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CREATIVE THINKING IN FORESIGHT - THE ROLE OF CREATIVE THINKING IN FORESIGHT AND HOW IT CAN BE USED FOR BETTER FORESIGHT

THINKING

A THESIS SUBMITTED TO THE AUSTRALIAN GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP AT SWINBURNE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF MANAGEMENT IN STRATEGIC FORESIGHT

NOVEMBER 2012

By Adam Jorlen

Supervisor: Dr Joseph Voros

 

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  Firstly I'd like to thank my supervisor Joe Voros for excellent advice and other support during this year. Many people have been involved in countless discussions and it is hard to know what and who helped to catalyse and transform my thinking, which turned into this document. In the foresight community I'd especially like to acknowledge Neil Houghton and José Ramos. In the integral community I'd like to say thanks to Pete Holliday and Tim Winton who kindly helped with some of the challenges around the integral concepts. Also big thanks to my collaborators Richard Harmer, Juan Caraza, Julian Waters-Lynch, Helen Palmer, Andrew Suttar and everyone else at Hub Melbourne for making this thesis come together. And finally, thanks to my partner Jen, who has been a fantastic support and contributed the artwork to this thesis.

Adam Jorlen, November 2012

 

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ABSTRACT
Historically, foresight has alternated between being considered either an art or a science. In recent decades attempts to combine these two seemingly contradictory fields through theoretical frameworks based on various integral thinkers have been made. The view of foresight among institutions, media and the general public is however far from such a synthesis, but still firmly based on the view that the future is studied with forecasts and similar science based methods. The purpose of this thesis is to study how art and creativity and specifically creative thinking can help to transition foresight from a fact- and science based field towards a more creative endeavour, which involves more people collaborating to build their futures. The method used to do this study is a literature-based inquiry of relevant concepts followed by an analysis of these. Firstly, some key definitions of foresight and creativity are examined in order to find similarities and differences between the two fields. Secondly, the multidisciplinary field of creativity is given an overview. Thirdly, a literature review of thinking and in particular creative thinking is done. Creative thinking can mean many different things, so a framework with five clusters of creative thinking is formulated; divergent, lateral, aesthetic, systems and inspirational thinking. An analysis of the generic foresight process using these five clusters illustrates what role creative thinking plays in each phase of this process, as well as in 2-3 methods used in each phase. This analysis, and insights and knowledge from the literature review leads to five recommendations as to how the foresight process can be improved. Lastly a metaphor-based discussion looks at how creative thinking might be used to build collective foresight through collaboration.

 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS   ............................................................................................................   2   ABSTRACT  ..................................................................................................................................   3   1. INTRODUCTION - FORESIGHT: ART, SCIENCE OR MORE?  .........................................   7   1.1. BACKGROUND CONTEXT TO THIS INQUIRY  .............................................................................   7   1.2. RESEARCH QUESTION  .............................................................................................................   8   1.3. LITERATURE USED - RATIONALE AND SELECTION METHOD  ..................................................   9   1.4. LIMITATIONS  ..........................................................................................................................   9   2. FORESIGHT AND CREATIVITY  .........................................................................................     10 2.1. THE PUSH AND PULL FOR CREATIVITY  ...................................................................................     10 2.2. SOME SIMILARITIES BETWEEN FORESIGHT AND CREATIVITY  ................................................     10 2.2.1. THE ABILITY TO CREATE...  .........................................................................................................  10   2.2.2. USEFUL WAYS...  .........................................................................................................................  11   2.2.3. USE THE INSIGHTS RISING...  .......................................................................................................  11   2.2.4  MULTIDISCIPLINARITY   .......................................................................................................................  11   3. THE MANY NATURES OF CREATIVITY  ...........................................................................     12 3.1. DEFINITIONS OF CREATIVITY   .................................................................................................     12 3.2. PARADOXES IN CREATIVITY, THE CREATIVE PROCESS AND HOW IT IS LINKED TO FORESIGHT  .....................................................................................................................................................     13 3.3. BALANCE BETWEEN RATIONAL AND CREATIVE THINKING  .....................................................     14 4. TYPES OF THINKING  ...........................................................................................................     16 4.1. FUTURES THINKING - MANY TYPES OF THINKING   ..................................................................     16 4.2. DIFFERENT MODES OF THINKING  ...........................................................................................     17 4.2.1. PERSONALITY TYPES  .................................................................................................................  17   4.2.2. BRAIN STRUCTURE  .....................................................................................................................  17   4.2.3. LEVELS OF DEVELOPMENT  .........................................................................................................  18   4.2.4. MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES  .........................................................................................................  19   4.2.5. STATES  .......................................................................................................................................  19   5. WHAT IS "CREATIVE THINKING"?  ..................................................................................     21 5.1. DIFFERENT TYPES OF CREATIVE THINKING  ...........................................................................     21 5.2. DIVERGENT THINKING  ...........................................................................................................     22 5.3. LATERAL THINKING  ...............................................................................................................     22 5.4. AESTHETIC THINKING   ............................................................................................................     23 5.5. SYSTEMS THINKING  ...............................................................................................................     24 5.6. INSPIRATIONAL THINKING  .....................................................................................................     25 5.7. CAN ANYONE BE A CREATIVE THINKER?  ................................................................................     27

 

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5.8. A SPECTRUM FROM LOW TO HIGH CREATIVITY?  ...................................................................     28 6. WHAT ROLE DOES CREATIVE THINKING PLAY IN A FORESIGHT PROCESS?   ......     29 6.1. CREATIVE THINKING IN FORESIGHT  ......................................................................................     29 6.2. STRATEGIC THINKING AND THE FORESIGHT PROCESS  ...........................................................     30 6.3. CREATIVE THINKING IN A GENERIC FORESIGHT PROCESS  ....................................................     31 6.4. STAGE 1 - INPUTS  ...................................................................................................................     33 6.5. STAGE 2 - ANALYSIS   ...............................................................................................................     34 6.6. STAGE 3 - INTERPRETATION  ..................................................................................................     34 6.7. STAGE 4 - PROSPECTION  ........................................................................................................     36 6.8. STAGE 5 - OUTPUT  .................................................................................................................     37 6.8.1. TANGIBLE OUTPUTS  ...................................................................................................................  38   6.8.2. INTANGIBLE OUTPUTS  ................................................................................................................  38   6.9. SUMMARY OF CREATIVE THINKING IN A GENERIC FORESIGHT PROCESS  ...............................     39 7. RECOMMENDATIONS - HOW CAN THE QUALITY OF A FORESIGHT PROCESS BE IMPROVED?  ..............................................................................................................................     40 7.1. INVOLVE MORE CREATIVE THINKERS IN THE FORESIGHT PROCESS  .......................................     40 7.2. SPEND MORE TIME AND RESOURCES ON FORESIGHT OUTPUT  ................................................     40 7.3. EXPERIMENT WITH "A BEGINNER'S MIND"  ............................................................................     40 7.4. HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF THE CREATIVITY SPECTRUM  ............................................     41 7.5. ACKNOWLEDGE OTHER WAYS OF OPERATING  .......................................................................     41 8. DISCUSSION - HOW CAN CREATIVE THINKING BE USED TO BUILD COLLECTIVE FORESIGHT?  .............................................................................................................................     42 8.1. CO-CREATING THE FUTURE  ...................................................................................................     42 8.2.THE FUTURE AS A LANDSCAPE  ................................................................................................     42 8.3. THE STAR: OUR ENDURING AND GUIDING SOCIAL ROLE  ........................................................     43 8.4. THE MOUNTAIN: THE CHALLENGING OBJECTIVE  ..................................................................     43 8.5. THE CHESSBOARD: THE JOURNEY OF CO-CREATING THE FUTURE TOGETHER  ......................     44 8.6. THE SELF: HARVESTING COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE, CREATIVITY AND WISDOM  ................     45 9. CONCLUSION  ........................................................................................................................     47 REFERENCES  ............................................................................................................................     48

 

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TABLE OF FIGURES     Fig 1. Creativity research spans many fields .................................................................................... 12 Fig 2. The creative process, the foresight process and the design thinking process ..................... 14 Fig 3. Some examples of different types of thinking used when "thinking about the future" ..... 16 Fig 4. Some lines of development ....................................................................................................... 19 Fig 5. Five main types of creative thinking ....................................................................................... 21 Fig 6. The golden ratio as seen in photography, painting, mathematics and architecture .......... 24 Fig 7. The u-shaped subtle cognitive line .......................................................................................... 26 Fig 8. The spectrum of creative thinking .......................................................................................... 28 Fig 9. The futures cone ....................................................................................................................... 29 Fig 10. Different futures with increasing complexity and time horizon ........................................ 30 Fig 11. The generic Foresight Process ............................................................................................... 31 Fig. 12 An overview of some methods, thinking skills and roles needed in a foresight process. . 32 Fig 13. Five layers of increasing depth .............................................................................................. 35 Fig. 14. Level of creative thinking in different phases and methods in a generic foresight process ....................................................................................................................................................... 39 Fig 15. Co-creating the future ............................................................................................................ 43

 

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1. INTRODUCTION - FORESIGHT: ART, SCIENCE OR MORE?
1.1. BACKGROUND CONTEXT TO THIS INQUIRY
Foresight and the ways in which we think about and study the future have gone through many phases. From originally being considered an enigmatic art, which relied on prophecies and other advise by oracles such as the Delphi and Nostradamus, the field moved onto attempts to rationally and scientifically measure what the future might look like. Several articles have been written on the question whether futures studies and foresight is an art or a science (Ogilvy 1996; Bell 1997; Burns 2005). One of the core aspects underlying this question is whether the future is a domain which can be studied and considered with methodologies based on hard science in the positivist or post-positivist traditions, one which considers criticalism, constructivism or participatory research paradigms, or whether all these are needed (Voros 2006, 2007, 2008). During the 20th century until the 1980s, the American stream of futures studies mainly used quantitative methodologies and focussed on technology scenarios, supported by tools and methods based on assessments, analyses of data, and expert panels. This stream grew out of the US military with concerns such as intercontinental warfare and rocketry, and many think-tanks devoted to these issues, such as the RAND Corporation were formed. The European futures tradition from the 1960s and onwards, has leaned more towards activist-based practices, where art-oriented methods and tools like visioning and genius forecasting (Glenn 1999) were used. Key European futurists who represent this era include Norwegian peace researcher Johan Galtung, Austrian anti-nuclear arms writer Robert Jungk and the French futures researchers behind the art-influenced Futuribles school, who spoke about the future as 'the art of conjecture' (Burns 2005; Galtung 2010; De Jouvenel 2005). Bell (1997) argues that in general, the distinctions we tend to make between art and science are false. He critiques the common tendency to view art as a subjective and human pursuit, with the creator striving towards originality by using innovation and elements of insight, inspiration, creativity and spiritual understanding, while seeing science as rational, dehumanizing, narrow-minded and too abstract and analytical. In fact, Bell argues, art is highly influenced by science, while science contains much of the creative and insightful elements designated to art above. Painters, photographers and artists have historically made use of scientific concepts and developments in mathematics, physics, optics and geometry in their aesthetic pursuits, while scientific progress often seems to involve inexplicable, artful discoveries and epiphanies (Ghiselin 1952, Vernon 1970, Weisberg 1993). Similarly, the futures and foresight fields contain all of these elements, and hence the debate whether it should be labelled art or science. Bell (1997) discusses the concept of truth as a key factor in the issue. Science is essentially the search for truth and a continuous falsification of theories and theses that are incorrect. Bell argues that this is due to that futurists are constrained to seek the truth, just as the scientists are. This is the diametrical opposite of artists, who work with illusions, inner states and subjective expression, with no obligation to tell the truth whatsoever. So why do futurists have the obligation to tell the truth? Because they can only work with the past and present, which are factual, fixed and therefore 'true'. Hence, the trend of foresight work and the 'design of the future' that futurists are preoccupied with, has moved from being considered a science or an art, towards a synthesis (Burns 2005; Voros 2008) where a both/and perspective guides foresight work. In recent years attempts have been made to bridge these two schools by various 'integral' frameworks, with the purpose to allow for multiple perspectives and research paradigms; not only a first, second or third person perspective, but all of them. The concept 'Integral futures' with integral frameworks and methodologies based on the works of Rudolf Steiner, Jean Gebser, Sri Aurobindo and principally Ken Wilber (as discussed by Slaughter 1998 & 2008, Voros 2008, Collins & Hines 2010 and Inayatullah 2010), is a recent addition to

 

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foresight. Much debate about different epistemological frameworks has been played out in the field particularly how attached and influenced futures and foresight should be to Wilber's integral model instead of other frameworks. Gidley (2010) suggest a post-Wilber "integration of integral", where not only the conceptual framework of Wilber is included, but also the theories by Steiner and Gebser on aesthetics/beauty and participation/enactment. Despite this epistemological debate, most academics involved herein basically agree that foresight or futures studies is shifting from a discipline based on either science or art, to one inclusive of as many perspectives as possible based on many different disciplines and methodologies. Inayatullah (2010, p. 102) uses a metaphor to illustrate this: "The beauty of futures studies is that all these doors are possible—there are many alternative entrances and exits—and many ways to create openings and closings." Ogilvy (1996, p. 32) argues that futures thinking move "away from a foundation on fact or scientific theory and towards a more creative and willful endeavor /.../ toward becoming a kind of collectively practiced existentialism". Even if the foresight and futures academics are far ahead in concocting integral models for how to think about the future, the general discourse tends to be stuck in the art vs. science debate. The general public and media still largely rely on forecasts, predictions and data, and have a sceptical view of non-rational, 'artistic' means to think about the future. Organisations and institutions similarly base strategies and policies predominantly on extrapolation of past data.

