What are the top 10 trends for the next ten years? Download the report here.

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Is Your Housing Market Ready for Your Future?

One of the biggest problems facing many cities and towns is inadequate housing. This problem is most acute for seniors, veterans with disabilities, and low-income groups ...

Charlie Grantham
Martha Stewart

Three Things Martha Stewart Gets Right About Return to Office (RTO)

The original influencer and the person who invented the "Home" retail category, Martha Stewart, became the latest CEO to tell employees to get back to the office five day...

Rebecca Ryan, APF
Photo of a little girl jumping high (because trampoline), trees nearby and a sunny day

Three Keys to Get Unstuck and Ignite Innovation

Is your community or organization in need of a jump start? We have big problems to solve, but uncertainty, complexity, and fatigue can get in the way. Kate shares why and how Strategic Doing is the right tool to get unstuck and rebuild momentum.

Kate Moreland
Photo of several local African-American middle school students examining sculptures in a local park

The Creativity of Foresight and the Future of Creativity

In this Q&A session, Rebecca Ryan delves into the world of Teva Dawson, the visionary founder of Group Creative Services, a public art consultancy. Exploring the intersec...

Rebecca Ryan, APF
Illustration of woman looking forward

The History and Future of Work in 3 Acts

“Nothing can happen for decades, and then decades happen in weeks.” - Scottish MP George Galloway Act 1: The Before Times Let’s accept that work has always been and w...

Rebecca Ryan, APF Libby Castro
Illustration of faces

We Are What We Communicate

One day I walked in the front door of our offices with the mobile phone stuck to my ear. I was having a rather pointed conversation about a project, and the frustration I...

David G. Brown
A photo of Polaris, the North Star, appearing bright in a black sky

A Clear Vision is a North Star. It's Not a Destination. It's a Guidance System.

[Author's note: this was originally published in our newsletter. Subscribe here.] A couple of years ago, we worked with a senior leadership team to develop a 2050 vision...

Rebecca Ryan, APF
RR Signals Masthead

Five Weak Signals for 2023

[Author's note: if you want to be the first to see content like this, join thousands of change-makers who subscribe to our Signals newsletter. Want to read back issues? H...

Rebecca Ryan, APF Charlie Grantham
large wave of water intersects with a man in a business suit looking at his wrist watch

The Future Is Ours To Disrupt

Disruption is inevitable. How ready are you or your organization? What do the H1N1 and the Covid-19 pandemics teach us about effective preparations?

David G. Brown
The Cognitive Bias Codex

4 Ways Cognitive Biases Help You

Are cognitive biases bad? No. We need cognitive biases. Our brain developed these biases, AKA shortcuts, to prevent us from becoming overwhelmed and paralyzed by lif...

Rebecca Ryan, APF
Photo of a light house, stormy sea, and sunrise

Preparing for a new day in leadership, finance, and innovation

Insights from our Futures Friday episode with experts in municipal finance and governance, government innovation, and foresight

Yasemin Arikan
A man wearing jeans and a backpack walking down a trail through the Muir Woods

What Does Your BIG Future Look Like?

Defining a "Big Future" is an art and science. David offers examples of how this looks at the personal, business, and community levels.

David G. Brown
Old lightbulb filaments of different sizes are glowing orange in a somewhat dark room

Insights from Chambers of Commerce for Brighter Futures

Lessons from chambers of commerce facing a triple challenge -- a pandemic, economic recession, and civil unrest

Yasemin Arikan
Illustration of a sphere breaking apart into four equal-sized portions

Exploring Crypto’s Future Using VUCA Analysis

Introducing the VUCA approach and how you can use it to address the uncertainty that’s implicit in nearly every organization and community

Charlie Grantham Yasemin Arikan
Two people bump their fists together (as in greeting or celebration)

Local Government Futures: What do we have to get right?

What do local governments have to get right to create brighter futures for their communities?

Yasemin Arikan
Image of a "Penrose triangle" using legos

Strategy + Foresight: A CEO’s Perspective

David Brown reflects on 35 years as CEO and how his perspective on strategy has evolved.

David G. Brown
My Wife My Motherin Law

Cognitive bias - what it is, and how it cripples foresight

When faced with something new or ambiguous, people often have difficulty seeing what it is. Futurists must be aware of cognitive bias.

