Six pillars: futures thinking for transforming

Sohail Inayatullah (Professor at the Graduate Institute of Futures Studies, Tamkang University, Taiwan and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, Australia.)


ISSN: 1463-6689

Publication date: 22 February 2008



The purpose of this paper is to present a new approach to the study of the future.


The paper describes six foundational concepts (the used future, the disowned future, alternative futures, alignment, models of social change, and uses of the future), six questions (will, fear, missing, alternatives, wish, and next steps as related to the future) and six pillars (mapping, anticipating, timing, deepening, creating alternatives, and transforming), giving examples and case studies where appropriate.


In an increasingly complex and heterogeneous world, futures studies can help people to recover their agency, and help them to create the world in which they wish to live.


The paper integrates and builds on a variety of futures studies' concepts, ways of thinking and techniques and integrates them into a new approach.



Inayatullah, S. (2008), "Six pillars: futures thinking for transforming", Foresight, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 4-21.

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