1.2. RESEARCH QUESTION
This thesis will not look at the fact and science based aspect of foresight. This aspect, based in positivist and post-positivist tradition, is a crucial element of the discipline - rational analysis and evidence-based foresight work is necessary, but has been explored and researched extensively (see for ex Bell 1997), so will mentioned only briefly here. The fundamental objective here is to review and analyse the role that artistic, or rather creative elements and opportunities within foresight can leverage the field in accelerating the move from a fact- and science based theory towards a more creative endeavour. Hence, the first questions, which must be reviewed, are: What is the nature of the relationship between creativity and foresight? What role does creative thinking play in foresight? And the main research question: How might creative thinking be used to improve a foresight process and to build collective foresight? The inquiry will follow the following structure: In the second chapter I will look at the relationship between creativity and foresight. There are many similarities and links between the two fields in practices, processes, paradoxes and philosophical concepts. Some broad definitions, key elements and concepts associated with the two fields is reported here, with the purpose to find the nature of these similarities and relations. In the third chapter, I will look briefly at the many natures and meanings of the concept creativity. The purpose of this is to narrow down this amorphous and vast term, in order to find a framework for analysing the role of creative thinking in foresight.

 

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The fourth chapter will look at thinking styles and the development of psychological understanding of cognition and thinking styles in the past 100 years. The purpose here is to understand what different types of thinking are in order to then specifically examine creative thinking. The fifth chapter presents a model of five different clusters of creative thinking. The sixth chapter gives an overview of some key foresight concepts and describes a generic foresight process and some foresight methods. An analysis of what role creative thinking plays in this process and in each of the chosen methods follows. The seventh chapter looks at how the quality of a foresight process can be improved using the knowledge about creative (and other) types of thinking that has been uncovered in the past chapters. The last chapter is a discussion of how creative thinking can build collective foresight. This is related as an image of the future, which leaves the art/science dichotomy irrelevant and obsolete.

1.3. LITERATURE USED - RATIONALE AND SELECTION METHOD
This is a literature-based intellectual inquiry - principally about developing intellectual rigour in interrogating and examining the literatures. Therefore, no data was collected other than from existing literature. The study has been carried out in an exploratory way, and as such changed direction with new data and insights (Saunders et al. 2009) which is illustrated in the literature selection method. First, a broad literature search was made with the following key words: "creativity", "creative thinking", "creativity and foresight", "creativity in foresight". This lead to a vast amount of research around creativity and foresight, but not much specifically related to the actual links between the two fields. Some literature around foresight and/in entrepreneurship, innovation and design thinking examines these aspects, but not enough material related to the specific area of interest is available. Therefore a second more directed literature review was carried out. The key publications in the foresight field were consulted to see what they said about the aspects of creativity found in foresight and futures studies. Among the sources of this material were: A. Books, collections and reviews in the futures/foresight and creativity disciplines. B. Journals – Futures, Foresight, Journal of Futures Studies and Journal of Integral Theory and Practice. C Online resources (websites, blogs, video, audio, games) D Private communication with foresight practitioners and other academics

1.4. LIMITATIONS
This is submitted as a thesis in the Master's program of Management at the Australian Graduate School for Entrepreneurship. The lens, which will be used to examine creativity and foresight, is thinking. The rationale for using this lens is that this thesis is written for a university management program in the Western world, with most institutions, and individuals in management being comfortable and able to grasp the concept of thinking. Other concepts like spirit, emotion, moral or self could also have been used, and would probably have been more appropriate in other contexts. Here, thinking has been chosen as it is universally accepted and understood, even if it essentially is a very abstract concept. A suggestion for future management research might be to look at "strategic intuition" or "strategic feeling" as a supplementary organisational practice to strategic thinking.

 

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2. FORESIGHT AND CREATIVITY
Like a gold thread running the length of a garment, so creative thinking should continue as part of all thinking that is taking place about the future. – Edward De Bono

2.1. THE PUSH AND PULL FOR CREATIVITY
The importance of creativity in all pursuits in society has increasingly been recognized. Traditionally, creative efforts have been consigned to a few individuals or groups labelled artists, innovators, designers etc. Today, it is increasingly clear that creativity is crucial for everyone everywhere in society. This has been pointed out in many areas. One of the most renowned business thinkers in the world today, Gary Hamel (2007) writes about 'creative apartheid', i.e. the notion that only a select few are allowed and encouraged to be creative in corporations and other organisations. Sir Ken Robinson's 2006 TED talk which concerns creativity in education and highlights the importance in allowing students to be creative and pursue their passions instead of following rigorous, standardized plans, is to date the most watched TED talk ever (TED 2012). Both in institutions and for individuals there seems to be a push and pull towards increased creativity. This thesis will look at how this tendency can be leveraged in foresight. In order to understand how to do that the links between creativity and foresight must first be examined.

2.2. SOME SIMILARITIES BETWEEN FORESIGHT AND CREATIVITY
This section will briefly look at some definitions and different "natures" of foresight and creativity to examine the similarities and differences. On a very basic level the two fields are related by the fact that we create the future in every moment. And in order to create futures that we desire, we will have to be creative. According to Richard Slaughter (2012, p. 287) strategic/social foresight is "the ability to create and maintain viable forward views and to use the insights arising in organisationally/socially useful ways." In this definition of foresight we find three concepts, which are related to different aspects of creativity. Here follows a brief overview of these. A fourth concept, which the two fields have in common - multidisciplinarity - is also discussed at the end of this section.

2.2.1. THE ABILITY TO CREATE...
The first part of Slaughter's definition of foresight is the ability to create. One of the main streams of creativity research concerns the age-old question; is true creativity reserved only for the genius, or can we all be creative? Most creativity researchers agree that to what degree depends on how we define creativity (Sternberg & Lubart 1999). Mumford et al. (2012, p. 30) for instance define it as "the production of high-quality, original, and elegant solutions to complex, novel, ill-defined, or poorly structured, problems". Creativity can be understood or explained in many ways and through various models. Torrance (1979) defined creativity as a combination of skills, motivation and abilities. Brown (1989) suggested that creativity includes four elements: the creative processes, the creative product, the creative person, and the creative situation. Mumford et al. (2012) describe three ways to study creativity. One way is to try to explain why people invest time and resources in creative work, another which personality characteristics lead people to do these "investments". A third aspect is the study of the basic abilities people must possess in order to tackle challenges with creative solutions. All these are valuable in order to understand creativity.

 

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2.2.2. USEFUL WAYS...
Slaughter's definition states that the role of foresight is to be useful for organisations and society. Most definitions of creativity similarly include a notion that the outcome from creative efforts must be useful and have value. Sternberg & Lubart (1999) defines it as "the ability to produce work that is both novel (i.e. original, unexpected) and appropriate (i.e. useful, adaptive concerning task constraints). Csikszentmihalyi (1999) developed a model of creativity where, after an individual produces something, it will not be considered "creative" until it has been examined and acknowledged as new and valuable by the other members of "the field". If accepted it is deemed creative and incorporated in the "domain".

2.2.3. USE THE INSIGHTS RISING...
Both creativity and foresight include elements of rising insight. Slaughter (2005) considers creativity as something, which should be treasured, and that creative experiences are very valuable. However, in order to fully benefit from them, they must be observed, documented, and put to use. This sequence of activities seems to be natural skill to many creative people. These "gifts" from the unconscious have traditionally lead many to believe that creativity is a mysterious discipline (Weisberg 1993; Ghiselin 1952; May 1975). De Jouvenel (2005) defines futures research as "a multidisciplinary process of systemic inspiration" and in here we see that the notion of inspiration also features in foresight.

2.2.4  MULTIDISCIPLINARITY  
Another concept in De Jouvenel's definition, which we find in both foresight and creativity, is multidisciplinarity. The difference between the two fields is that foresight by nature and definition strives to include all perspectives, and disciplines, i.e. multidisciplinarity is becoming a mutually agreed characteristic of the field, as discussed in the introduction, while creativity researchers seem to struggle with a fragmented field and multiple definitions (Hennessey & Amabile 2010). Foresight is a discipline, which includes and transcends other disciplines. Creativity might also do this but is searching for a satisfactory framework, which can hold all disciplines and definitions in an elegant way, which is easy to understand. The age-old notion of creativity as something elusive and mystical has possibly prevented the field from acknowledging that this is one of the key aspects of it, which also defines the nature of it (Sternberg & Lubart 1999). To sum up this chapter, we see that in the broad definitions of the two fields there are similarities between foresight and creativity. This does however not generate any important insights, why the next chapter in this inquiry will look closer at the multidisciplinary character of creativity and the attempts to bring the disciplines in the field together.

 

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3. THE MANY NATURES OF CREATIVITY
3.1. DEFINITIONS OF CREATIVITY
There are countless natures and definitions of creativity and Sternberg (2005) appropriately asks the question "Creativity or Creativities?". Studies of what it is, where it comes from, how to measure it and what the optimal conditions are for it, are only some of the angles that researchers can take. It is a concept, which stretches over many disciplines and without a unified accepted scientific definition (Runco & Albert 2010). Here, two overviews of creativity are reviewed. Sternberg & Lubart (1999) divide the concept into seven paradigms: • • • Mystical approaches attempt to explain creativity as something, which originates from divine intervention or other mystical sources. Pragmatic approaches and other scientific approaches, among them De Bono (1971, 1992, 2007) aim to develop creativity rather than understand it, and are often not tested for validity. Psychodynamic approaches are based on research by Jung, Freud and others from the psychoanalytical tradition. These describe creative output as stemming from tensions between unconscious processes and the conscious reality. Psychometric approaches look at attempts to measure traits, ability etc. in order to measure creativity in individuals. Cognitive approaches look at processes in the brain and how they are combined to result in creative output. Social-personality approaches focus on personality variables, motivation and sociocultural factors as sources of creativity. Confluence approaches are those where multiple components must be in place for creativity to occur. For example a combination of personality and cognitive factors.

• • • •

Hennessey & Amabile (2010) also show (see fig 1) how the concept stretches over many disciplines and frame it in going from the study of smallest to the largest. The first is the neurological field, which with the latest decades' advancements in MRI scanning technology has contributed significantly to the research on creativity. The last is the systems approach, which aims to take an overview of all the others and bring them together. With increasing research on creativity, an increased fragmentation has occurred in the field and it seems that researchers in some fields often are unaware of research in other fields. (Hennessey & Amabile 2010) therefore concludes by stating; "what we need now are all-encompassing systems theories of creativity designed to tie together and make sense of the diversity of perspectives found in the literature — from the innermost neurological level to the outermost cultural level."

