Imprint: Triarchy Press
Published: June 2020
(1st ed: Sept 2013)
List Price: £12.00
Size: 14 x 21.6 cm
Buy the 2nd edition Paperback (£12)
Three Horizons: The Patterning of Hope
A practical framework for thinking about the future… and an exploration of 'future consciousness' and how to develop it.
2nd edition: Revised and fully updated in 2020
Three Horizons is a simple and intuitive framework for thinking about the future. The framework explains how people often manage to disagree so violently about their visions of the future and how to achieve them - and it offers a practical way to begin constructive conversations about the future at home, in organisations and in society at large.
Below: Kate Raworth (Doughnut Economics) explains Three Horizons (7 min view)
"It’s a tool for thinking about transformation and how to bring it about. It doesn’t give you answers but it allows you to have a far more nuanced conversation, bringing out new insights and allowing people to disagree for more interesting reasons." Kate Raworth
The three horizons are about much, much more than simply stretching our thinking to embrace the short, medium and long term. They offer a co-ordinated way of managing innovation, a way of creating transformational change that has a chance of succeeding, a way of dealing with uncertainty and a way of seeing the future in the present.
In this beautifully illustrated book, Bill Sharpe introduces the Three Horizons framework as a prompt for developing a ‘future consciousness’ – a rich and multi-faceted awareness of the future potential of the present moment – and explores how to put that awareness to work to create the futures we aspire to.
"One of the very difficult issues in futures work is how do you get from a map of some possible futures - a set of future landscapes - to knowing what to do. One of the things that Three Horizons does is it gives you a relatively explicit way of knowing what to do."
Andrew Curry, The Futures Company
Read the full review
Below: Nigel Topping (CEO, We Mean Business) explains Three Horizons (7 min view)
"It’s a set of thinking tools that helps us to think collectively about the future in a way which leads to more effective action. It’s very useful for any of us working to try and build a better future…" Nigel Topping
The book first outlines the Three Horizons framework and the practices it supports, including case studies of its effective application in rural community development, education, healthcare and elsewhere.
In the final section, Sharpe outlines the potential of future consciousness as a shared cultural practice, exploring his intuition that “we have within us a far deeper capacity for shared life than we are using, and that we are suffering from an attempt to know our way into the future instead of live our way”.
Three Horizons is exquisitely illustrated by artist and IFF member Jennifer Williams.
Policy makers and advisers, leaders in organisations in the public and private sector, futurists and anyone with an interest in change and planning in society at large.
Keywords: Organizations; public sector management; Education management; systems change; policy making; NGO strategy; future studies; foresight; strategic planning; public policy; International Futures Forum; IFF; Innovation
Newcomers to the Three Horizons model often say they cannot see what is distinctive about it: now, future, some transition between them. There are other models out there which look much the same...
In this clear, short review article, Andrew Curry explores how Three Horizons works as a systems model. Do read it...
The Case Studies
A Brief Introduction to 3 Horizons
Systems Thinking and 3 Horizons
Read Reviews of this book
All Intl. Futures Forum titles
All IFF publications are illustrated by Jennifer Williams. Her engaging, intimate and original illustrations are an essential part of IFF's narrative and message.
"...future consciousness is ‘this flexible awareness and skill that we can develop together because it is an awareness of the future potential of the present moment’. ...Five propositions capture the core of it:
1. Future consciousness is an awareness of the future potential of the present moment.
2. Transformative change is that change which requires a re-patterning of our collective lives rather than an extension of the current pattern.
3. Transformative innovation can be seen as working with 3 different qualities of the future in the present that we characterise as the 3 horizons of future consciousness.
4. Three Horizons provides a notation and framework for the collective practice of future consciousness in a simple way – it brings all the perspectives and
voices into the room with the
potential for constructive dialogue.
5. Future consciousness can only be fully developed as a universal shared practice in which every person is a unique source of transformative insight and human potential."
Read the full article on Future Consciousness by Maree Conway, (published in The Association of Professional Futurists' Compass Newsletter).