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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Get the (Free) Gist on Wearables


We have just launched a new type of research report, Gists, which will help you get your team all on the same page. Gists provide a brief overview of the current and expected future status of each monthly topic. Each Gist includes an introduction to the topic, a literature review using our Indicators, and a suggested framework for scenario development.

Gists will help you quickly and conveniently appraise the future of a topic, and they will keep you and your organization abreast of issues important to a variety of industries throughout the year. At only 5-10 pages long, they can be shared with a larger team who can quickly assess the implications of each topic for your organization, and Gists are much less expensive than other high level, in-depth reports. Future Gists will only cost US$40, and a year subscription of 12 Gists will be US$400. Plus, you may order…

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Wearables Kickstarter Campaign for Expanding Human Perception

David Eagleman is actually the reason I included Feeling the Data in my report and the reason I wrote Electronic Sensory Expansion


In our recent trend report on wearables, Wearing IT: Trends expanding the wearable web, Dennis Draeger explores how wearables are optimising individuals. The most forward looking method that Dennis reported is Feeling the Data–using tactile feedback to interpret sounds, video, or even data feeds such as the stock market feed. The most mainstream example of this is the Apple Watch, specifically its Digital Touch, heartbeat sharing, and particularly navigation.

However, researchers are delving deeper than just communicating sentimentality or simple directions through haptics. David Eagleman and graduate student, Scott Novich, have launched the Kickstarter campaign, VEST: A Sensory Substitution Neuroscience Project, to help further their research of “expanding human perception into new data streams”. Click the link above to find out more.

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