Revisiting “The Dot” with Foresight students

September 8, 2007

Earlier this week, I presented to the Strategic Foresight class of Masters students at Swinburne University.  As with many workshops that I conduct, I started with “The Dot” exercise.  I was particularly interested to see if foresight students gave a different interpretation to that of others – and they did!

A couple of people had the circle around the dot which is unusual but not too much so.  There was a couple of spirals emanating from the dot, wings and infinity signs (8 on its side) with the dot in the centre which is the first time that these had arisen.

What I found most insightful was that none of the students had an arrow or arrows of any description which had never happened before in any other group.  I take this that the group of students did not think of the future in a direct linear manner (as compared with many other people) but as something that emerges from the current position in a curved way that could spiral back or move in a different direction from the start.  This could be viewed as a more sophisticated and nuanced view – from students who have read more widely about changes in the future rather than a general audience who look at it more singularly.