This is an outtake of my Master’s thesis on what role creative thinking plays when we think about the future. Part of this research was to go through a vast amount of literature on creative thinking, which I categorised into five main types of creative thinking:

Much of the management research and general literature combines these five types into one type, simply called ‘creative thinking’. This is based on old bi-polar concepts such as right vs. left-brain thinking or rational vs. intuitive thinking. So that’s why we often hear that a person is either a right-brain or a left-brain thinker…

I have many inner personalities who converse with each other in my head. Mostly they get along fine and occasionally they fight.

Recently, I’ve noticed how they’ve been pulling in different directions more than usual, as I try to make sense of and respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

Everything goes so fast now. New information is available all the time. Each personality try to outsmart others and insist that only he is right. None of them have time to pause and reflect on what’s going on.

This is not a big deal as long as I acknowledge them all, watch…

Kill Your Ideas Early

In a blog post by Peter Diamandis last weekend, he gave some hot tips on how to organise creativity. The advice is based on his work with semi-secret R&D facility Google X, or X as it’s called now.

It’s an interesting read, and there was particularly one section which grabbed my attention. Principle 2: Try to Kill Your Best Ideas Early.

According to Diamandis, we need to kill ideas as soon as possible. Because we don’t want to waste resources, time, money and people on ideas that won’t work.

This makes sense to many of us who love ideas and…

Who’s left out?

Every time we create a stakeholder model we exclude someone or something. We consciously or unconsciously decide that only some groups have something at stake — are holders of stakes, are affected by our actions, objectives and policies.

According to Wikipedia; the stakeholder concept was first used in a 1963 internal memorandum at the Stanford Research Institute. It defined stakeholders as “those groups without whose support the organization would cease to exist.”

But stakeholder models are often too narrow-minded. There are always groups left out. Externalities who will suffer from our ignorance and unintended consequences.

In a UNESCO workshop held…

A question for systems geeks out there…

I’m thinking about the relations of various bubbles we live in. A bubble with a living system within another living system. I am a living system of cells and organs within a larger ecosystem of other humans and organisms, for example my neighbourhood. And that living system is part of another living system, for instance the city I live in. And so on and so on…

This organisation of “bubbles within bubbles” is sometimes known as a holarchy — and in a holarchy the health or thrivability of a whole nested system is…

We currently see many articles about the the evils of capitalism, the end of capitalism and possible post-capitalism futures. I was invited to talk at the One Planet Anti-Conference a couple of weeks ago on the topic ‘whether or not capitalism can be transformed to “realize” that the earth is capital’. I wasn’t well, so couldn’t do the talk, but thought I’d write down my thoughts here anyway.

As a futurist I often think in scenarios, so with this question in mind, I tried to explore three of these.

1. Capitalism will eat itself

This is a scenario which probably has been best described by…

Norwegian peace researcher, sociologist and mathematician Johan Galtung has invented a method called TRANSCEND for conflict transformation by peaceful means. According to Galtung (and Wikipedia);

“there are four traditional but unsatisfactory ways in which conflicts between two parties are handled:

  1. A wins, B loses;
  2. B wins, A loses;
  3. the solution is postponed because neither A nor B feels ready to end the conflict;
  4. a confused compromise is reached, which neither A nor B are happy with.

Galtung tries to break with these four unsatisfactory ways of handling a conflict by finding a “fifth way”, where both A and B feel…

I’m revisiting Maslow. And I realise this:

Work is nowhere to be found in Maslow’s hierarchy!

And I also realise what an incredible challenge this is for us in the Western developed world. Many important things are there in the hierarchy — like food, safety, creative activities, friends and prestige. But we have — in our twisted Lutheran minds — somehow created this thing called “work” to replace “life” to fulfil many of the needs included in the pyramid.

This might have been fine for a long time. But now we have definitely reached a point in human evolution where…

The image here was used for a recent Meetup for Stockholm Futurists. It’s a graphic representation of futurist Jim Dator’s four alternative futures archetypes;

  • Continuation (a.k.a. growth, business-as-usual, all-is-fine, keep-calm-and-carry-on),
  • Collapse (systemic failure on a massive scale)
  • Discipline (simplicity, sustainability, fundamentalism)
  • Transformation (radical shift of some sort)

These archetypes seem to come back over and over again in civilizations of the past, according to Dator’s studies. And today — as before — these four trajectories are on the cards for us and our global civilisation.

But which one will it be this time?

Being a futurist and thinking about these…

Adam Jorlen

Futurist · Co-Founder @enkelcollective · Sending out #gameB signals.

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