Rebecca Ryan, APF
Availability Heuristic

Availability Heuristic

You use Availability Bias when you rely on what you can easily recall instead of what's accurate.

Rebecca Ryan, APF
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Bandwagon Bias

Bandwagon bias is humans' natural urge to belong and conform. It may cause us to think or act in a certain way if we believe others are doing the same.

Rebecca Ryan, APF
A crowd of LEGO minifigures walking in all directions, one stands in the middle facing the camera

The Strategy Paradox

Those who are paid to think strategically spend an average of just 90 seconds to 4.5 minutes per day doing so.

Rebecca Ryan, APF Charlie Grantham
LEGO minifigures of five female NASA pioneers

How Ready Are YOU For These 5 Weak Signals?

Which of these weak signals are relevant to your community or organization? How ready are you to respond to them?

Charlie Grantham Rebecca Ryan, APF
Illustration of a town in shades of green

What Is 'ESG' and Does it Matter to My Future?

How are you preparing to attract and leverage ESG criteria and investments?

Charlie Grantham Rebecca Ryan, APF
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Walking our Talk: Exploring Market Opportunities à la Futurist

We pull the curtain back and share how we apply foresight internally

Charlie Grantham
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What's a Signal?

Signals of the future are all around us.

Rebecca Ryan, APF
Photo of a sparkler burning

Hope as a Strategy

From our conversation with Australian futurist Rowena Morrow: What’s hope theory? How might we use it? How does it relate to strategic foresight?

Yasemin Arikan
A group of ribbons in different colors converges into a single arrow pointing to the right

Why We Future This Way

Here are some of the shared principles we use in our work to tailor the strategic foresight process to each client while keeping it relevant, practical, engaging, and fun.

Yasemin Arikan
Stylized depiction of the brain using green to highlight System 1 strengths and purple for System 2

Think like a Futurist: Understanding bias in futuring

Good futurists recognize their cognitive biases and work to overcome them. In this article, we go over examples and hacks.

Rebecca Ryan, APF Yasemin Arikan
The Catch Trapeze photo

Navigating the Messy Middle with Three Horizons

Three Horizons is a useful foresight tool to help you navigate between old systems and emerging systems.

Rebecca Ryan, APF
Chalk on sidewalk: Someday this pain will be useful

Post traumatic growth: Four strategies after COVID19

COVID19 has traumatized many of us. In this article Dr. Charlie Grantham explains trauma, what the danger zone is, and four strategies to emerge stronger.

Charlie Grantham
Photo of a penguin in the process of replacing its old feather with one ones, looking messy

Getting through the ‘Messy Middle’

Tips for writing generative questions and a process for brainstorming and choosing a series of kick-ass projects like domino pieces to build a path to what's coming.

Yasemin Arikan
A chalkboard on a sidewalk in London with the prompt, "Before I die"

5 questions reveal what matters

Confronting the future - in this case, your death - can be deeply clarifying. This is Rebecca's 5-question technique to jump-start a more intentional life.

Rebecca Ryan, APF
Visual: We use a 4-phase foresight process, organized as a loop: Sensing, Imagining, Defining, Doing

New to foresight? Start here.

What do professional futurists do? What is strategic foresight? How is this related to strategic planning? How can I learn more? And more!

Rebecca Ryan, APF

Oxen don't pivot - why 2021 is the year for steady, strategic progress

Forget about making a "pivot." Futurist Rebecca Ryan argues that we've already pivoted. Now it's time to get to work on building brighter futures.

Rebecca Ryan, APF
Futures Friday cover using the image of a sunrise in watercolor

Upcoming Events: Join us at Futures Friday

Here's a list of upcoming webinars. Please join us!

Rebecca Ryan, APF
Venn diagram illustrating crossover levers, more description of this in the article

Finding the way forward among alternative futures

In strategic foresight, “crossover levers" are strategies that allow us to shift from “What could happen?” to “What are you going to do about it?”

Yasemin Arikan
pie chart: I spend almost all of my time on things I care about, rather than other things

Developing a futurist’s mindset: stop watching the news and start noticing

How do futurists think? Learn a technique to become a better futurist, visionary, and change maker.

