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Q: Backcasting and Facilitation ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Backcasting and Facilitation
Category: Business and Money > Consulting
Asked by: dave_robertson-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 04 Feb 2003 08:31 PST
Expires: 06 Mar 2003 08:31 PST
Question ID: 157184
There is a technique in facilitation called "backcasting" (as opposed
to "forecasting"). In simple terms, what is it and how does it work?
Subject: Re: Backcasting and Facilitation
Answered By: hammer-ga on 04 Feb 2003 09:31 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
In simple terms, backcasting is the process of deciding what you want
the future to look like, then working backwards to determine what
steps must occur to arrive there. This is as opposed to forecasting,
where you try to guess what the future will be like. In backcasting,
you decide what you want for the future, then try to figure out how to
get there from here.

It is a planning method whose purpose is to enable visionary thinking
without the interference of perceived current practical constraints.
It is a technique mainly used by professional futurists.

Here are some quotes/links from websites discussing this concept:

University of Arizona

It is important to "ask the right question" when dealing with any
futures analysis. We are often comfortable in current ways, or unable
to ask relevant questions in a comfortable setting. Backcasting allows
this to be done by "leaping" to the future through a vision or
scenario, without regard to the method of getting there. This way,
preferred futures can be identified and evaluated independently of the
constraints of how to achieve the future situation. Then, after
sufficient discussion to determine where we would like to be, we can
look at where we are and determine the various methods/means of
getting to the preferred future.


Paraphrase of the World Future Society Draft
Backcasting Techniques

The method of backcasting is closely related to the technique of
scenario planning. In backcasting one "fixes" a desired future and
works backwards so that suitable decisions can be taken in the present
so as to achieve that desired future. Backcasting involves the
following steps:

Determine objective
Specify goals and constraints
Describe the present system
Specify exogenous variables
Undertake scenario analysis
Impact analysis


Kairos Future
Future stories
This is also known as ’backcasting’ and means that one imagines
oneself in a future situation – a possible, probable or desirable
future. Using this as a starting point, a ’history of the future’
leading up to this situation can then be written. This can be done
systematically, step-by-step or intuitively.


Search strategy:
backcasting techniques

These search terms will turn up examples of groups using backcasting.
You can investigate those that seem to match your needs.

Best regards,

- Hammer
dave_robertson-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
A good answer given the budget .... The third reference wasn't that
helpful given the first two. Thanks!

There are no comments at this time.

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