Note — Apr 05, 2020

Mapping Impacts and Implications

Quick read on a simple tool for sketching possible futures; the futures wheels. Starts from an important change, then going to first, second and even third level impacts; usually along the social, technological, economic, environmental, political, and values categories (STEEP+V).

When you begin to see the outside edge more clearly and look across the second- and particularly third-order impacts, you might start to see where some impacts conflict with each other, some present unseen synergies, and some open up interesting opportunities for change that weren’t immediately apparent. […]

This kind of sequential structure helps keep you from generating an unstructured list of impacts that might be difficult to reconnect later. An appropriate, small overlay of logic goes a long way toward helping to clarify and qualify your thinking as a group. […]

You aren’t looking to present a rosy, successful sequence of problems then solutions. Stay neutral and try to think objectively at this point. Forget money and interests, and stick to “if/then” considerations.