Tools for Hope

Tools for Hope was a one-day event organized by the Association of Professional Futurists as part of its regular ProDev (professional development) series. It was a practical hands-on event designed to help people who’re interested in using futures work to create change, held in Bloomsbury, London, on 7th November 2017.

The Hope

The thinking behind Tools for Hope was that futures work can create an overdose of pessimism as we stare at the overlapping crises of the “grandes problematiques“. But there’s a long, if sometimes neglected, history of futures methods that are designed to give people a sense of agency and purpose. So “Tools for Hope” is about futures tools that help people make change happen.

The Speakers

Speakers on the day included:

  • Wendy Schultz: “Preferred futures—visions—are a foundation of futures thinking, research, and practice. Starting with Polak’s Image of the Future, through organizational visions and transformational leadership as vision articulation, to the philosophical and artistic explorations of the possible preferred, visions and visioning are core to futures studies and foresight. How do we identify, collect, and compare ambient visions? What are all the approaches to creating fresh transformative visions? How can they act as nudges to emergence?”
  • Bill Sharpe: “The Three Horizons framework is a simple tool for ordering our thoughts about the future. It works with an intuitive grasp of how the future occurs to us: a landscape of uncertainty in which we too are actors. If we can bring that intuitive appreciation to consciousness it is possible to work with the emerging future much more skillfully. In particular, we can set about realizing our own aspirations in a fast-changing and complex world.”
  • Tricia Lustig: “Foresight isn’t foresight until action occurs. Appreciative Inquiry is a tool you can use to make action happen. We will explore Appreciative Inquiry, an engagement and implementation tool which finds and captures the energy for change. We will talk about when to use it, and when not, share some case studies and experience an appreciative interview.”
  • Tanja Hichert: “Seeds of a Good Anthropocene is an ongoing project with the aim to collect and develop a suite of alternative visions for “Good Anthropocenes” – positive futures that are socially and ecologically desirable, just, and sustainable. The objective is to counterbalance prevailing dystopic visions of the future that may be inhibiting our collective ability to move creatively towards a better trajectory for the Earth and humanity. This initiative is a collaboration between the Stockholm Resilience Centre, McGill University, and Stellenbosch University.”

The Resources

To see all of the resources used and/ or generated from this event, you can visit the blog,