin Toffler stated in his book that the majority of social problems are symptoms of future shock.
Understanding long term thinking enables people, together, to appreciate the world more fully, to use the future to innovate the present. Expanding why and how we use the future gives us more choices by expanding what we can see and what we might do. It therefore allows us to spot more future opportunities and make better decisions in the present to work towards these opportunities. At the long term academy, we aim to teach you this skill of long term thinking, so you can spot new opportunities and use the future as a high-impact tool for your long term personal life and career plan.
We teach you to spot future opportunities related to your interest and passion, so you can start grapsing opportunities that you really care about.
Causal Layered Analysis
Drivers of change
The Long Term Thinking 101 Playbook gave me great insights into how to think about the future. It was the start of a great learning journey!
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Long Term Academy is one of the leading long term thinking organizations. People from all around the world have depended upon the teachings, global forecasts, tools, and foresight training to navigate complex change and develop world-ready strategies for the future.
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