  Fig 1. Creativity research spans many fields (Hennessey & Amabile 2010)

 

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3.2. PARADOXES IN CREATIVITY, THE CREATIVE PROCESS AND HOW IT IS LINKED
TO FORESIGHT Since creativity is a concept with input and research across many disciplines, without consensus around what it is, there are many debates about the internal and external conditions for optimal creative output - internal, as in the traits, personality, intelligence, knowledge etc. of the creator, and external, as in the structures, environments, social surroundings etc. of the creator. One of these debates is around the dichotomy individual vs. collective, i.e. whether the quality of creative effort is higher when the creator is alone, or together with others in a collective pursuit. (Sawyer & DeZutter 2009) states that creativity is optimal when both individual insight and collaborative effort is allowed for at the right time in a creative process, and it seems that many such seemingly contradictory aspects of creativity must be present for the quality of the output to be high. The paradox that this thesis sets out to study is the balance between analysis and imagination, or science and art. Osborn (1953), the developer of brainstorming, devised a process for creativity, which also included analytical and rational elements with the following steps: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Orientation: pointing up the problem Preparation: gathering pertinent data Analysis: breaking down the relevant material Ideation: piling up alternatives by way of ideas Incubation: letting up, to invite illumination Synthesis: putting the pieces together Evaluation: judging the resulting ideas

Creativity is often viewed as a process. Wallas (1926) was one of the first researchers to attempt to describe this, and his definition of the creative process, which was originally devised in the 1920s, is still universally used (Plsek 1996). The original four stages; preparation, incubation, illumination and verification have been extended and modified by many creativity researchers since then, but the model is essentially the same (Barron 1988; Torrance 1988). A rather modern version of the creative process is the design thinking process. The stages in this are understand, observe, point of view, ideate, prototype and test (dschool 2012). Candy (2010, p. 173) draws parallels between foresight and design thinking and argues that the processes are similar and complementary; foresight is "longer-term and more ideation-oriented", while design is "shorter-term and more material-oriented". The foresight process can be summarized in the steps input, analysis, interpretation, prospection and output and strategy (Voros 2003).  

 

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Fig 2. The creative process (Wallas 1926), the foresight process (Voros 2003) and the design thinking process (dschool 2012). A look at the three processes side-by-side as in figure 2 shows that there are parallels between them, but also quite a few differences. Candy (2010, p. 165) asks the question how to "marry" futures and design. Voros (2012 private communication) also uses a family metaphor in that there are many similarities between foresight and creativity, and the fields could be regarded as "cousins". These insights and metaphors might answer the first research question, "What is the nature of the relationship between creativity and foresight?" The short answer is that there are similarities, but nothing of real interest or value to continue the inquiry in finding the answer to the main research question. It is clear that creativity and foresight are related, multidisciplinary fields with many inherent paradoxes and similar processes, but we need to look elsewhere in order to move the inquiry further.

3.3. BALANCE BETWEEN RATIONAL AND CREATIVE THINKING
The difference between Osborn's (1953) model and Wallas' (1926) model of creativity as discussed above, is that Osborn's demonstrates the need for balance between creativity and analysis. In the same way as foresight has moved from being viewed as "art" to "science or art" to "science and art", i.e. a shift from irrational to rational to both rational and non-rational thinking, creativity has moved from being a gift from the unconscious to systematic combination of techniques for creativity and analysis, to models where both "creative" and "rational" thinking co-exist. This balancing act is where this inquiry continues; with a review of the thinking modes underlying creativity and foresight. It is important here again to highlight one of the limitations of this thesis - that thinking is only one element of creativity, but as earlier explained, the lens, through which we will continue the analysis of creativity and foresight. This lens will be further explored here and is the definition, which will be used, as we will look at thinking modes and how futures thinking or foresight is influenced by and can be improved by creative thinking.

 

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In order to understand what the terms futures thinking and creative thinking can mean, we must however step back for a moment and look at the literature around thinking. The following two chapters; chapter four and five review the literature around thinking in general and creative thinking in particular. This is necessary in order to continue to the analysis and answer the second research question of what role creative thinking plays in foresight.

 

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4. TYPES OF THINKING
4.1. FUTURES THINKING - MANY TYPES OF THINKING
Successful foresight requires many different ways of thinking. Hines & Bishop named their 2006 book, which is an overview of the foresight field and its methods, Thinking about the Future. In studying that book, it is clear that in order to think about the future, one must be skilled at many different types of thinking. Some examples are found in figure 3. Not only do foresight practitioners have to be skilled in these - they must also pay attention to their own thinking (Hines & Bishop 2006, p. 16) and understand that they are biased. If a foresight practitioner's style of thinking does not fit with the context in which they work, for example the preferences of an organisation, the foresight exercise might fail.
Wild thinking Radiant thinking Complex thinking Visionary thinking Different thinking Systematic thinking Futures thinking Fresh thinking "Blue-sky" thinking Uninhibited thinking Abstract thinking Lateral thinking Creative thinking New thinking Long-term thinking Strategic thinking Focused thinking Provocative thinking Linear thinking Business thinking Transformational thinking

  Fig 3. Some examples of different types of thinking used when "thinking about the future" (from word search in Hines & Bishop 2006) Some of these types of thinking are similar, and even seem to have the same connotation to many people. Thinking is - like creativity - a vast concept and a multidisciplinary field with many natures and definitions. So what can be known about thinking and different thinking modes or thinking styles? Thinking is often variably described as a style or ability. Sternberg (1997, p. 19) clarifies between the two in that "a style is a preferred way of thinking. It is not an ability, but rather how we use the abilities we have". Both a mathematician and an accountant for instance have mathematical capability, but they differ in their preference on how to use this ability. Their style of thinking is different. Another concept, which is related to thinking and relevant in foresight, is roles. Hines & Bishop (2006) points out that a foresight practitioner needs many thinking skills, which are often categorised in roles. Terms such as experts, storytellers and visionaries are often mentioned in the futures literature. The Futures Style Inventory (Dian 2009) is a classification of roles in foresight work. The purpose of this categorization is to enhance understanding of the role oneself and others play when working together in a change effort in an organisation or community. The six different roles are Futurist, Activist, Opportunist, Flexist, Equilibrist and Reactionist. Some roles, as can be gathered by their names, are more useful for anticipating and creating the future, while others see and bring the value of the past in a change process. The overall point is that they are all important in a healthy transformation of a system. Roles can be useful to understand the different skills and abilities needed for successful foresight. A role is however a mix of a person's preferences, abilities, traits, culture and environment, and the focus is from now on thinking modes.

 

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4.2. DIFFERENT MODES OF THINKING
Thinking modes has been studied for the last 100 years. Here follows a brief literature review of the field. A mode of thinking can be illustrated by examining the concept through the following lenses: • • • • • Personality types Brain structures Levels of development Multiple intelligences States

Other concepts exist, but these five have been chosen as they are most clearly related to, and can illustrate the differences and similarities between thinking modes.

4.2.1. PERSONALITY TYPES
The first significant work around thinking styles and how we prefer to think was based on psychological observations and studies of behaviour. In the early 20th century, Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist Carl Jung constructed a typology of humans based on studies of his patients (Myers 1980). The typology was based on three dichotomies. The first one is introversion and extroversion, which represents where a person gets energy from - from within, or from the external environment. The second is how the brain takes in information, which can be either by sensing, i.e. through the five senses, or by intuition, i.e. through awareness from somewhere beyond the senses. The third dichotomy concerns how a person processes this information, which is either by thinking or feeling. Jung's work was later adapted and another dichotomy was introduced to differentiate between variations in peoples' way of approaching time. Judging personality types tend to structure their time and plan towards a deadline, while perceiving people tend to do the main part of their work towards the end of a deadline (Myers 1980). Two other key personality type indicators and psychometric tests are the enneagram (Daniels 2000) and the NEO Personality Inventory (Costa, McCrae & Dye 1991). The former is based on the esoteric teachings of philosopher GI Gurdjieff while the latter is a scientifically proven and established tool, which distinguishes between personality types and traits.

4.2.2. BRAIN STRUCTURE
In the middle of last century, research on cognition and thinking styles progressed with discoveries in the fields of neuropsychology and neurobiology. Initially cognitive research in these areas focussed on bi-polar models of the brain, where the right and left cerebral hemispheres were shown to represent different types of thinking clustered in two groups with "logical" and "creative" characteristics. Neuroscientific so-called split-brain research (Hines 1987), based on studies of people with brain dysfunction, showed that many functions related to language, mathematics, logics etc. are related to the left hemisphere, while music, painting and more creative activities are represented by the right hemisphere. In the eighties and early nineties as neuroscience developed to higher understanding of the different layers and parts of the brain, the bi-polar models of the brain were complemented with multidimensional, more complex ones. Herrmann (1996) developed "Whole Brain Thinking" and Taggart (Torrance, Taggart & Taggart 1984) "Whole-brain human information processing theory". These models moved the discussion from the bipolar left/right brain either/or dichotomy by studying the evolution of the physical structure of the human brain. This organ has developed in stages and layers, and hence cognitive styles have been added with human evolution. The human brain is constantly

 

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evolving over the millennia, and with that evolution comes new styles of thinking. Like earlier researchers, Herrmann explains his theory by distinguishing between the two hemispheres of the brain. He however adds the limbic system and its two halves that also appear to contribute to a person's preferred thinking style. Hence, in total four different thinking styles result according to the whole brain theory - analyse, strategize, organize, and personalize. Analyse is the logical, fact-based, quantitative and analytical thinking style. Strategize is characterised by holistic, intuitive, integrating and synthesising thinking. The features of organise are detailed, planned, sequential and organised. And personalize lastly, concerns the interpersonal, feeling-based, kinaesthetic and emotional. Even if this theory is not as rich as Jung and Myers-Briggs' typology with its four dichotomies (i.e. in total 16 personality types), it is more multifaceted than earlier bi-polar models, and more importantly is based on neurobiology and psychology. Jung's typology and other typologies such as the enneagram still have no evidence base in the "hard" sciences. "Six Thinking Hats" is another multi-dimensional thinking styles tool that was popularized in the midnineties (De Bono 1992). This is essentially based on three thinking dichotomies represented as six hats with different colours. The red and white hats represent a feeling/thinking dichotomy; the green and blue hats signify a diverge/converge dichotomy, and the black and yellow hats symbolize a positive/negative dichotomy. This tool is widely used in organisations and was devised to challenge conventional thinking there by allowing people to play roles of different thinking styles.

4.2.3. LEVELS OF DEVELOPMENT
It is often said that we cannot solve our current problems with the same level of thinking we operated at when we created the problem. This suggests that human beings can access different levels of thinking. The field of developmental psychology is largely based on Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development in children (Cook-Greuter 2005). In this model, humans develop from birth to adolescence and adulthood through levels or stages, with increasing complexity of thinking. That is, they build more advanced capacity for attention, memory, to produce and understand language, to solve problems, and make decisions. Piaget used four levels of development from infancy until adulthood; sensorimotor period (years 0 to 2), preoperational period (years 2 to 7), concrete operational period (years 7 to 12) and formal operational period (years 12 and up). Much literature also exists on human development beyond childhood, the so-called postformal operational period and beyond. Cook-Greuter (2005), one of the main researchers in this field, suggests that human development can be vertical or horizontal. Horizontal development is building skills and increasing knowledge, i.e. currently the most understood and applied type of development in society. Most people advance in their horizontal growth today - they learn new skills, more facts and methods, but do not spend time or effort on their vertical development. Vertical development occurs when a person's way of viewing and making sense of the world transforms. Here, a new and different paradigm emerges upon which the knowledge, facts and skills that a person has achieved through horizontal development now rest. It is possible to develop vertically, but also to regress down to former levels if the conditions are not the right at a new level of development. Cook-Greuter (2005) lists four aspects of vertical development; doing (a person's behaviour), being (a person's affections and emotions in relation to others), cognitive (how someone thinks) and awareness (of one's thoughts, feelings and behaviour). This is important for this inquiry in that a person's thinking is just one aspect of vertical development. To get a broader perspective of a person one needs to consider how this person feels, acts and also reflects on themselves - i.e. human operations beyond thinking.

 

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4.2.4. MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES
As we see there are different aspects of development. It turns out that thinking and emotion are only some of them. Some theories describe human intelligence as being a spectrum of multiple abilities, instead of one monolithic chunk, which has traditionally been called intelligence and measured in IQ. Instead, the concept to define many "streams" or "lines" of intelligence can be used to explain why some people are strong in some areas while not so strong in others. Gardner (1993) defines eight such abilities; spatial, linguistic, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinaesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalistic, and argues that they develop independently of each other. The multiple intelligences can serve as both content and as a means of communicating the content. Hence, if someone is highly skilled in the musical intelligence, this can be used to communicate or learn other intelligences.

