1 Thinking Ten Years Ahead to Benefit Today

The way you can go Isn’t the real way. The name you can say Isn’t the real name. —Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Ten-year forecasting provides a unique perspective—a futures context— that helps you create your own vision, for your own organization. Leaders can learn from many different sources of foresight, and this chapter provides a taste of varied approaches. Forecasting helps leaders break out and develop new “ways you can go.”

The Institute for the Future’s Ten-Year Forecast was begun in 1978, when Roy Amara was president of IFTF. The ten-year time horizon was an important choice. Looking ten years ahead, one can see patterns more clearly, even if the details are still unclear.1 To be most useful, ...

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