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There is no direct route to the future

Interview with Stephan Sigrist, Head of the W.I.R.E. think

Stephan Sigrist
Stephan Sigrist
Why research the future

Stephan Sigrist: Everybody researches the future, I’d say they’re even doing it on a daily basis. You might just be thinking about your future career or simply wondering which clothes to puton. If we didn’t think about the future, we would make substantially inferior decisions. Future research provides us with security and a foundation for planning and ultimately impels us to consider trends that are not yet relevant but could become so in the future.

Your scientific approach to the subject of future research dif fers signif icantly from that of the layperson.

What are the inherent challenges?

Stephan Sigrist: As we all know, the future cannot be predicted, at least not beyond a very limited degree. Nevertheless, there are exceptions. The first step in the scientific approach to future research is to distinguish between those areas in which reasonable predictions can be made and those where this is not possible. While pre dic tions can clearly be made in Newtonian physics or astronomy, it is much more difficult when it comes to trends in society or the economy. In the latter case, there are numerous factors involved which do not fit into any de scriptive models . This fact must be addressed. However, it is not the aim of our think tank to make precise forecasts predicting what certain aspects of the world will look like in 10 or 20 years’ time. The aim of our analysis is to make people think on a broader scale. We want companies and political institutions to assess various trends and develop resolution methods. With a range of different responses at hand, society and the economy stand a better chance when it comes to dealing with challenges.


Lisez la suite dans finyear magazine de juin 2013

Mercredi 17 Juillet 2013

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