Choose the future

Faris Yakob

Prospection, the act of looking forward in time, is a quintessentially human endeavour. Some consider it the quintessential human endeavour: "The human being is the only animal that thinks about the future."1

"The fundamental purpose of brains is to produce future… brains are, in essence, anticipation machines."2

We spend much of our time projecting ourselves forward to motivate ourselves to reach towards our desired future, using the lens of that future as a way to understand what we should be doing now. Mankind is characterised by its nature as a planner.

This brief is an expression of the planning discipline's current anxieties and the industry's collective desire to steer its own path into the future. As Alan Kay said, the best way to predict the future is to invent it. We can motivate ourselves by imagining less pleasant tomorrows, of eroding relevance and margins, and thus engage in prophylactic behaviour.