Three Horizons – Concept & Practice

Ian Kendrick
18 April 2019

Three Horizons is a simple and intuitive tool for thinking about the future. It grew out of a wealth of experience in future thinking, notably in strategic scenario thinking. It is an easy to use but potent way of thinking about working towards the future in the present, including maintaining the best of the present system.
It helps groups explore systemic patterns to identify which of the dominant patterns are no longer fit for purpose, how the emerging trends can shape the future, and what visionary action is needed to collectively move us towards a viable future.
The future can be perceived through three lenses:

Horizon 1: Continue Business as Usual
Horizon 3: Vision of a Viable Future
Horizon 2: Innovation towards the Vision

The way in which we view the future impacts how we set our priorities and which decisions we make today.
Every person will have their own unique mix of orientation toward the horizon perspectives. If they remain unsurfaced, these orientations can unconsciously impact the quality of decisions as well as team cohesion.
The three horizons are about much more than simply stretching our thinking to embrace the short, medium and long term.  The Three Horizons  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.

Ian is a co-founder of H3Uni and will explore the Three Horizons approach and show real world examples of its deployment in different domains, how it is being used online and by groups large and small.