Fig 4. Some lines of development (Wilber 2000) Wilber (2000) extends Gardner's (2003) intelligences and mentions up to twenty different lines or streams of development, all which can move through different stages of development. Some are illustrated in figure 4.

4.2.5. STATES
The last concept of thinking modes that will be reviewed here is "states". Wilber (2006) explains states as an aspect of our consciousness, which occurs in passing during time-limited episodes. These are in other words much shorter experiences than levels of development, which last for years. There are several different categories of states. The natural states are known as waking, dreaming, and sleeping. Within waking and dreaming, the phenomenal states are found; these are either interior (mental ideas, inspirations, emotions etc.) or they can come from the exterior world via the senses (hearing, smelling, tasting etc.). Wilber's (2006) third category; spontaneous or "peak" states, are experiences and consciousness beyond a person's normal level that are unintentionally and momentarily accessed. Maslow (1971, p 48) describes these as "peak" experiences, which are "transient moments of self-actualization". First-person accounts by people who have these experiences describe them as euphoric, with a sense of interconnectedness and harmony, or as mystical or

 

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revelatory episodes. As these occur very rarely, they are challenging to measure and therefore explain from a neuroscientific perspective. Csikszentmihalyi (1996) uses a concept called flow, which may be regarded as a sort of peak state. This state can be found in many pursuits, such as music, sports, work etc. and is characterized by clarity, focus, high energy, full involvement and enjoyment. A fourth category, altered states, can be reached through hypnotherapy, drugs, meditation and other intentional means (Wilber 2006) To summarize this chapter, a literature review on thinking types shows that this concept can mean many things. From theories of typology via bi-polar, multi-polar and whole-brain models, to multifaceted integral frameworks of understanding, thinking can be represented as an ability, a preference or type, a level of development and a state. In here, we touched on several ideas and theories about how creativity and creative thinking can be understood as a mode of thinking, or aspects of this. We will now return to this - the key theme of the thesis - and attempt to give an overview of the different types of creative thinking that were encountered in this review.

 

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5. WHAT IS "CREATIVE THINKING"?
5.1. DIFFERENT TYPES OF CREATIVE THINKING
Logical, rational and critical thinking are often used as examples of highly desirable skills in organisations and society in general. In recent decades creativity and intuition has also been added to key thinking skills needed among staff in organisations (Amabile 1998). However, when the literature mentions creative thinking there are multiple definitions and confusion between these. The field has developed both by traditional scientific and academic process but also through the training industry, why it is sometimes difficult to grasp it. Weisberg (1993) explains that most psychologists in the 50s and 60s were not interested in creative thinking, and therefore not in a position to help managers in organisations to develop tools to increase this type of thinking. Thus, theory and tools have often been developed in organisations, which develop training programs, and claims to have found "the secret of creative thinking" are often made without scientific backup. In order to move on to the analysis of what role creative thinking plays in foresight the many definitions that were found in the literature of creative thinking have been classified in five main groups as shown in figure 5.

DIVERGENT THINKING (Exaggeration)

LATERAL THINKING (Out-of-the-box)

AESTHETIC THINKING (Beauty and taste)

SYSTEMS THINKING (Synthesis towards a whole)

INSPIRATIONAL THINKING (Emergent, radical insight)

  Fig 5. Five main types of creative thinking The rationale for choosing these five clusters is through a) the literature on thinking as reported in last chapter, and b) a literature review on creative thinking as will be reported here. Links between the two will be made and an attempt to combine them into a framework, which shows how they are related is made. Much of the general literature combines these five types of creative thinking into one, based on bipolar concepts such as right vs. left-brain thinking or rational vs. intuitive thinking (Hines 1987). This can certainly be useful sometimes. However, much literature paints a more nuanced picture, and an attempt to illustrate this is made here. There are similarities and correlations between the five clusters, and instead of five, ten could have been picked. Another challenge in this study is that much of the literature on creativity is based on personal, i.e. first person experiences, which makes this classification difficult as it can never be established whether different accounts of creativity and creative thinking are referring to the same experiences for different people. Here the five types of creative thinking are summarized with a notion of what the literature on cognition and thinking styles (as reviewed in the past chapter) says about how each of them might be explained. Some of the modes of thinking are similar and in these cases, the distinctions are made.

 

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5.2. DIVERGENT THINKING
The work of art is the exaggeration of the idea. – André Gide The American psychologist J.P. Guilford was the first who proposed that an element of divergence is involved in the creative process. He made a distinction between convergent and divergent production, which he also called convergent and divergent thinking (Weisberg 1993). Divergent thinking is the process of thought where one uses flexibility, fluency and originality to explore as many solutions or options to a problem or issue as possible (Torrance 1988; Runco 1991, Weisberg 1993). It is the opposite of convergent thinking, which has the purpose to focus on only one idea or single solution. In a creative process, both are useful, but convergent thinking mainly at the end to help decision-making. Brainstorming is a typical example of divergent thinking, where "downloading" or emptying the brain of a certain subject matter takes place. This technique is limited in that it builds on releasing the ideas that are already stored in a person's brain, and not to generate any new ideas. Other tools for divergent thinking is to assume that something known for certain is false, or to explore ideas that cause discomfort (Hines & Bishop 2006). Hines & Bishop (2006) lists four archetypes, which can help to generate divergent thinking for strategy purposes; learning from other industries, learning from nature, learning from fiction, and concentrating on desired outcome (for example holes instead of drills). Divergent thinking can be explained with two concepts from the literature on thinking. The first is as a preference, which is found in certain personality types. In a Myers-Briggs typology description (Myers 1980) people with strong intuition and strong perceiving functions are likely to use this type of thinking more. The other concept is brain structure, with many of the models of brain, as mentioned in chapter 4.2.2, indicating that divergent production or thinking is represented by certain parts of the brain.

5.3. LATERAL THINKING
Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way. – Edward De Bono De Bono devised the term "lateral thinking" in 1967 to "distinguish between artistic creativity and idea creativity" (De Bono 2007, p. 49). The term was invented as an alternative to step-by-step thinking, so-called vertical thinking, which must be justified with sequential steps based on logic. Lateral thinking can be used for generation of new ideas and problem solving as it by definition leaves the already-used behind and looks for completely new options. This type of thinking is based on avoiding the intrinsic limitations in the brain, which rapidly sees patterns and handles information in a distinctive way, where long thought sequences are not broken up once formed. Instead, lateral thinking tools and techniques can be used to restructure and escape such "clichéd" patterns and think "outside the box". (De Bono 1971) Lateral thinking is related to divergent thinking. Both have the purpose to break out of habitual ways of thinking (Weisberg 1993). Both falls "outside the box", but divergent thinking is still sequential in that it follows on an earlier thought, while lateral thinking has no direct connection to an earlier thought. If rational or vertical thinking follows the most likely paths; divergent thinking follows an extreme path, while lateral thinking follows the least likely path. According to Gestalt psychology

 

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(Weisberg 1993) this difference can be compared with the distinction between reproductive thought, which is built on past experience, and productive though, which creates something completely new. De Bono has designed many tools and techniques for organisations and individuals who wish to enhance their lateral thinking skills. Some techniques for doing this include the mental operations provocation and movement (De Bono 1992). Provocation can be used to introduce instability in our thinking habits. This instability is required to reach a new stable state, which does not exist in our experience, but might be more valuable for moving ahead to a new idea or concept. Humour is a typical example of this, where we are provoked and taken to an instable state. Movement is the absence of judgment, i.e. instead of using logic to decide whether an idea or thought is right or wrong, it asks; "where does this lead to?" Lateral thinking is both an attitude and a method of using information, and hence - to link back to the literature on thinking in the past chapter - an ability or skill that anyone can learn (De Bono 1971).

5.4. AESTHETIC THINKING
It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child. ― Pablo Picasso The philosophy of aesthetics concerns the creation and appreciation of art and beauty. Taste is also a key concept here and the study of for instance form, colour and shape can augment a person's aesthetic thinking. This type of thinking involves producing or discovering things, which are pleasant, harmonious and beautiful to our senses. It is a very old form of thinking, and can be learned by anyone. Judge (1991) writes about how aesthetics can be used in order to design thought and therefore the future. He divides aesthetics into several artistic disciplines; music, poetry, painting, drama, dance and architecture. Some of the types of thinking herein are visual and spatial, where knowledge of structure, composition, colour schemes and shapes can be used to make things aesthetically pleasing. Many architects, designers, painters and other aesthetic thinkers through the ages have been fascinated with mathematical characteristics of aesthetics, and how patterns, ratios and proportions found in nature can be represented by numbers and also in creative pursuits. Music, drama and other forms of culture can also be considered aesthetic thinking, where tempo, dramaturgy, rhythm, melody and other structural elements are applied to make output beautiful and harmonious. Scientific formulas themselves can also be considered beautiful, and many chemists, physicists and mathematicians consider their work elegant and aesthetic (May 1975). Many aspects of storytelling can also be included in this category, as this "art" is based on dramaturgic elements, pace, a well-crafted dialogue, etc. It is however important to emphasize that this type of creative thinking might be enough to build a story, but in order to create a great work of art, other types of creative thinking are needed too. The same goes for all work, which is built on aesthetic thinking. A person will not become a great artist only by going to art school.

 

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Fig 6. The golden ratio as seen in photography, painting, mathematics and architecture (clockwise from top left: Bunce 2008; Art school at home 2008; Deviant Art 2012; Emptyeasel 2009) One theoretical link to the psychology literature for this type of creative thinking, is that it is related to Gardner's (1993) multiple intelligences. A few of these (spatial, musical, bodily-kinaesthetic) are significant for aesthetic thinking abilities, which can be developed by training and practice. The most relevant "intelligence" is however the one which Wilber (2000) calls the "aesthetic line", which represents how we experience art from primitive cave art via religious art and icons and impressionist art to modern abstract art.

5.5. SYSTEMS THINKING
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. – Steve Jobs Systems thinking can be described as the ability to see how things are interrelated and form a larger "whole". Some people seem to be able to perceive such links more easily than others, to "connect the dots" and understand that if one thing is changed, the whole system will change. Skyttner (2006) lists a number of different tenets for a systems thinking approach, some of which are interdependence of objects, holism (emergent properties not possible to detect by analysis but possible to define by a holistic approach) and hierarchy (complex wholes are made up of smaller subsystems). A foundational aspect of systems thinking is the synthesis of several elements into one, which transcends the significance of the sum of the two independent elements. But what does the literature around cognition say about this type of thinking? Why can some people see patterns in systems easier than others?

 

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Herrmann's "Whole Brain Theory" (1996), as related in section 4.2.2, explains that one part of the brain (the strategizing part) is characterised by holistic, intuitive, integrating and synthesising thinking. Systems thinking can also be explained with levels of development. According to some developmental psychologists (Cook-Greuter 2005; Wilber 2000) rational thinking and reasoning is accessible to everyone who has developed to a certain level as Piaget (in Wilber 2000) described it. Before this stage, a person's cognition has no access to reasoning. Systems thinking is in a similar way accessible to cognitive levels above this. Cook-Greuter (2005) labels this level of development the autonomous stage, and people here can perceive systemic patterns and comprehend multiple interconnected systems of relationships and processes. Hence, according to these researchers systems thinking is an addition beyond rational/analytical thinking and cannot be accessed to levels before. Other researchers suggest that systems thinking is more complex than simply something that can be accessed beyond a certain level of development. Winton (2010) has devised a symbol-based framework for systems thinking called pattern dynamics, which is based on patterns found in nature. He views systems thinking as a type of thinking that everybody can access at a certain degree at all stages of life. An individual example of this would be that even small children seem to be able to deal with complex systems in life. A cultural example would be the primitive peoples, like Australia's aborigines, who long ago developed intricate systems-based philosophies. Winton (2012 private communication) therefore thinks that systems thinking can be seen as both a level of development and a so-called line of development. Systems thinking is closely related to the former type of creative thinking - aesthetic thinking - in that synthesis and making things "whole" and perfect somehow is related to elegance and beauty. It is also closely related to the next type of thinking - inspirational thinking.

