Foresight of Ideas (Summary)

Foresight is an area of knowledge in which, as in many others, there are, theories, methods and techniques. Very likely the most important in terms of size, is the third one, contrary to what happens in other areas of intellectual activity. Methods and methodologies are also important, but theory is rather weak since it is not easy to elaborate a set of laws and a general logic regarding the study of the future. Foresight due to that is not a science and will never be.

There are techniques of different kind. Some are technology forecasting oriented, others social scenarios writing oriented and yet others simply trends identification oriented. All of them try to foresight the future saying and writing in the present how will be the world to come. Some practitioners of foresight intend seriously to forecast what will happen in the future and consider their activities as successful if things happen at the end as they had said in the past. Others consider foresight as a logic trick and pay no too much attention to be successful in their forecasts since the most valid aspect of thinking in the future is to help to understand the present, to introduce creativity to solve actual problems, to formulate better strategies and to make optimal decisions, always at the time in which we live.

But good forecasts are better than bad ones and new techniques are always welcome. Paying attention to history we realize that reality has always become a result of man’s ideas, thoughts and interpretations regarding the World and his own role in it. A possible conclusion then is that best way of forecasting technology, economy or society is to identify how man or mankind is going to think in the future. Cosmogony is the word used to denominate the set of interpretations related to what is the World and to what we men do over here, and depending upon it we will develop one society or another. Best foresight technique then is Cosmogony’s foresight.

We intended in the previous blogs to elaborate such an assumption as well as to formulate possible future cosmogonies. Doing that and forecasting as a consequence, ideas, concepts and values shared by men in the future will generate the best possible vision of our society, our economy and our technology in the times to come.

Doctor Ingeniero del ICAI y Catedrático de Economía Aplicada, Adolfo Castilla es también Licenciado en Económicas por la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Licenciado en Informática por la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, MBA por Wharton School, Master en Ingeniería de Sistemas e Investigación Operativa por Moore School (Universidad de Pennsylvania). En la actualidad es asimismo Presidente de AESPLAN, Presidente del Capítulo Español de la World Future Society, Miembro del Alto Consejo Consultivo del Instituto de la Ingeniería de España, Profesor de Dirección Estratégica de la Empresa en CEPADE y en la Universidad Antonio de Nebrija.

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