futures tools... and toys!

New to futures studies and foresight? These buttons open simple examples of more sophisticated futures research tools. Explore and enjoy!

Process Tools:

The meta-tools required for successful foresight and futures workshops are the tools of group process facilitation. At the University of Houston - Clear Lake, I teach a graduate seminar in facilitation which reviews both a variety of group process tools and their use in designing and applying participatory foresight tools such as those listed below. For those unable to enroll, the following are useful facilitation resources (some links take you off-site):

Infinity as Process:
The following participatory tools are useful in composing foresight workshops for a wide variety of clients.

Identifying and exploring change:

Exploring alternative possible futures via extant images and scenarios -- "incasting:"

  • Classic Incasting -- the generic form of the exercise, as developed at the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies
  • EPA Incasting -- the exercise as developed for the EPA's Community Risk Assessment program (Schultz and Jones).
  • NELD Incasting -- scenarios and instructions used for the North Eastern Leadership Development Program (Schultz and Bowman).
  • Libraries -- scenarios and instructions developed for the Special Libraries Association (Schultz and Fletcher).
  • Public Health -- scenarios and instructions developed for the National Public Health Leadership Development Network.
  • Pacific Islands Incasting: Coconut Futures -- scenarios and example output developed for the Pacific Coastal Zone Management Conference, 1991, for the Center for Development Studies (University of Hawaii at Manoa), Dr. Michael Hamnett, Director, and the Pacific Basin Development Council.

Building images of alternative possible futures, or scenarios:


  • "Time Hack," Christian Crews, as assignment for FUTR 5131.

Visualizing -- past, future, and preferred:

15 February 2003. Email IF.
Copyright © 2003, Wendy L. Schultz
All rights reserved.
Since 1/15/2003, over [an error occurred while processing this directive]
people have explored our infinite futures.

(in addition to the 17,500+ visitors from 10/1/2001-12/15/2002).