Rebecca Ryan, APF
The giant dish of China's Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST).

Developing a futurist’s mindset: signals and sensemaking

Your ability to detect and make sense of signals is critical to developing a futurist's mindset. Rebecca shares tips, techniques, and examples.

Rebecca Ryan, APF
6 red chess pieces on a chessboard

How Red Teams improve planning

Use this approach to overcome groupthink, challenge assumptions, question the unquestionable

Rebecca Ryan, APF
A calligraphy by Rengetsu

We are all Zen women

Is there a place for women in Zen, beyond a support role?

Rebecca Ryan, APF
map showing that the North Pole has been moving since 1900

Are you an amateur or a pro?

Has your organization’s market position or strategic direction been thrown off course? All of us who call ourselves change-makers or visionaries are trying to beat back today’s goat rodeo so it doesn’t crowd out the long game.

Rebecca Ryan, APF
From Idea to Impact with Strategic Doing

Six things to know about Strategic Doing

Use these key concepts for an action-oriented approach to strategy that focuses teams on ideas that have minimum startup costs and maximum impact.

Yasemin Arikan
image of two people watching a sunrise, one is using binoculars

How to brainstorm brighter futures

Use this 5-step mental icebreaker game to stretch your imagination and create a more creative, flexible, curious, and futurist mindset.

Yasemin Arikan
Cover for "Futures Friday"

Will the pandemic change us? A discussion with Dr. Peter Bishop

How might we go beyond “back to normal” after the COVID-19 pandemic? These ideas are inspired by Rebecca’s conversation with Dr. Peter Bishop and a community of over 130 participants to discuss brighter futures.

Rebecca Ryan, APF
image of work boots

What to tell your team when everyone’s freaked out

A great antidote to being scared is to do some planning. If you’re wondering, “How does a futurist plan for a mess?”, here’s an answer.

Rebecca Ryan, APF
The Overton Window is used to grade ideas on a scale from “unthinkable” to “popular.”

Things that were unthinkable are now possible: the Overton Window

As our communities move through the COVID health emergency and its related economic crisis, there will be plenty of room for ideas that were once unthinkable.

Rebecca Ryan, APF
visual that show three phases in this order: Sensemaking, strategy, and then vision

One capability leaders need now

Sensemaking is a capability that all of us should be using right now to stay out of the “chaos” zone and in the “calm confidence” zone.

Rebecca Ryan, APF
Three zones of the future: Expectable, challenging, and visionary

Scenario planning for anxious times

When you have no idea what your future will be, how can you plan? Here’s a 6-step process to get clear and get ready.

Rebecca Ryan, APF
Photo of Warren Buffet: "It's only when the tide goes out that you learn who's been swimming naked"

What good leaders do when anxiety is high

What do good leaders do when anxiety is running high?

Rebecca Ryan, APF
Pillow with writing on it: Wake up, Kick ass, Repeat

Two lives: Which do you want?

This exercise helps you take the time to articulate your vision for what it means to live a meaningful life based on your felt experience.

Rebecca Ryan, APF
Ginny Whitelaw Roshi

Q&A with Zen Master Ginny Whitelaw about her book Resonate

This book was inspired by Gordon Greene Roshi’s plea to “change how change happens” with respect to our glacially slow response to climate change.

Rebecca Ryan, APF
Laurie Anderson

The future of truth in 5 acts

How has the definition of truth evolved over time? Rebecca Ryan breaks it down in 5 acts.

Rebecca Ryan, APF
F Camp 2016 Dinner

The best thing I've invented (so far) didn't make sense to anyone...but me.

Futurist Camp is a prayer that current leaders get it right so that our next generation can have it better.

Rebecca Ryan, APF
Regeneration cover

I screwed up in my book, ReGeneration

I wrote a book called ReGeneration and got an important date wrong. Here's what happened.

Rebecca Ryan, APF
Aretha franklin

7 performances to inspire your creativity

You’re creative, but sometimes you get stuck. Here are 7 performances to help you rev that gorgeous creative engine of yours.

Rebecca Ryan, APF
Woman Up Ice Sculpture

8 lessons, 46 years, 1 life, and counting

"What if this was the last speech I ever gave?" Rebecca Ryan shares 8 life lessons.

Rebecca Ryan, APF