5.6. INSPIRATIONAL THINKING
I was living in a little flat at the top of a house and I had a piano by my bed. I woke up one morning with a tune in my head and I thought, 'Hey, I don't know this tune - or do I?' It was like a jazz melody. My dad used to know a lot of old jazz tunes; I thought maybe I'd just remembered it from the past. I went to the piano and found the chords to it, made sure I remembered it and then hawked it round to all my friends, asking what it was: 'Do you know this? It's a good little tune, but I couldn't have written it because I dreamt it. – Paul McCartney recounting how he wrote the song "Yesterday" in early 1964 This type of creative thinking concerns the perception of receiving insights from somewhere or someone else. It often happens in dreams or other states, but sometimes in extremely powerful, rapid bursts of clarity and focus, known as light-bulb moments or peak experiences (Maslow 1971). Harman and Rheingold (1984) call these breakthrough insights "higher creativity". Compared to normal creative outputs, these seem to take a quantum leap beyond what can be achieved with other types of thinking. These extraordinary experiences, when everything seems to make sense in one instant moment have been called poetic imagination, revelation and sometimes channelling. The last word indicates the belief that someone else is involved and the person with the breakthrough insight is simply a medium for the collective unconscious or a higher spirit. Slaughter's (2005) notion of inspirational thoughts as something valuable, which needs to be noticed, recorded and put to use (as discussed in chapter 2.2.3) is clearly illustrated in the example of Paul McCartney here. He had a piano next to his bed, immediately found the chords, but also asked his friends for feedback. Countless personal experiences of this kind have been reported, but they are hard to measure with scientific rigour, as they are very difficult to generate at will.

 

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Inspirational thinking can be explained with at least three concepts from the literature review in chapter four; states, multiple intelligences and levels of development. Firstly, what Wilber (2006) refers to as different "state" experiences - one, which would be through interior phenomenal states, and another interpretation as spontaneous or peak states (Maslow 1971). Secondly, inspirational thinking can be explained with the concept of multiple intelligences or lines (Wilber 2000). Wilber identifies several lines, which are related to cognition. One, which he calls the gross-reflecting cognitive line describes rational and systems thinking and is a "normal" developmental line with additive complexity. Another, the subtle cognitive line involves "states of imagination, reverie, daydreams, creative visions, hypnogogic states, etheric states, visionary revelations, hypnotic states, transcendental illuminations." (Wilber 2000 p124). This line is rather complex in that the development along it occurs more along a u-shaped graph than a regular, linear shape as shown in figure 7. In infancy this type of cognition is stronger, only to decrease during the concrete operational and formal operational stages. Then, later at vision/logic stage, it starts to become stronger again.

Fig 7. The u-shaped subtle cognitive line (based on Wilber 2000) can illustrate how inspirational thinking vary with level of development The tendency and potential to make use of inspirational thinking can hence be illustrated in this concept, and according to Wilber (2000) this type of thinking seems to come more naturally to people operating with pre-rational and post-rational thinking. The third concept from the literature review in chapter four is therefore level of development. Another line among Gardner's (2003) multiple intelligences, which can be considered as linked to inspirational thinking, is the intrapersonal line, which indicates how attuned a person is to their inner life. There are many commonalities between systems thinking and inspirational thinking. The main difference is in that in systems thinking the thought process strives for completion and the whole, while inspirational thinking reaches into the depths of the unknown or unconscious parts of the mind and universe. These are similar, but essentially one is looking broader, while the other one is looking deeper. Other labels for these two thinking styles are therefore holistic and depth thinking.

 

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Several scientific and philosophical concepts are found in the nexus between systems thinking and inspirational thinking - the synthesis of elements and insights or intuitive cognition, which both seem to be very different from linear, causal connections. One link between these two is synchronicity (Hocoy 2012), a concept that was first devised by Carl Jung in 1952 as "a meaningful coincidence of an outer event with an individual's inner state in which there is no apparent causal relationship". Another link is the concept of microvita (Fricker 2012; Inayatullah 1999), which are small sub-atomic entities which exist in both the physical and mental domains and contribute to consciousness. Bussey (2011, p. 138) suggests that, "microvita offers a third way between the linearity of positivism and the mystery of mysticism." Current research in quantum physics and cosmology (Hocoy 2012) investigates the prospect of up to eleven dimensions with different physical laws, which may support the idea of several parallel universes and might explain microvita, synchronicity and other concepts, which bridge mind and matter. These concepts sit in-between systems thinking (and its foundations interdependence and holism) and inspirational thinking (and its properties of inexplicable relations between individual and collective consciousness and unconsciousness), and do not yet have any evidence within science. Inspirational thinking has long been described in mysticism, religion and philosophy, and only so far as a first person experience. One of the aspects of this type of thinking is that the insights which result seem to be "finished", i.e. no more thinking needs to be done - only verification. The mathematician Henri Poincaré (in Harman & Rheingold 1984, p. 154) for instance claimed that his big, important insights always came with a "perfect certainty". Jung's (1969) purely philosophical explanation to this phenomenon is that true creativity comes from our "collective unconscious" - a repository of all human knowledge and experience, which is biologically encoded in us. Inspirational thinking can therefore be seen as an urge to activate elements of the collective unconscious and make it conscious to the external world. This last type of creative thinking spans several modes of human operation. Cook-Greuter (as discussed in chapter 4.2.3.) suggests that we operate beyond thinking with feeling and other experiences. This type of "creative thinking" leaves the realm of thinking and moves into other ways of knowing and being.

5.7. CAN ANYONE BE A CREATIVE THINKER?
In chapter 2.2.1 it was mentioned that one of the main questions in creativity research is whether anyone can be creative, or if it is reserved for people with genius talents. For creative thinking, the literature tells us the following: • • • • Divergent thinking is a capability, which is available to everyone. Some personality types are however more drawn to this thinking style. Lateral thinking is accessible to everyone. Everyone can learn how to "trick" their brain to think out-of-the-box, but it takes practice, and can be augmented by tools and techniques. Aesthetic thinking is an ability and therefore accessible to everyone. One can learn to think more aesthetically with practice and schooling. Systems thinking is accessible to everyone. According to some theories it is however only available when a person has reached a certain level of cognitive development. According to others, it is always present in our lives, but can be developed, like any of the multiple intelligences. Inspirational thinking is accessible to everyone. We can all have moments of brilliant ideas and insights in dreams or during wake states. It seems like these things happen more often to people who are at the lower and higher spectrum on the subtle cognitive line, i.e. in children and in those who have developed beyond the concrete and formal operational stages.

 

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Hence, everyone can use creative thinking, but it is rather complicated. Depending on personality type, level of development, ability, practice etc., these different categories of creative thinking will seem more natural or be of preference to some people. True "artists", like Picasso or Einstein might be highly developed in all these areas, i.e. they might be able to use divergent and lateral thinking to set a scene of their work, have high ability in aesthetic thinking to present their work or solve problems in a beautiful or elegant way, be natural systems thinkers to synthesise element into something extraordinary, and lastly, be attuned to and observant enough to make use of the radical insights, which come through inspirational thinking.

5.8. A SPECTRUM FROM LOW TO HIGH CREATIVITY?
"Higher creativity" is the label that Harman & Rheingold (1984) give to inspirational thinking. In using this term, it is assumed that creativity can be high or low, i.e. a creative effort or process can yield a more or less radical and valuable output. It might be possible to view creativity as a spectrum that ranges from low-level, rational, mind-originated efforts to transformational, exceptional experiences, which are described as "mystical" or "spiritual" by the creators (as described by May 1975).

Fig 8. The spectrum of creative thinking Divergent thinking is the type of creative thinking, which is closest to rational thinking in its nature to extrapolate and exaggerate. Lateral thinking is also an ability, which can be studied and learnt. So is aesthetic thinking, with rules, laws and ratios from mathematics and physics etc., but here the imaginative and illusionary start to influence the thought processes to move beyond rationality. Systems thinking is a more complex type of creative thinking based on developmental level, and access to this type of thinking might require personal development rather than learning in the traditional sense. Lastly, inspirational thinking has a different complexity, where not only thinking, but also other means of operating are in effect. The intrapersonal complexity can therefore be said to increase with each of these five types of creative thinking over the spectrum as shown in figure 8.

 

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6. WHAT ROLE DOES CREATIVE THINKING PLAY IN A FORESIGHT PROCESS?
6.1. CREATIVE THINKING IN FORESIGHT
From this detour into the depths of thinking we will now return to foresight and analyse what role the mentioned five types of creative thinking play in a foresight process. The rationale for this analysis is to identify where foresight can be opened up to a wider audience and more participants, with creativity and creative thinking as the "doorway" to this broader path. The most obvious relation between creative thinking and foresight is probably in the foresight work of imagination of new futures. Jungk (1973) lists three "modes" of thinking to generate ideas for the future; logical imagination, critical imagination and creative imagination. These can be compared with the five types of creative thinking in the past chapter; Logical imagination makes use of linear, orderly thinking with divergent thought and logical extrapolation or "exaggeration" of the current state. Other techniques include the change of parameters that are held as "truths" (for example to imagine that future population decrease instead of increase) and something Jungk (1973) labels "invasion by other disciplines” (e.g. how can some concepts from the legal world be applied to the electronics industry?). Critical imagination moves further along the creative thinking spectrum and makes use of lateral thinking techniques. In imagining futures in this category, Jungk for example suggests radical departures from the current state, for instance a future with a changed political and social system (like a socialist USA). The third category - creative imagination - ”will not be afraid of visions coming suddenly into view from sources in the unconscious. It will patiently hold itself open for hunches, daydreams, and sudden sparks of insight” (Jungk 1973 p 110). Here we see a clear link to the highest form of creative thinking - inspirational thinking. Another analogy with different futures and the creative thinking spectrum is the so-called "futures cone" (Voros 2003) (fig 9), which illustrates different classes of futures. It can be argued that vertical thinking is required to imagine a probable future, divergent thinking to imagine plausible futures and lateral thinking a possible future and so on. The more radical or "preposterous" futures might need thinking which is situated at the far right end of the creative spectrum (see fig 8).

  Fig 9. The futures cone (Voros 2003)

 

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Houghton (2012) has combined complexity and timeframe as seen in fig 10. The further the move towards the upper right corner in the model, the more radical the creative thinking needs to be in order to envision the future. Strategy requires little creativity, and exaggeration or extrapolation is often used here by organisations to decide what to do next. A move towards longer time horizons and increased complexity requires more creativity. In order to create images of complex futures with long time horizons, "higher creativity" and inspirational thinking might be needed, as these are so far removed from logic and rationality that they cannot be imagined unless they come from somewhere beyond the conscious mind.

Fig 10. Different futures with increasing complexity and time horizon (Houghton 2012) One of Amara's (1981) key attributes of the future studies field is to include more people in thinking about and shaping the future. One way of doing this is to involve people with new and different types of thinking in foresight work. Traditionally, managers, strategy consultants, experts, scientists and policy makers with very rational, critical mindsets play a leading role in strategic thinking and foresight work. In order to involve creative thinkers, designers, storytellers, philosophers and "artists" in this work, it is first necessary to identify when and where it can be useful to involve them. Here, the analysis will continue to look in detail at foresight as a process and what role creative thinking plays in this.

6.2. STRATEGIC THINKING AND THE FORESIGHT PROCESS
Voros (2003 p10) relates the confusion, which is often seen in organisations when managers think about and communicate strategic planning, strategic thinking and strategy development. These three are "separate but mutually inter-dependent activities which each have decidedly different foci of interest, and which each require quite different styles of thinking for their proper execution". Strategic planning, which is essentially about breaking down goals or intentions into actionable steps, requires analysis, reason, logic and pragmatism, while strategic thinking goes "beyond what purely logical thinking can inform" and makes use of intuition, creativity and synthesis in order to envision where an organisation might be heading. Foresight is part of strategic thinking in an organisation with the aim to open up discussions about "where we are heading" and give a range of options, which can help

 

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make decision-making wiser. It is not a step-by-step implementation, but rather an intuitive inquiry into possible directions. Research shows that in order to improve strategic thinking in an organisation, one must consider a number of components. On the individual level systems thinking, creativity and vision must be present. On the organisational level, ongoing strategic dialogue must be fostered in the management team (scenario building etc.) and the ingenuity and creativity of every individual in the company must be used (Bonn 2001, 2004). Slaughter (1999 b) classifies foresight methods according to four types; input, analytic, paradigmatic, and iterative and explorative methods. There are several frameworks, which describe the process for foresight work (Voros 2003; Horton 1999). Here, the Generic Foresight Process (Voros 2003) will be used, as this is the most widely used model in academic and practical foresight work (see figure 11). This framework was originally devised to clarify what foresight is and to implement foresight in an educational institution, which already had strategic planning and strategy development in place. The model was found useful to clarify the relation between these three. It was also used as a diagnostic tool to decide where and how to improve foresight work in an organisation, and to create combinations or new methods customized for organisations. The framework is generic in that it is possible to scale it and apply it to individuals, groups, organisations and societies.

