strategic foresight

The Negotiation Society Magazine: The Futures Issue

Negotiation Society Magazine interviews Dr. Amy Zalman as part of the Futures Issue:


Dr. Amy Zalman: “As a futurist, my area is Strategic Foresight, a managements discipline that helps people and institutions plan for complex, uncertain and distant futures. How will the practice of foresight change in the next decade or so, and how might the people in firms, governments and communities begin to plan differently?

First, there is a growing recognition now that leaders and organizations need to approach planning and organizational change differently. The premise that the future will be different from the past, once an abstraction, is becoming a palpable reality in the workplace, in our daily lives, in our politics and civic lives, in our natural environment. The scale of change introduced by artificial intelligence and through connected devices promises to be immense, in ways both productive and harmful. 

Leaders and organizations are in the process of waking up to this fact, and there is, as a result growing interest in the mindsets and toolkits that futurists use. By 2030, there is likely to be an even broader and more intense understanding that we – all of us – are living through a transformative moment. People may respond by shying away from the change, but there will be greater will to understand and adapt to change. 

Second, artificial intelligence is likely to play a large role in planning. Analytics will have grown more nuanced in offering predictive insights about communities or customers, and many decisions will be based on patterns found in massive data sets. We will all have to make decisions about the benefits and drawback of algorithm-based planning, and to grow literate in the new versions of planning this engenders. “

Cover of The Futures Issue (4) of The Negotiation Society Magazine.