Six pillars

futures thinking for transforming

Sohail Inayatullah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

209 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to present a new approach to the study of the future. Design/methodology/approach - The paper describes six foundational concepts (the used future, the disowned future, alternative futures, alignment, models of social change, and uses of the future), six questions (will, fear, missing, alternatives, wish, and next steps as related to the future) and six pillars (mapping, anticipating, timing, deepening, creating alternatives, and transforming), giving examples and case studies where appropriate. Findings - In an increasingly complex and heterogeneous world, futures studies can help people to recover their agency, and help them to create the world in which they wish to live. Originality/value - The paper integrates and builds on a variety of futures studies' concepts, ways of thinking and techniques and integrates them into a new approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-21
Number of pages18
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Change management
  • Economic change
  • Epistemology
  • Forward planning
  • Social dynamics

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