Fig 11. The generic Foresight Process (Voros 2003)

6.3. CREATIVE THINKING IN A GENERIC FORESIGHT PROCESS
Here, the Generic Foresight Process (GFP) will be analysed with the following aims: The first is to review the literature, which describes the most applied methodologies that are used in each part of the GFP. To decide which tools to include in the analysis, I consulted some key foresight books and articles (Inayatullah 2008; Voros 2003; Conway 2012; Hines & Bishop 2006; Bell 1997). Two to three methodologies have been selected from each phase of the GFP (see figure 12), and the reason for choosing them is that they are the most frequently used methods. Some less common methods have however also been included, and in these cases the reason is discussed in that section. The second purpose of this analysis is to look at what role creative thinking plays in each of these methodologies and hence in each phase of the GFP. The five definitions of creative thinking as

 

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described in chapter five will be used to analyse the different stages. The last stage of the GFP, strategy, will not be discussed here, as it is out of the scope of "pure" foresight work. It is important to highlight that even if the GFP for layout reasons (see figure 11) appears to be a linear process, this is not the case. A generic foresight process is built on continuous double-loop learning (Senge 1990) and if information and insights are revealed from former stages in the process, these are included in the foresight work of the "current" phase the process. Scanning for instance, is an activity, which is continuously undertaken in foresight work, and if new, relevant scan hits are discovered, they will be incorporated in later stages in an on-going process. It is also important to emphasize that the methods used in a foresight process do not necessarily have to be foresight methods. Any method from any discipline used in a generic foresight process for the purpose of generating valuable information for decision-making about the future is appropriate. (Voros 2003)
Stage Methods Required thinking styles Appropriate roles

Scanning, Delphi, Strategic Intelligence Input

Divergent thinking, research skills, organising data,

Remarkable people, experts

Analysis

Emerging issues analysis, trends, cross-impact, systems mapping

Convergent thinking, Analytical thinking, critical thinking

Trend spotters, analysts

Interpretation

Causal Layered Analysis, Harmonic Circles

Deep thinking, Systems thinking, story telling skills, archetypal knowledge, holistic thinking, rational thinking, listening skills

Story tellers, systems thinkers

Scenarios, visioning, backcasting, Harman Fan Prospection

Creative thinking, visionary skills, hypothesis thinking, anticipatory thinking

Visionaries, scenario builders

Reports, presentations, website, apps etc. Output

Presentation skills, selling, PR, marketing, audio/visual, web tech skills

Designers, sellers

Fig. 12. Overview of some methods, thinking styles and roles needed in a foresight process (based on Voros 2003; Hines & Bishop 2006). Some methods can be used across several stages of the GFP, but here they have been placed where they are most commonly used.

 

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6.4. STAGE 1 - INPUTS
The input in a GFP involves all work to gather all data and information. This includes defining the purpose of the foresight exercise, and framing it with appropriate limitations and objectives. There are various ways to do input work, and for some of them, creative thinking can be very valuable. One of the traditional methods to collect information, which has relevance for thinking and decisionmaking about the future, is to ask experts for their opinions. In a so-called Delphi panel (Rowe & Wright 1999), a number of experts answer questions on an issue in a first round. A second round of questions is then carried out, where the experts now have heard the opinions of the others on the panel. More rounds follow until the information has converged into the "correct" information. In this method, creative thinking is therefore applied to begin with (as individual experts likely have used creative thinking to gain the reputation of expert), but then gradually filtered out by the nature of the process. Divergent thinking, which is too far-removed from the core consensus of the iterations of the rounds in a Delphi panel, will be included to start out, but most likely only as a provocation in the first stage. A slightly different take on the Delphi panel is to engage so-called "remarkable people" in the input process. This "method" has long been applied in thinking about the future (Glenn 1999) and the futurist Pierre Wack used it with some success in foresight work for Royal Dutch / Shell (Collyns & Tibbs 1998). The term “remarkable people” was used by Russian philosopher G.I Gurdjieff to describe "someone who stands out from those around him by the resourcefulness of his mind" (Hines & Bishop 2006, p. 76). The method of including remarkable people in the input stage in a foresight process can involve several of the five types of creative thinking. Lateral thinking is unquestionably one of them, as remarkable people are "out-of-the-box" thinkers by definition. These people also tend to value and make use of inspirational thinking and have a natural tendency to apply systems thinking (Collyns & Tibbs 1998). The most commonly used input method in foresight work today is scanning, where a structured, systematic search is done in a framework that is designed in the beginning of the information gathering process. Choo (1998) has identified a number of levels, at which such scanning can be done - each with increasing time frame for the input. The shortest outlook is a scan that looks at the competition of an organisation, and this can be extended to a wider look across industries. A longer time frame is given to environmental scanning, where in a so-called PESTEL scan, a look at political, environmental, social, technological, economic and legal factors for example can be done. Even longer time frames are needed for scanning social intelligence (identifying threats and opportunities for societies) and whole-planet scans. This method does not necessarily require creative thinking to generate valuable input, but divergent thinking and lateral thinking can be very useful to look outside the "normal". According to Jackson (2011) a pre-requisite for the scanning phase is "out-of-the-box" thinking, an open mind and a desire to discover new things. Scanning can be framed with a broader framework than the PESTEL model. A four-quadrant framework (Slaughter 1999a) takes into consideration the inner world of individual identity, meaning and purpose, the inter-subjective social/cultural world, the external world of the individual and the collective external world. Slaughter (1999a) argues that the result in using this method for scanning is wider and therefore gives better scope. Voros (2001) adds different ways of thinking to this framework in adding cross-level analysis. Here, the conscious and unconscious "filters" of the scanning person or organisation are taken into consideration as well. In such integral input models, systems thinking is the most evident type of thinking which is needed out of the five types of creative thinking. To summarize, the input stage can benefit from systems thinking, lateral thinking, divergent thinking and inspirational thinking.

 

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6.5. STAGE 2 - ANALYSIS
The analysis stage of the GFP has the objective to organise and make sense of the data and insights collected in the input stage. The question "what seems to be happening?" can characterize this work. Hence, the nature of this work might not appear to require any creative thinking, but rather convergent, analytical thinking which excludes data, and narrows down and organises information to make sense. A review of the literature of the most used analytical methods shows that this is the case, but that there nevertheless are some methods, which will benefit from creative thinking. In emerging issues analysis a trend is plotted as a graph with time on the x-axis and impact on the yaxis. The purpose of this analysis can be to identify dangers and opportunities before a trend has reached the public spotlight (Inayatullah 2005). According to Dator (1980) an emerging issue has a low probability to occur, but with high impact if it does. Furthermore, it should appear ridiculous, disturbing or provocative when studied. Remarkable people and the creative thinking styles these often possess are therefore useful in this kind of analysis. Aesthetic thinking might also be an area with links to emerging issues analysis. Many aesthetic thinkers are involved in work with cyclical fashions and tendencies. Artists, musicians and designers might be useful to spot and make sense of these emerging issues and trends. Here, divergent thinking might also be useful in order to imagine what's coming next. Cross impact analysis is another analysis method, which is used to weigh the importance of different factors, trends or events on each other. Bell (1997) states that this is similar to a Delphi panel, in that it makes use of expertise, opinion and knowledge among the workshop participants. It is effective in dealing with dependencies between factors and other input, and also in estimating likelihoods of events and trends in a way that is not done in a Delphi. The result of this analysis is a so-called crossimpact matrix, showing the average responses of a group. Again, this is a tool which strives to converge rather than diverge, so out of the five types of creative thinking only one might be of use here - systems thinking, which might be applied when seeing the interdependencies and patterns between events and tendencies. Systems thinking is also unquestionably necessary for the analytical methods known as causal loop analysis, causal mapping, systems mapping or systems analysis (Senge 1990; Senge et al. 1994; Schwaninger 2006). Here, the purpose is to map complex, dynamic systems to understand how different elements are linked and how they impact each other and the whole system. Many different approaches exist in the systems literature. The viable systems model, living systems theory and operations research are some of them (Schwaninger 2006). These methods span both this stage analysis - and the next stage - interpretation. To sum up, the analysis stage in the GFP does not necessarily require or build on any of the five creative thinking styles except for systems thinking, which is a significant component in the systems methods here. The other types might be useful in emergent issues analysis.

6.6. STAGE 3 - INTERPRETATION
The interpretation stage asks the question "what's really happening?" and seeks to reveal deeper drivers, underlying structures, worldviews and even myths of an issue or topic. Voros (2006) uses five levels of increasing depth to illustrate the different layers of reality as shown in fig 13.

 

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Event Trend System Worldview

Discrete events and occurrences Patterns, trends, pop/litany System drivers, social causes, policy analysis Mental models, discourses, perspectives Myths, metaphors, symbols, images Intelligences, types, structures, modes

Historical

Social change and related forces and factors Historical factors and forces Macro-historical factors and forces

Fig 13. Five layers of increasing depth (Voros 2006) The most used method in this stage is CLA - Causal Layered Analysis (Inayatullah 1998), which unpacks an issue through four layers; litany, causes, worldview and myth/metaphor. The first "litany" layer tends to identify an issue or change, while the second layer analyses the underlying systems. The third worldview layer considers culture, values, language and mindsets, while the bottom layer explores myths, ancient stories and archetypes - these last come from a gut/emotional rather than a rational level. Hence, the second layer requires systems thinking skills for the analysis to be fruitful and to show the interrelations of underlying causes of an issue. The third layer, worldviews, requires a type of thinking where one distances oneself from one's own biases and worldview, so lateral thinking can be useful here. The fourth layer can be considerably helped by inspirational thinking in that it connects to intuition and unconscious processes. According to Voros (2006) myths, metaphors, symbols and images are located here, and therefore aesthetic thinking is also very valuable in this work. Storytelling was discussed in chapter 5.4 as one aspect of aesthetic thinking. Many successful films and books, including characters, storyline and dramaturgy, are modelled on ancient myths and metaphors. Judge (2005) discusses the value of metaphor in foresight work and suggests the development of a metaphorical language for the future. In this type of foresight work there is therefore clearly a link to aesthetic thinking. The analysis of the input stage showed that engaging "remarkable people" could be useful. The same applies for the interpretation stage. The method known as genius forecasting is a set of processes that are used by "geniuses" to arrive at statements about the future (Glenn 1999). The futurist Ted Gordon (in Glenn 1999) argues: "Somehow an individual, seasoned by experience and history, integrates all that is obvious and implicit - through internal processes that are not necessarily obvious - and argues for a particular future or set of developments. How do they do it? Not by decision trees like computers, but by some other internal genius processes". These unspecified and unknown internal processes may be a combination of the five types of creative thinking, likely systems, lateral and inspirational thinking. Intuition is another foresight "method", which builds on non-rational activities of the mind that have evolved from much rational thought (Glenn 1999). This method can be the only useful means to estimate the behaviour of a chaotic system. Chaos theory researcher David Greenspan (in Glenn 1999)

 

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suggests that the mind can "see" the hidden order of a chaotic system that eludes arithmetic. Hence, systems thinking plays a large role in the intuition method, but also inspirational thinking. Genius forecasting and intuition (Glenn 1999) are methods, which concern looking inside oneself, i.e. they make use of inner modes of operating, such as feeling. A key aspect here is imagination. These methods sit in both the interpretation phase and the prospection phase in the GFP, as they probe beneath the surface (interpretation) in order to generate visions (prospection). Anthony (2007) describes a relatively new futures tool named Harmonic Circles. The rationale for the design and development of this tool was to balance out the rigid linear and sequential thinking processes based on opposing ideas, mostly used in Western society and its organisations, with more intuitive, non-rational cognition based on unconscious mental processes. This futures tool has been included here as it attempts to bring inspirational thinking to the foresight process. The tool consists of four steps; situate, let the shadow speak, integration and visualisation, where the first step is compared to the "event" and "trend" levels in a layered scheme (Voros 2006) and the last can be seen as a preferred future, of which more will be discussed in the next section - prospection. In terms of creative thinking, this tool requires a high degree of inspirational thinking, and according to Anthony, Harmonic Circles can be useful at the deepest level in a layered method, such as the CLA, to work beyond strong emotional reactions and differing worldviews. The stories, myths and archetypes, which are uncovered at the deepest level in a Causal Layered Analysis can be effectively used in the next phase of the GFP (prospection) - for instance in building scenarios for the future. Metaphors and narrative-based interpretations are often good as building blocks for projections into the future, as we inherently "know" the archetypal stories and the possible futures that stem from these. "Know" in this context, means to be aware of them - both from our childhood stories and the novels and films we have encountered, but also on an unconscious level, as argued in chapter 5.6. All five creative thinking types are valuable in the interpretation stage, especially inspirational, aesthetic and systems thinking.

