More than Money: Get the (Free) Gist on the Future of Blockchain

Our latest Gist report briefly looks at the future of Bitcoin and its related technologies – blockchain, smart contracts and distributed autonomous organizations. Proponents say Bitcoin will decentralize power away from banks and other institutions while distributing it across whole communities. If these promises hold true, Bitcoin will only be the beginning.

Download the whole report for free.

What is changing?

Financial institutions are investing in the blockchain to make their job easier and more secure. R3 CEV is a company specifically set up to help banks trial blockchain technology. They lead a consortium of 42 banks who want to see how blockchain technology could change their industry, the potential of which R3 compares to how the internet changed the music and media industries.

However, the blockchain could be useful for so much more than just financial transactions. Ubitquity has developed a blockchain platform specifically for the real estate industry. The company says the new platform will improve the title transfer process by making it faster, more accurate, and more transparent for fraud prevention. And they say it will improve the due diligence process for the industry.

Multiple organizations are working to use blockchain tech to make voting more secure, and anonymous. In 2014 a major political party in Denmark, the Liberal Alliance, used blockchain tech for its own internal party voting. Since the blockchain relies on consensus anyway, it is inherently a voting platform and could one day be modified by government entities for such purpose.


Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies offer a libertarian ideal that could destabilize the current infrastructure of banks and other powerful institutions. The blockchain offers distributed, secure, trusted and highly scalable architectures that conventional technologies cannot compete with. Although the banking industry is pre-empting disruption by investing in this new technology, many of their business models and revenue streams will be affected especially with increased competition from the tech industry. The opportunity for the financial industry is high, but the potential risks are also large especially for smaller players in the industry.





Learn more from your future than you do from your past

Verne Wheelwright is a pioneer in using foresight for personal development. The same methods that corporations and governments have used for the past decade are just as relevant for personal use as they are for shaping macro futures.

Many self help authors want readers to connect to their future selves, but none of them offer any practical tools for doing so. Such authors look too narrowly at the future to guide readers into visualizing multiple, plausible futures, and readers often give up or lose faith when their actual future turns out differently than they expected.

Wheelwright takes a different, less mystical approach with his award winning self-help book, It’s Your Future…Make it a Good One. He also offers some free downloads on his website which I strongly recommend, but the book provides readers with the perspective necessary to understand what these free resources are all about.

Most people view the future as either a hazy, cryptic event or a technological utopia. Neither of these views are true much less practical. The future is unpredictable, especially at a personal level. But the future can be forecasted into multiple scenarios to help organizations and (now thanks to Wheelwright) individuals steer their personal lives in a direction to achieve their goals no matter how the future plays out.

If you run your own business, no mater what size, this is the most important book you could read for your business success. As a business owner, your personal life is the rudder that steers your business, and to achieve success you need to align your personal future with the future of your company. Wheelwright even has a book coming out soon about applying these techniques to small and medium sized businesses.

Methods for learning about the future have been in use by businesses for decades, but the process was simply too complex for most individuals. The Personal Futures Network introduces some new, easily understood approaches that will help you to think and plan like a futurist. You will be able learn about and plan for your personal futures.

Think like a futurist? What does that really mean, think like a futurist? Well, each futurist may have some different thoughts, but generally futurists think about longer term futures, usually 10 or more years ahead. Futurists believe that the future is not predetermined, but that several futures are possible. If several futures are possible, then one of those futures may be better than the others, or a “preferred” future. Very important; futurists believe that individuals or groups can take actions in the present that will help determine the future.

That brief paragraph helps explain why most futurists don’t make predictions about the future, but rather suggest multiple possible futures, often in the form of “scenarios” or stories about the future.

The above quote was taken from Wheelwright’s homepage. The whole website is dedicated to helping readers understand how to look at the future in an effective and practical way. Read the book and begin learning more from your future than from you do from your past.

Questions About Our Gist Reports and Computer Aided Futuring

Here are a few quick answers to some of the questions we have received about the Gists we publish with Shaping Tomorrow.


The response from our Gist reports has been greater than we expected, and we have received feedback from a variety of clients and colleagues. One client was very happy with our wearables Gist and the custom Gists we created for them in a similar style:

“I found the wearables Gist very interesting and passed it around to several colleagues who also really liked the content and format of the report. We like that it is short and concise and provides a nice ‘snapshot’ of a particular issue/topic. [One of the custom Gists] has become required reading for the whole agency.” –Researchers within a North American government agency

However, some people have had questions about the Gist reports, and we will answer a few of these in this blog post.

What are Gists?

Many people were confused about the grammatical appropriateness of the term, Gist. The verb “to gist” is often used in…

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The Causal Layered Analysis 2.0 is here!

Center for Engaged Foresight


Causal Layered Analysis 2.0 at the surface offers academics, cultural
creatives, civil society leaders, political analysts, corporate
executives and government decision-makers alternative and innovative
ways of dissecting and recreating STEEP plus culture and values

The 2.0 provides more than a dozen of anticipatory action learning
cases and insights on how CLA, as a theory and method, could enrich
and transform our ways of knowing (the self and society and of
managing social transformation (structure).

This groundbreaking book shows you how possible and sensible it is to
connect and integrate multiple perspectives and realities from fury to
rationality to civilization codes, mapping context-space and meaning
making. While CLA is anchored on questioning assumptions and in
creating alternative and preferred long-term futures, CLA action
learning workshops could give you that sense of urgency to act and
develop strategies and formulate future responsive policies and plans
on Monday morning.

The 2.0 provides…

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Get the Gist on Optimizing Cities

My latest


By 2050, two thirds of us will live, work, and play in cities. At the same time, climate change may intensify extreme weather to the point that the costs of recovery could increase by up to 10 times more than today. How cities around the world utilize technology to confront population growth and climate change will determine the strength of the global economy and redefine demographics.

What is changing?

Our latest Gist, Optimizing Cities, begins by exploring the future of cities with regards to population growth and climate change.


Then, the focus switches to three ways cities are exploring to optimize their urban space for improved livability and sustainability: smart cities, repurposed urban spaces, and urban farming. These are three of the primary technologies opening new markets and disrupting old models while mitigating stress on city planning.

The gist will help you quickly assess the future of…

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