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Design Scientist and Futurist Melissa Sterry is known as ’a champion of science and technology that serves to make the world a better place’. Whether giving a keynote speech on the potential of ICT to improve our cities or writing about leading-edge innovations in bionics, her work is essentially concerned with developing a vision of what successful change may look like and supporting others on a journey towards it. For more than a decade, Melissa has worked to integrate pioneering sustainability thinking into mainstream business and society. 

This month, Melissa Sterry returns to give us a 5-step quick guidance on how to embrace risks and uncertainty through futurology.

1. Necessity is the mother of invention - ask yourself where change is needed, why it’s needed and then explore how recent and likely near-future developments could address that need. 

2. The future is not the exponential expansion of the present - change is not born of linear events, therefore future-thinking involves planning for several scenarios, not one. 

3. No-one owns Future Inc - don’t be fooled into thinking that only big organisations have a say how in the future will manifest. Far from it. More often than not you’ll find the most new radical ideas at the edges of industry, not at the centre. 

4. Hold your hand up to the hype - if some of the popular press is to be believed, future-thinking is about big boys tech toys. While gadgets and gizmos have their place, when all is said and done, they are just tools and tools are nothing new.

5. Think of the future in terms of scenarios, not objects.

Discover more of Melissa’s futurism pieces at  http://www.melissasterry.com - including publications, podcasts and presentations.

Follow Melissa on Twitter on @MelissaSterry

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