6.7. STAGE 4 - PROSPECTION
To create "forward views" or "images of the future" is one of the fundamental tasks of futures studies (Voros 2003). This type of foresight work and this stage in the foresight process is where creative thinking is most clearly required for success, as it involves creating something entirely new, which doesn't yet exist. As earlier discussed, one of the "laws of the future" is that we cannot know the future (Amara 1981), and therefore we have to envision and subsequently create it. Coming up with great images of the future is therefore central here in order to "pull" individuals, institutions and societies towards these. The prospection stage asks the question "what might happen?" and the purpose of activities and methods here is to generate a couple of alternative futures. Voros (2006) classifies prospection methods according to whether they are evolutionary or revolutionary, i.e. whether they develop continuously and incrementally, or take quantum leaps into unpredictable futures. When combined with five layers of depth in futures, as described in the interpretation stage in the past section, a spectrum of ten different classes result. All these classes could make use of creative thinking, and especially the revolutionary methods at the deeper levels, where inspirational thinking and post-rational methods may create valuable metaphors and images. Scenarios are stories about plausible futures (Ogilvy 2005) and one of the most widely used and understood foresight methods among the public. The purpose of scenarios can for instance be to explore possibilities, navigate complexity or create shared understanding (Lindgren and Bandhold

 

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2009). Many techniques exist for generating scenarios (Inayatullah 2008; Bishop et al. 2007) based on for example the number of input variables, a positive vs. negative outlook, the number of participants in the workshop, and whether you look forward or backwards. The so-called Harman fan (Schultz 2003) is a method to generate scenarios, which was invented by the futurist Willis Harman. Here a group process is used to systematically build stories from placing events on different time horizons. This method is divergent in nature, and hence divergent thinking is key. Dator's second law of the future states that, "any truly useful idea about the future should appear ridiculous" (Dator 2005). The idea of this statement is that an image or idea of the future must contain elements of novelty and creativity that are radical and unconventional enough to challenge and provoke our thinking. In scenario building, lateral thinking is therefore useful. De Bono's technique of using "provocation" and "movement" as mentioned in chapter 5.3, can for example be applied to generate ridiculous and therefore useful futures. Lindgren & Bandhold (2009, p. 23) define scenarios as "vivid descriptions of plausible futures”. Designing "vivid" scenarios takes certain creative talent, and aesthetic thinking skills such as storytelling and creative writing are very useful here (Schwartz 1996; Flowers 2003). "Futurists tell stories", according to Michael (in Bell 1997, p. 316). This activity in fact draws on all five types of creative thinking in that stories are crafted with many types of thinking. Lateral, divergent and systems thinking can be used for designing meaningful, fun or compelling stories, while inspirational thinking often is key for great story tellers to gain insight. Visioning (Inayatullah 2008) is a method where participants are asked to imagine a new, completely different future from today, and hence any of the five types of creative thinking is relevant here. The focus is not about how to create these futures (Voros 2006), so critical / rational thinking is absent here (but a visioning exercise can be followed up by so-called backcasting to complement with these thinking styles). Visioning can be done in different ways, either based on scenarios, creative visualization or questions asked by a facilitator. Bezold (2005) describes the process as being built gradually over five stages; 1) identification of problems, 2) identification of past successes 3) identification of future desires; 4) identification of measurable goals; and 5) identification of resources to achieve those goals. Visioning works best when participants close their eyes and are put in a meditative state, and thus, the conditions for inspirational thinking are excellent when using this method. To sum up, the prospection stage needs all five types of creative thinking, especially lateral, divergent and aesthetic thinking.

6.8. STAGE 5 - OUTPUT
Voros (2003) breaks down the output from a foresight process into two; tangible and intangible. Tangible outputs are for instance alternative scenarios in an organisation, a website or a report which feeds into policy or strategy work. Intangible outputs, or rather effects (Voros 2012, private communication) result as an individual or a group of people partake in a foresight process. In doing this, the participants change their thinking - especially in the interpretation phase, when insights are generated, and the prospection phase, where alternative views are created. It can be argued that the output stage is not real foresight work, as the methods used are not foresight methods per se. But according to the literature review for this chapter, the foresight literature often overlooks or undervalues the importance of this stage. There has not been much research on how to effectively communicate foresight or the value of participating in a foresight process. This stage therefore could do with more knowledge and insight.

 

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6.8.1. TANGIBLE OUTPUTS
Voros (2003, p. 15) lists workshops, reports, role-play, film, multimedia, and full-immersion experiential events as some examples of tangible outputs of a foresight process. These should be appropriately selected and designed in order to get a message or insights across to a certain audience, and/or to stimulate thinking that goes into a more traditional strategy or policy writing process. The purpose of this is to expand the thinking in that audience or among those decision makers. Hence, the central type of creative thinking here is divergent thinking; or rather lateral thinking by the foresight practitioner in order to present outputs that generate divergent thinking among the participants, i.e. to stimulate divergent thinking. Another type of creative thinking which is relevant here is aesthetic thinking. In order to get a message across or change perceptions, tangible foresight outputs must be appealing. Ramos (2006) argues that the foresight field is often overly academic and must improve its communication skills in order to have larger impact on society. And in this communication, artistic and aesthetic dimensions are key. Rowe (2005) similarly points out that the more relevant and important foresight work is, the smaller its audience usually is. Futures work can be divided into four different levels (Slaughter 1999b) ; pop futures, which is what is normally seen in newspapers and presentations, problemfocussed futures work, which goes deeper, critical futures work, which looks at cultural assumptions, and lastly epistemological futures work, which concerns worldviews and deeper shifts of perceptions. The deeper levels of foresight work are very important to communicate in order to keep the world safe and habitable for future generations, but unfortunately most people do not receive this message (or possibly choose to not receive it). Rowe (2005) discusses the possibility of a "sticky foresight" layer, which aims to communicate these deeper levels to the general public. If successful this would lead to a "foresight epidemic" based on Gladwell's (2001) theory of "tipping points". Herein, three skills or roles are needed to spread the "epidemic"; mavens, connectors and salesmen. The role of the maven is to collect information and provide it to the connector, who influences a large network. The salesman, finally, has the skill of selling the message, i.e. emphasizing that the audience needs to change if they are still not convinced of this. The dramatic impact of the Internet and technology in general makes this easier. Ramos et al (2012) have identified a number of recent initiatives of foresight epidemics, which they label networked foresight. Here, output of the foresight process is quickly spread online to a large number of people. This might be a pathway for foresight to get its message across to the general public. Here all five types of creative thinking are needed. Systems thinking to understand the systemic nature of online networks and how to effectively leverage them; inspirational, lateral and divergent thinking to build insightful, intuitive solutions, which can reach new audiences in new ways. And finally, aesthetic thinking such as storytelling and interface design is helpful in order to attract people in the "noise" of other online fascinations.

6.8.2. INTANGIBLE OUTPUTS
Voros (2003 p15) defines the intangible outputs of a GFP as "the changes in thinking engendered by the whole process". A person who is involved in a foresight process will make use of many cognitive styles and types of creative thinking. Slaughter (2004) emphasizes the importance of which style and what depth of thinking that a practitioner or facilitator of a foresight process uses. A consequence of this might for instance be when a facilitator is naturally good at systems thinking, or has the ability to make use of inspirational thinking in a foresight process, where the intangible output will be different compared to a facilitator with other cognitive preferences. Thus, the presence or absence of all five types of creative thinking will play a large role in the intangible outputs of a foresight process. Slaughter (2004) proposes that foresight practitioners continuously take a self-reflective stance on their foresight work and practice, as their inner thoughts and level of consciousness significantly will influence the outcomes of a foresight process.

 

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6.9. SUMMARY OF CREATIVE THINKING IN A GENERIC FORESIGHT PROCESS
To sum up this analysis it is clear that creative thinking is more or less needed in all the stages of the GFP. However, it is different kinds of creative thinking, and some of the stages require more creative thinking than others. Figure 14 maps some methods in the five stages of the GFP to the five types of creative thinking and shows the level of creative thinking, which is needed.

Stage

Method Divergent thinking Delphi panel Consulting remarkable people Environmental scanning Integral scanning Emerging Issues analysis Cross-impact analysis Low Medium Medium Medium Medium Low Low Low Medium Low High High High Medium Lateral thinking Low High Medium Medium Low Low Low Low High Low High Low High High Aesthetic thinking Low Low Low Low Low Low Medium High Low Low High Low High High Systems thinking Low High Medium High Medium High High Medium High Low High High Low Low Inspirational thinking Low Medium Low Low Medium Low Low High High High Medium Medium High Low

Input

Analysis

Systems mapping Causal Layered Analysis Genius

Interpretation

Harmonic Circles Scenarios Harman Fan

Prospection

Visioning Tangible presentations Intangible effects

Output

High

High

High

High

High

Fig. 14. Level of creative thinking in different phases and methods in a generic foresight process

 

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7. RECOMMENDATIONS - HOW CAN THE QUALITY OF A FORESIGHT PROCESS BE IMPROVED?
The analysis in the past chapters has revealed some important things. Firstly, that creative thinking can mean many things - from simple tricks of the mind, to life-changing epiphanies. Secondly that there are many occasions in a foresight process, where creative thinking can be used or is required. So how can these insights help to increase the quality of a foresight process? One way of measuring the quality of foresight is to look at the two outputs of a generic foresight process as mentioned in chapter 6.8; the tangible output and the intangible output (Voros 2003). Slaughter (2004) states that "good foresight work" is when a foresight process leads to doing things differently, exploring new things or shifting perceptions of what an organisation is available to do in terms of options for the future. These changes depend much on the intangible outputs. If a person has changed his or her perception of something during a GFP, then this person will likely see the future differently, and may discover and think about new options that are available on a personal and organisational level. Voros (2003, p. 16) similarly says that the most important output of GFP is the "expanded perception of strategic options available and possible." Here follows a couple of brief suggestions and recommendations with tangible and intangible outputs and effects in mind, based on the literature review and the analysis:

7.1. INVOLVE MORE CREATIVE THINKERS IN THE FORESIGHT PROCESS
Figure 14 shows where elements of creative thinking are useful in the GFP, and these are good starting points to use to attract new creative people into the foresight field. In the design and delivery of workshops based on the generic foresight process, foresight practitioners should therefore include people with these skills in order to improve the quality of the process, but also in order to bring new thinking and perspectives into the foresight field.

7.2. SPEND MORE TIME AND RESOURCES ON FORESIGHT OUTPUT
The output phase is the most visible part of the GFP to the general public, and if more people can be attracted and tempted by well-designed and thought-provoking output from foresight processes, more people will think about and act on their preferred futures. Some examples of how this can be done were discussed in chapter 6.8.1.

7.3. EXPERIMENT WITH "A BEGINNER'S MIND"
Ask people to identify where they would like to participate in a foresight process. In the recommendation in section 7.1 the purpose is to include people with certain thinking abilities (creative thinking) in order to increase the quality of the tangible output of the process. In this recommendation it is instead about involving people with certain preference. We all have different preferences, and a foresight process can give people who normally use rational/logic types of thinking in their work insight if they are allowed to try the tasks involved in a foresight process, where creative thinking is needed. Vice versa, creative thinkers might try analytical elements of the process. This cross-thinking type exchange may help to move the futures and foresight field to a balanced discipline, based on both "art and science". The benefits here are both that people can try new types of thinking, but also that improvements of and new insights in the foresight field itself can result as new people engage in the discipline with a so-called "beginner's mind". Having no preconceived perspective on a challenge can generate new, innovative solutions in foresight work.

