How to Map the Future

by Margaret Heffernan

Number of pages: 368

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

BBB Library: Booklets

ISBN: 978-1471179785

About the Author

Margaret Heffernan is one of the UK's most highly regarded thought leaders. She mentors CEOs and senior executives of major global organizations, and is Lead Faculty for the Forward Institute's Responsible Leadership Programme.


Editorial Review

We are addicted to prediction, desperate for certainty about the future. But the complexity of modern life won’t provide that; experts in forecasting are reluctant to look more than 400 days out. History doesn’t repeat itself and even genetics won’t tell you everything you want to know. Ineradicable uncertainty is now a fact of life.In complex environments, efficiency is a hazard not a help; being robust is the better, safer option. Drawing on a wide array of people and places, Margaret Heffernan looks at long-term projects developed over generations that could never have been planned the way that they have been run. Experiments, led by individuals and nations, discover new possibilities and options. Radical exercises in forging new futures with wildly diverse participants allow everyone to create outcomes together that none could do alone. Existential crises reveal the vital social component in resilience. Death is certain, but how we approach it impacts the future of those we leave behind. And preparedness – doing everything today that you might need for tomorrow – provides the antidote to passivity and prediction.Ranging freely through history and from business to science, government to friendships, this refreshing book challenges us to resist the false promises of technology and efficiency and instead to mine our own creativity and humanity for the capacity to create the futures we want and can believe in.

Book Reviews

'Heffernan is ... a deft storyteller ... Bad "smart thinking" books offer 2x2 matrices and jargon; good ones offer theory and evidence. Heffernan steps outside the caregory entirely. She wants us to engage with the particularities of people, places and the problems they faced –to empathise with them, reflect on our own lives and our own careers, and to draw our own conclusions.Unchartedis ... wise and appealingly human.'

‘I have never read anything quite likeUncharted. I was captured on page 1 and captivated to the very end. My whole idea of what the future might hold, the impotence of most forecasting, sagas of amazing acts of preparedness. She shook core beliefs and made me look at the world—and myself—differently. It doesn't get any better than that.’

‘Excellent (and very timely).’

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