Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

Could futurists make scanning a social activity?

Scanning is one of the fundamentals of futures practice. Futurists regularly scan the news, magazines, scientific literature, and other materials for new emerging trends, to detect the appearance of potential futures, or to find interesting anomalies or weak signals that herald disruptions or paradigm shifts. Scanning is common but it is not competitive: we don't do it for money, but to enable us to make money. However, we tend to scan alone: even though we all draw on some of the same sources, scanning is ubiquitous but solitary. Put another way, scanning is immensely inefficient.



  1. Without getting too deep into the microblogging hype…

    What say you about microblogging/Tweets/Tumblr with links/quotes/comments: e.g. Twitter or Tumblr are highly popular “scanning” and sharing ecosystems, people sharing the results of continuous scanning/discovery.

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