“How can you study the future? It’s not even here yet!”—a futurologist hears statements like this on a daily basis. And unfortunately (spoiler coming!), our guild does not have crystal balls for divination purposes. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, I’d like to introduce myself: My name is Björn Theis and I am a foresight manager. My job is to identify future change and the resulting opportunities and challenges at an early stage, to interpret the consequences, and to formulate effective responses to ensure long-term success.
But how can we make the future visible today? William Gibson, one of my favorite science fiction writers who coined such terms as ‘cyberspace’, wrote, “The future is already here—it’s just not evenly distributed.” For example, while more than one-quarter of the world’s population already uses Facebook, around 45 percent still do not have access to the Internet.