I define Prospective Hindsight as looking back from an idealized outcome or a desired future. As we all know, hindsight is 20/20. Using hindsight from a desired future has been shown to be a great way to see how that future can be created. Often it is used to find problems, but it also can be used to design a helpful path to a desired future. Of course the first step is imagining and making clear the desired future. This is the first step, Operationalize or develop an understandable vision fo the future that is desirable.
New Research Supports Using Prospective Hindsight
UConn Today wrote about the New research that suggests “The Power of Empathy in Product Development” is helpful. The research to be published, “Head vs. Heart: the Effect of Objective versus Feelings-Based Mental Imagery on New Product Creativity,” will appear in the June 2019 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research. Marketing professors Kelly Herd (University of Connecticut) and Ravi Mehta (University of Illinois) found that creativity was improved if they took a few minutes before beginning to envision, or think about how the customer would feel eating the snack. In other words, they used Prospective Hindsight to Operationalize and Idealized Outcome and it helped.
Paul Hawken also used Prospective Hindsight in his new book that he edited, “Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming“. In the book he explains how we must work toward a society that heals rather than steals the future in the great book he edited. The book outlines multiple interdependent and interconnected ways to work together to start creating a better tomorrow today. In other words, this book helps people see what a better future could look like and what we can start doing to make that new future a reality.
Most importantly, Paul Hawken ends by explaining this isn’t just a good way to do things, they are the best alternative. These suggestions are a better way because using these methods will generate higher monetary gains than are possible with the traditional, “business as usual”, methods that we know are causing problems.
The book resonated with me because all of my work is focused on how to picture and then create a better tomorrow. As a professor I aim in my publications, presentations and classes to give people tools to design and create an idealized tomorrow. My desire is not to only be able to do what has been done, but to do better. Better, from my view, means the new ways will benefit everyone and everything through the generation of comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. I define these actions as practicing paneugenesis or creating all good.
To demonstrate I am not just dreaming of something that could be, this post shares others making their vision a reality. These examples are ones that have developed a clear picture of a desired tomorrow (their Operationalize and Idealized Outcome). These examples also have a description or examples of what must exist for their vision to happen (Precursors). These examples also have an outline about what needs to happen starting (Optimize the Process) to make it happen. These examples also explain how they will know they are making progress so they can to Plot Progress to demonstrate the benefits being achieved.
These examples include The International Living Future Institute and their challenges, “The Ray” for improving transportation, and Elon Musk’s vision for clean energy production for everyone’s home.
A Desirable Living Future
The International Living Future Institute is a global network dedicated to creating a healthy future for all. To make this happen they have the ongoing “Living Building Challenge“, the “Living Product Challenge“, and the “Living Community Challenge“.
The Living Building Challenge is the world’s most rigorous proven performance standard for buildings. People from around the world use a regenerative design framework to create spaces that, like a flower, give more than they take. These types of buildings are being built around the world. See Certified buildings here.
The Living Product Challengeis a framework for manufacturers to create products that are healthy, inspirational and give back to the environment. This challenge aims to create products that regenerate nature and improve our quality of life.
The Living Community Challenge is a framework for master planning, design, and construction. It is a tool to create a symbiotic relationship between people and all aspects of the built environment. The program is a call to action to governments, campuses, planners, developers and neighborhood groups to create communities that are as connected and beautiful as a forest. You can view community’s actively involved making the vision a reality here.
“The Ray” is an Operationalized an Idealized Outcome for Transportation
Named after Ray Anderson, the world renown innovator from Interface, this item is highway material that would rebuild transportation into a restorative, rather than destructive activity. “The Ray” would create a regenerative highway ecosystem. Right now they are testing on “The Ray’s” 18-mile stretch of I-85. Several pilot projects are already underway. Click here and or watch the video’s below to see their Technology Showcase to learn about the solar-powered vehicle charging, tire safety check station, solar-paved highways and all their other exciting pursuits.
If you are interested, Ray Anderson was the founder and visionary leader of Interface Carpets who rebuilt that company from ecologically destructive to being restorative.
Elon Musk’s Vision
Elon Musk’s organizations want to collect solar energy to fuel life. Extra energy could support the grid. These video’s show an exciting vision, though I would like to know more about at the current status of these projects. Please share if you can provide an update.