 

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7.4. HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF THE CREATIVITY SPECTRUM
In order to make a foresight process more impactful, all five types of creative thinking in chapter five must be acknowledged and promoted - especially the higher forms of creative thinking; systems thinking and inspirational thinking. These two are necessary in order to tackle wicked problems and design better futures for humanity, and must be celebrated, highlighted and promoted in the foresight process and elsewhere. In chapter 3.1, some different paradigms of creativity research were listed. Sternberg & Lubart (1999) explains that the early mystical approaches long kept science out of studying creativity; the reason being that it was a concept, which could not be studied objectively. When proper scientific research finally began on creative thinking, most of the mystery was thrown out. Some researchers believe that the scientists might have "thrown the baby out with the bath water". Many of the mystical explanations are rubbish, but there are gold nuggets in there too (Harman & Rheingold 1984). Highquality foresight work has always balanced between art and science, and must now show other disciplines how such a both/and approach works. This for example by differentiating between various forms of creative thinking and by highlighting that some of them are better than others. Most organisations acknowledge that they need creative thinking, and many use tools and workshops for divergent and lateral thinking. Aesthetic thinking is used in some places, but mainly by "creatives" (Hamel 2007). Systems thinking in organisational settings is encouraged by some organisations (Senge 1990), but inspirational thinking, with the possibly most revolutionary benefits of them all, is not encouraged. Foresight practitioners might help to change this.

7.5. ACKNOWLEDGE OTHER WAYS OF OPERATING
According to chapter 5.8 it appears that for truly creative efforts one must leave the realm of only creative thinking and move to other means of operating. Sure, one can think creatively and come up with great ideas by divergent, lateral, aesthetic and systems thinking. But for revolutionary creativity, thinking is not enough. Feeling and deeper ways of knowing, which includes non-rational methods are needed. This type of creative work is however not encouraged or even considered in most institutions or organisations in modern society. Among artists it is however, and has always been, seen as a natural part of the creative process. These could be included in the foresight process to observe, understand and be able to replicate their creative process. To sum up this brief chapter, there are a number of ways where the insights and knowledge about creative thinking in foresight gained in chapter five and six can improve a foresight process. This can be done in involving new and different people in foresight, in focussing more on the output from the GFP, and by re-framing the concept of what creative thinking can be.

 

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8. DISCUSSION - HOW CAN CREATIVE THINKING BE USED TO BUILD COLLECTIVE FORESIGHT?
8.1. CO-CREATING THE FUTURE
More than forty years ago the Alvin Toffler (1970, p. 418) said about futures thinking; "to the rigorous discipline of science, we must add the flaming imagination of art". Thus, futurists have since long understood and pointed out the importance of combining rational science with creative imagination to build better futures. In the opening chapter it was discussed how foresight on an intellectual level has moved from being considered either an art or a science to a combination of both. However, the discipline must also in practice "become" a mix of the two. One aim of this study is to see how creative thinking can "push" foresight to make this transition faster. While the role of scientists has been considered to design probable futures, and the role of artists and creatives to imagine possible futures, these roles might need to merge. A multi-disciplinary approach to designing the future must instead be taken in policy making and strategy planning. Both artists and scientists (and more) must work systematically together in order to create a non-fragmented, viable, feasible future. According to Dator (in Slaughter 1996, p. 111) "it is absolutely essential that all people who have a stake in a future be involved in determining it". So how do we include more people in a foresight process in order to co-create such a participatory future? Creativity might be one way. Inayatullah (as quoted in chapter one) says that futures have many entrances and exits. So how can creative thinking be used as a "door" to open up foresight to the broader public? As shown in chapter six all stages of the GFP contain various types of creative thinking, and all these instances can be leveraged to involve more people in a foresight process.

8.2.THE FUTURE AS A LANDSCAPE
The following discussion will be based on an image by futurist Hardin Tibbs (1999), which he calls the strategic landscape (see figure 15). In a participatory future, where a collective of humans collaborate to build wiser futures together, the landscape might look like in figure 15. The star is our "enduring and guiding social role", the reason for our being. The mountain is our challenging objective, which in this case of a collective would be how to collaborate over disciplines and paradigms to create a preferred, participatory future. The chessboard would be the strategic environment where co-creation of this future takes place with available structures, systems, processes, tools and techniques, but also challenges and pitfalls ahead of us. The "self" is in our image, the collective self, with our diverse skills, knowledge, values, experience, strengths and weaknesses.

 

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Fig 15. Co-creating the future (based on Tibbs 1999) Here follows a discussion of each of these images in the metaphor and how creative thinking can be used in each.

8.3. THE STAR: OUR ENDURING AND GUIDING SOCIAL ROLE
Senge et al. (1994) writes about five different ways of developing a vision, and organisations tend to be at one of these stages of employee participation; telling, selling, testing, consulting and co-creating. In the last stage, which according to Senge is what organisations should strive for, the management and employees of an organisation collaborate on building a vision for everybody. So if the collective we study is all planetary citizens; what is humanity's vision, i.e. the enduring and guiding social role symbolised by the star? Survival of the species? Responsible stewardship of planet Earth and its inhabitants? This question might benefit from being discussed, but is outside the scope of this thesis. It is however crucial to include the "star" in the model, for if this is not clear, we might be climbing the "wrong mountain" in the image, i.e. work towards the wrong goals. The storytellers and creative thinkers, who work with scenarios and the metaphorical work in causal layered analysis in a foresight process, may include their version of the star in their images.

8.4. THE MOUNTAIN: THE CHALLENGING OBJECTIVE
Bell (1997, p. 93) asks for "increased democratic participation of imagining and designing the future". The futurists Alvin Toffler and Clem Bezold (Bezold 2005) also understood the importance of involving the general public in foresight work early on, and labelled this concept "anticipatory democracy". A modern closely related concept is Douglas Rushkoff's (in Slaughter 2012, p117) "open source democracy". One challenging objective, which has long been asked for in foresight, is hence to increase participation in designing and creating the future.

 

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A key role that creative thinking can play in "the mountain metaphor" is the one mentioned in chapter 6.7. Here, it was shown that the quality of scenarios, visions and other images of the future could be improved radically with the help of all types of creative thinking. To design futures, which people are attracted to and desire to work towards, we need creative thinkers. As an example, many talented creative thinkers today are employed by the advertising industry with the role to create desire. These creative thinkers with all their skills in creating desire would be invaluable in designing appropriate metaphors for our challenges.

8.5. THE CHESSBOARD: THE JOURNEY OF CO-CREATING THE FUTURE TOGETHER
Creativity is a matter of life and death for any society. – Arnold Toynbee This section will discuss the paths that creativity and creative thinking can take towards a collaborative creation of the future. We all create the future in every action and non-action we take. So how can individual creativity and foresight be harvested in pursuit of a co-created future? In our image, the metaphor of the chessboard represents the global arena with the massive systemic challenges we face on the planet, and where co-creation of the future takes place with the structures, systems, processes, tools and techniques that we have available to us. Processes, which can assist in these pursuits, are for instance the generic foresight process and the design thinking process. In this turbulent and unpredictable arena we are constantly overloaded with information and new knowledge. This makes it increasingly difficult for one person or a small team to solve complex problems or decide the strategic direction of organisations and institutions. Collaborative models for innovation and problem solving, commonly known as crowdsourcing, are therefore today widely used in governments and large corporations. Research, innovation and decision-making are outsourced to the crowd, and hence our collective intelligence is used to shape the future (Leavy 2012, Surowiecki 2004). New processes might be needed for this new kind of co-creation. Sawyer & DeZutter (2009) describes a non-individualistic creative process, called distributed creativity, where all participants contribute equally and where the outcome is impossible to predict beforehand by looking at the individual contribution. A recent development in foresight is so-called "open foresight processes" (Miemis et al 2012; Ramos & Mansfield 2012). These are processes that are run in open online forums, with the aim to involve a large, diverse group of people. The process and result is transparent as it is carried out and presented through social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook and Quora. Raford (2012) however points out that there are pitfalls in crowdsourcing the future. Ogilvy was quoted in chapter 1.1 as reflecting on how foresight could become "a kind of collectively practiced existentialism". New technologies and games might be able to assist here. Bell (1997, p. 285-7) defines eight purposes of gaming; teaching, training, operational gaming, experimentation and research, entertainment, therapy and diagnosis, forecasting and advocacy. California's Institute for the future has recently experimented with tackling wicked problems through multi-player online games (Dunagan 2012) on a web platform called The Foresight Engine, and such initiatives are obviously based on many types of creative thinking. The intangible effects of a foresight process were discussed in chapter 6.8.2. If large groups of people, i.e. cities, large institutions or communities can be brought on board a foresight process, large shifts might happen.

 

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Creative thinking has a huge role to play in this "chessboard" image; the co-creation of the future. Games, social media-based open foresight and other crowd-based foresight work will benefit enormously from engaging and involving people with creative thinking.

8.6. THE SELF: HARVESTING COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE, CREATIVITY AND
WISDOM The real treasures in futures are not in the ground. The real resources are within us. But most of those resources are neglected because many people are arrested in their development at a certain age, and because human development is seen only as educational development – you learn more and more but you don’t look at your inner sources of imagination. – Robert Jungk In our metaphorical image the last part is the self, i.e. the intelligence, creativity, wisdom and foresight of the collective. According to Hayward (in Slaughter 2012) the capacity for collective foresight and wisdom is related to the foresight in each individual, which is part of the collective. In order to optimize foresight in a collective, it is imperative that each individual develop along some of the key lines or streams, which were described in chapter 4.2.4. For collective wisdom the moral line, for collective intelligence the cognitive lines and so on. How can creative thinking help here? According to Carl Rogers (cited in Harman & Rheingold 1984, p. 107) "the mainspring of creativity appears to be... man's tendency to actualize himself, to become his potentialities." This aspect of creativity is beyond thinking and rather about being or becoming whole and part of something larger than oneself. This clearly touches on the creative thinking types on the higher end on the creativity spectrum in figure 8. Systems thinking is something we can develop, and inspirational thinking is something we can all access, with immense benefits for others and ourselves. Maslow (Harman & Rheingold 1984, p112) pointed out that the deepest experiences of highest insight and creativity, often called spiritual experiences "has been the private, lonely, personal illumination, revelation or ecstasy of some acutely sensitive prophet or seer". Hence, also the individual aspect of creativity must be acknowledged as a complement to the benefits of collective creation, as seen in this chapter. The paradox between individual and collective creativity was briefly discussed in chapter 3.2, and it is important to highlight that both are crucial. Maslow continues to describe some features of religion as "the codification and the communication of this original mystic experience or revelation from the lonely prophet to the mass of human beings in general." In this quote one can see the parallels between creativity and religion. The procedures that Einstein went through to make his scientific revelations accepted and understood by others; Picasso's paintings, sculptures and artistic output which represented his unconscious insights, and the Buddha spreading his wisdom and teachings might only be different processes to do just this same thing; communicate personal revelations of creativity to human beings in general. According to Ian Miles (in Bell 1997, p. 93), "ideas - even images of the future - have no power in themselves to change the world. Their effectiveness depends upon the existence of people both willing to put them into action and capable of doing so". Willing and capable are two key aspects in the quote. In the context of this thesis, willing can be seen as thinking preference and capable as thinking ability as discussed in chapter 4.2. Ellyard (2012, p. 77) similarly uses a neat little formula to explain an individual's future; Aptitude + Passion = Destiny. A challenge for humanity to navigate the strategic landscape therefore entails processes and tools to help people find their passions and aptitudes.

 

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This chapter with its discussion around the image of the strategic landscape illustrates how metaphors can be used to re-frame circumstances and allow for different thinking about the future. Symbols such as the star and the mountain are universal and can help to build shared visions and goals. Creative thinking can be very useful in order to design and spread such metaphors and hence build collective foresight, which can shift how we imagine our desired future and consequently change the actions we take to approach this.

 

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9. CONCLUSION
Foresight is a field, which could benefit greatly from more involvement by creative thinking and creative thinkers like designers, storytellers and other artists. This would move the field further away from a discipline, which is considered as either being made up of crystal ball-gazing oracles, or on the other hand of white-coated, faceless scientists tracking statistical data and trends with complex algorithms. Creative thinking can be used to improve a foresight process. By acknowledging that creative thinking is a spectrum which goes from simple tools for tricking the brain to immensely powerful mystical experiences, based on feeling, being and other modes of operating, foresight might be able to take "creativity in organisations" and in other collective contexts to a completely new level. Creative thinking can be very useful in initiatives to build collective foresight, such as "open foresight", foresight games and "foresight epidemics", where both individual and collective creativity are important to navigate the complexities of the world towards better futures for all.

 

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