MediaLAB Amsterdam

Backcasting

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Backcasting is a method for planning the actions necessary to reach desired future goals. This method is often applied in a workshop format with stakeholders participating.

To be used when a future goal (even if it is vague) has been identified.

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Goal

To make a road map of clear milestones towards a future goal.

Attachments

Instructions

1. List down your long term goals. Think of a time frame between 1 and 20 years.

2. Work backwards to figure out the necessary actions to achieve the long term goal. Step by step, don’t ever skip one!

3. Collect insights over difficulties that might be encountered, steps that need to be taken and resources needed to achieve the goal.

NOTE

You can start with answering the question: ‘Define your success in 2025’.

OUTPUT

Step by step guide to achieve the long term goals.

NEXT

Reflect and revise your long term goals if needed. Carry out your plan.

Background

Source: MediaLAB Amsterdam

REFERENCE

ROBINSON, John. Future subjunctive: backcasting as social learning. Futures, 2003, 35.8: 839-856.

PHDUNGSILP, Aumnad. Futures studies’ backcasting method used for strategic sustainable city planning. Futures, 2011, 43.7: 707-714.

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