Trends take many forms. Some trends can be predicted, while others are fundamentally uncertain. It is not always easy to identify levels of predictability, and sometimes when one looks more widely, or looks at a trend from another angle, it no longer seems as predictable as it once did. Read more to learn how to start seeing trends where you didn’t before.

Credit: UNESCO

Human beings spend 1 out of every 8 waking hours imagining the future – either predicting, dreaming or fearing what is to come. Becoming more futures literate means harnessing these involuntary thoughts in a way that is both useful and practical, so that you can see the world from different vantage points, and use these insights to respond more adaptively.

Photo by Krissana Porto

Human beings are by nature future thinkers. As the American philosopher Dennett described, the human brain is “an anticipation machine” and “making future” is the most important thing it does. Planning for the future gives us a sense of agency and control in an uncertain world, but not all future planning is created equally.