Spring Gathering Scans the Fringe

Scanning the Fringe was the topic of the 2018 Houston Foresight Spring Gathering on April 13-14. As futurists we are always scanning for signals of change. We are awash in information, so futurists need to demonstrate the value of working with trained professionals who can sort through the infoglut and deliver useful insight to clients. That said, it can be tricky to find the “weak signals” that may indicate long-term change. So we focused this year’s meeting on how futurists find the fringe, the outer edges of change.

As usual, we had a very interactive conference day with a wide range of activities. We kicked off by asking participants to share their own “most interesting scan hit” of the past year [that could have gone all day!]. We put together a fringe panel of experts who are probing the frontier of their disciplines. And we had a “tool time” module to share the latest software and gadgets for navigating the scanning terrain.

Here are the links to the presentations:

Framing the Day (Framework Scanning)_Daniels & Hines

Data Analytics For Scanning_Boysen

Burners Discordians Rainbows_Kingsbury

Tools_Reddit Scanning_Pachecho

Tools_Scan Hit Flow Chart_Crabtree

New Voices New Sources_Romero

Scanning & Implications Analysis Using Values Forms_Morgan

Molitor Emerging Issues_Gary

A special treat this year was that the Association of Professional Futurists (APF) is joining us as one of their regional meetings. APF Chair Jay Gary is leading a module as part of an APF “Power Hour.” Of course, we surrounded the serious futures work with lots of fun and networking. This year we went bowling, and had lots of fun — with the clock running out just before Paul “Auzzie” Malecki could secure the victory. We ended up the weekend with everyone coming over to Andy’s on Saturday night, but it was a bit too cold for anyone to dive into the pool. — Andy Hines



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