Futuring media

2020 Media Futures is a fine example of a collaborative futuring project.  The topic is specific (Canada’s media landscape), but the practices are quite general.

2020MF uses a variety of futures methods:

  • Environmental scanning, or signals from the media future.  These are primarily news stories, arranged under general futures rubrics (Social, Technological, Economic, Ecological, Political, Values, or STEEPV) and media-specific topics (books, tv, etc).
  • Trend analysis.  2020MF determined a series of likely, powerful forces, again arrayed against STEEPV categories.
  • Driver identification, or the forces underpinning the already-selected trends and signals.  Read the full page for a good description of how they managed the group work.
  • Critical uncertainties, the powerful forces which could still appear in very different forms, unlike trends.  Note the way these are very industry-specific:

Critical uncertainties for Canadian media in 2020.

  • Scenario construction.  Two main uncertainty forces appear: “Value generation is increasingly corporate; or increasingly social? Innovation diffusion is slow and risk averse; or extremely rapid and disruptive?”

Creating scenarios.

2020MF closed out this process with an unconference devoted to action, which is very cool.  Too often people find futures work to be disconnected from what they can actually do.

All in all, a fine example of serious, public futuring.

(via Terri Johnson)

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