What next? It’s anyone’s guess…
And anyone that tells you otherwise is either deluded, lying or in possession of information they probably shouldn’t be privy to (and most likely oughtn’t be relied upon).
The nature of our relationship with the emerging future is far from straightforward. The probability of each and every perceived version of future reality actually coming to pass is in constant flux, and there are certainly many versions of the future we haven’t even yet thought of. We live in an environment of constant change, fast-flowing information and hidden assumptions. We delude ourselves that we ‘know’ what will happen next. If we’re honest with ourselves, our expectations and assumptions in many situations often prove to be unfounded and ultimately far from correct.
Layers of causality and complex systems (interconnected webs of information, relationships, events, actions and decisions) make prediction impossible. The trail of causality we attribute to a series of unfolding events in hindsight, is often well-hidden at the time of their gradual emergence. We neglect to consider, or fail to notice, a raft of alternative futures that don’t quite fit our shared standard narrative of what might happen next.
A glimpse of the future
The art of the possible is a red-herring – our true quest is to consider the immediately impossible and highly improbable – it is there that we might find a glimpse of what the future may actually hold in store for us!
None of us truly know what’s around the next corner but we can, without doubt, better prepare ourselves for any potential futures that may come to be. The odd mental ‘time-travelling’ expedition can unveil disruptions and disruptors, and better prepare us for the most challenging eventualities.
This is what the generation of what if worlds is all about. Read our fortnightly what if world articles, listen to the whatiftribe podcast, meet our what if tribe, and access our fuller what if world scenarios as they become available.
What If Worlds
Thoughts on an unpredictable future
The aim of our what if short articles is to engage minds and spark curiosity around a range of possible futures … each fortnight we will release a very short examination of a potential future action, decision or event. The idea is not to get the future right – it’s very unlikely that we will. Instead we hope that the ideas will test the limits of current reality, loosen entrenched perspectives, heighten shared consciousness and just maybe spark some ideas that cause someone somewhere to embark on a journey that changes the future and shifts the paradigm within which we operate forever…
Challenge your assumptions
The whatiftribe podcast is where we pose a question about the future to a wide range of people and gather a rash of answers. If you want to broaden your perspective, challenge your assumptions and gain greater insight into the wide range of possible futures that may await us, you’re in the right place. Get in touch if you have a burning question about the future that you would like us to tackle!
What If Tribe
Our whatiftribe is made up of people drawn from a broad range of sectors with varying experiences and backgrounds who all have an interest in working with the future. The tribe is purposefully diverse so that we can robustly challenge any assumptions upon which our individual habitual view of the future is based. The whatiftribe meets regularly to work on the creation of scenarios that examine specific aspects of potential emerging futures in some depth. From time to time the tribe is joined by guest members who have a particular interest in the futures under consideration.
Following spells in the oil contracting industry, conducting gas turbine research for the government, and at Rolls-Royce Deutschland, Ben joined CAA in 1998 working on engine certification, oversight of a variety of UK and overseas companies, and rulemaking projects in Europe and the USA.
Since then Ben has held a variety of management and leadership roles in the UK CAA, covering safety reporting, data analysis and planning; licensing of pilots, engineers and Air Traffic Controllers; and regulatory strategy.
From 2013 to 2015 Ben led the UK’s CAA’s Performance Based Regulation Programme, the CAA’s transformation programme to be a ‘performance-based’ regulator, delivering the strategy created in his previous role to shift the CAA towards integrated regulatory oversight based on risk and organisational performance
In November 2015 Ben was appointed as the CAA’s first International Director, creating and leading the now established International Group with accountability for the CAA’s advisory and training arm (the wholly owned subsidiary CAA International Ltd), the CAA’s State Safety Partnership programme, and engagement with international institutions such as the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the institutions of the EU.
Since 2012, Ben has also been a Director of Air Safety Support International (ASSI), the CAA’s wholly owned subsidiary organisation providing oversight of and support to the UK’s Overseas Territories. He is also a founding member of CAA’s ‘Aviation Futures’ group, a diverse team of regulators, academics and industry experts examining potential long-term changes in the aviation system.
In his spare time Ben is a keen sailor, cruising the south coast of the UK with his family and is currently Commodore of Dell Quay Sailing Club in Chichester Harbour.
Alpesh describes himself as very ‘client-centric’, and has worked with a major financial services client since joining GFT in 2007, moving from account management to UK Client Unit Manager and ultimately to Global Client Partner for the client’s Capital Markets segment, a role which he also currently assumes.
His wealth of experience, ranging from direct banking to systems integrated solutions houses in financial services, has been gained through his previous roles at Morse where he was responsible for account management and delivering IT infrastructure services, and Citigroup where he led a multi-site team delivering the service provision of hardware and IT services across all London locations, including the high-profile Y2K programme. He also sat on the Global Problem Management Committee.
After graduating from Bristol University in 2009, Tom spent the next year studying Mandarin in China. On his return to the UK he joined the nascent Groupon UK, and helped with its rapid expansion nationwide (and also briefly Peru), as it became the fastest-growing company to reach a billion dollars revenue in modern history.
With a passion for disruption and innovation, Tom then moved into the world of the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) as VP of Products & Services, and founding member, of the connected division for Motorola Monitors. Splitting his time between Bangalore, Hong Kong and London, Tom managed the launch and scaling of one of the world’s first mass-adopted Smart Home apps and subscription service, to over 1.5 million users worldwide.
In 2016, Tom joined eBuyNow, a global eCommerce platform, where he was responsible for managing Motorola’s third party Accelerator Program. During this time he also co-founded ProductLoop, an internal startup based in Taiwan, which created proprietary Big Data technology to inform major Consumer Electronic brands of trends and opportunities.
Tom’s most recent move saw him return to London, and to another industry prime for disruption - healthcare. Heading up the UK for Zava (one of Europe’s largest health tech providers), Tom is responsible for defining the strategic vision and day to day management of the UK business. In June 2019, Zava confirmed $32m in Series A funding, and Tom is focused on realising the company’s ambitious growth plans in the UK.
Ageas has a strong appetite to grow in the commercial SME market and that particular dimension of our relationship with broker partners. Having stood in my current role for the last 3 years, advocating brokers’ interests and creating solutions that genuinely add value, commercial SME GWP in the South East has doubled year on year consecutively for the last 2 years to circa £15m GWP whilst returning strong profitability.
I live with my wife and two children in the New Forest, I’m a keen sportsperson playing for my local football team and Squash club.
Wilson is responsible for the performance and strategic vision of Accuity using unique data, technology, and analytics to solve business challenges for compliance and payment professionals by utilizing over 20 years of experience.
Prior to this, Wilson held roles as global publishing director and managing of New Scientist, and CEO of Proagrica, the global Agriculture division of Reed Business Information. There he transformed the business from a publishing operation to a global portfolio offering technology, software, data, and analytics solutions.
Diana constantly looks out for things that will help to solve her clients’ challenges in engaging and sustainable ways. She believes firmly in working collaboratively to move programmes forward and describes her motivation as seeing an ability in everyone to do amazing things. Diana is adept at working at both strategic and operational levels and has the breadth of skill and drive for developing people to enact and enable change. She takes a systemic approach and reaches solutions in a way that others might not have considered.
Along with her husband, Diana also runs and supports the running of start up businesses in the education and food and beverage sector.