Existing images ofalternative futures: sources
Individuals… what do people think?
- e.g., Surveys, Ethnographic Futures Research, etc.
Culture... what do religions imply? political ideologies? what do artists imagine? writers? advertisers? other artifacts?
- Content analysis; hermeneutic analysis, etc.
Forecasts… what trends have researchers extrapolated? what scenarios have futurists built?
- Secondary analysis of existing research and data.
Our cultures and languages are pervaded by images of the future, of alternative possible futures, some exciting, some transformative, some idealistic, some nightmares. A foundation assumption of futures research is that people base their decisions and subsequent actions on embedded, internalized images of the future, as well as other values, goals, and motivators. Thus one critical area of futures research is the identification and analysis of images of possible futures that already exist in our cultures, no matter their origin.