Future Problem Solving

A Basic Look at How the Process Works


  • Look at past trends and compare them to how things are currently. Go back 20 years ago and compare it to current circumstances.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

– Steve Jobs

  • Use that insight to understand what will be possible 20 years from now.

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”

– Steve Jobs

  • Dream up the idea, product, or concept. This requires a lot of imagination and future trending talent from the team.

“I have a great respect for incremental improvement, and I’ve done that sort of thing in my life, but I’ve always been attracted to the more revolutionary changes. I don’t know why. Because they’re harder. They’re much more stressful emotionally. And you usually go through a period where everybody tells you that you’ve completely failed.”

– Steve Jobs

  • Imagine all the ways the concept will impact society, positively or negatively.

“We must stop thinking of the individual and start thinking about what is best for society.”

– Hillary Clinton


  • Imagine the most likely challenges that may occur and create solutions for them in advance.

“Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.”

– George S. Patton

“For better or worse, that is true with any new innovation, certainly any new technological innovation. There’s many good things that come out of it, but also some bad things. All you can do is try to maximize the good stuff and minimize the bad stuff.”

– Steve Case

  • Start developing the product early before the technology is fully developed to actually build it.

“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.” – Steve Jobs


  • Before the concept begins development, you’re aware of the most likely problems, which will allow you to be adaptive at fixing them.

“I’m an inventor. I became interested in long-term trends because an invention has to make sense in the world in which it is finished, not the world in which it is started.”

– Ray Kurzweil


  • Change society through Future Problem Solving

“The first principle of a free society is an untrammeled flow of words in an open forum.”

– Adlai E. Stevenson”


“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr.


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