Futurewise is a book on global trends written by the futurist Patrick Dixon in 1998, with new editions in 2001 and 2003. Patrick Dixon has been ranked as one of the 20 most influential business thinkers alive today (Thinkers 50 2005), and is author of 11 other books including Building a Better Business.

Futurewise contains over 500 expectations about what future life will be like, and divides future trends into six dimensions, which spell the word FUTURE:

  • Fast - speed of change
  • Urban - demographics and lifestyle issues including megacities
  • Tribal - the most powerful force in the world today is tribalism
  • Universal - globalisation and the impact of the digital age
  • Radical - the rise of single issue activism and the death of left-right politics
  • Ethical - the passions people have and personal values, including spirituality

This FUTURE structure has been used by many multinational senior teams as a device to test current strategy.

A key thesis of Futurewise is that the future is about emotion, and that emotional reactions to events are usually more important than the events themselves. Therefore a deep understanding is needed of how people are likely to feel in the future.

The book also focusses on managing uncertainty: risk management is a major challenge for all large corporations, including responding to wild cards - low probability but potentially high impact events.

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