No, it’s not a crystal ball! Seriously, futurists use many tools. New tools to explore and describe the impacts of change are being invented every day.
A currently popular–and useful tool–is the scenario. Scenarios are stories about the future. If you want to explain an evolving, complex pattern of change, a story is a powerful and engaging way to do it. All the better if you can do it with images, or video!
Scenario tools can be expanded and shrunk to accommodate the time and effort available. The shorter the process, the more important that key people are engaged in it! That’s because creating a story of the future sparks insights you might not get in any other way.