The Microscope and the Telescope

Can you see the future? I used to be intrigued and bemused by people who called themselves “Futurists”, yet recently I have been very tempted to take on that title myself.

For the benefit of readers, I have included a definition (albeit from Wikipedia).

Futurists engage in interdisciplinary and systems thinking to advise private and public organizations on such matters as diverse global trends, possible scenarios, emerging market opportunities and risk management.

Why do we think Coca-Cola has been leading the charge with Coke Zero and now smaller can sizes? They could see rising trends in health and wellness and realised that Coke needed to be part of them. Is Coke a health drink? No, but in creating the tiny cans, they gave health-conscious people a way to allow themselves a treat occasionally.

Current trends foretell the future

By studying global and local trends under a microscope, futurists help organisations think about the social movements and industry shifts that may impact their customers, their employees, and ultimately their business results. Business leaders sometimes tend to be a bit too busy to do this themselves, yet inherently know many of the answers when prompted.

Of course, no one can predict the future with accuracy, but we can shape our own futures by the actions we take now. The vision we see through the telescope becomes clearer.