The Future of Futures

Imaginative futurism in an accelerating world

Source: Le Corbusier, Vegetalcity, Philco/NASA

They say the only way to predict the future is to create it.

Whether or not you actually build out the future of your imagining, the ability to visualize possible and even idealistic possibilities is increasingly recognized as a significant advantage. More creative and qualitative than purely numerical, it is a very human endeavor that can provide strategic direction, improve resilience, and, perhaps most significantly, generate hope.

Envisioning different options is incredibly empowering. It’s among the reasons ‘futures’ are referred to in the plural: by imagining a variety of extremes, we can identify which aspects of which scenarios we want to work towards and which we‘d rather avoid. An array of caricatures can help us construct a more holistic understanding of the future. One that is an amalgamation of all the options, as the reality likely will be.

These imaginings can go from realistically detailed to consciously lo-fi but regardless of the form they take, envisioning futures provides us with new opportunities for creating them.

We’re much more likely to achieve what we’re able to imagine.

If we follow that line of thought, dystopia could easily become a self-fulling prophecy.

We like dystopian science fiction and gadgets pop culture has already familiarized us with, but these often aren’t the best models upon which to build a thriving future society.

They were intended to immerse and to entertain, not to work.

The leaders, optimists, and creators of the world have a responsibility to make hope visible by offering alternatives to the dismal futures we fear. That requires that we step away from the expected and brave the negative space to create something radically new and wonderful.

Imagining, prototyping, and experiencing potential futures is what the House of Beautiful Business is about. While it serves as a platform for learning and connecting, the House phenomenon is itself a prototype of what the future could be like:

Inspired, intimate, and consciously beautiful.

We want the future to be full of meaning and enchantment so that’s what we’ve chosen to realize. We think it’s every bit as compelling as a gripping sci-fi tale, if not more so.

It’s our contribution to democratizing futurism and empowering individuals and organizations to imagine (and then create) what it is they’d like to see.

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The next installment of the House of Beautiful Business will take place in Lisbon, during Web Summit. We’ll be hosting a week of extraordinary gatherings in two locations from November 3–10, 2017. Further information on our program, spaces, and community of collaborators can be found here.