Three Horizons – what’s it all about?

GrahamLeicester3HorizonsOur Spring Gathering this year is focused on exploring how the transformational change to a sustainable, post-carbon future can come about and the role of communities in shaping it.

In the second session in the morning, Graham Leicester, former diplomat and now Director of the The International Futures Forum will be working with us to run a practical workshop introducing their three horizons model.

This provides one very useful ‘practical framework for thinking about the future’.  It builds on the observation that any system goes through the different stages of emergence, growth, peak performance, decline and death and how systemic change may be gradual or sudden.

This can be used to picture how we are currently entering the messy and chaotic (2nd horizon) space between the breakdown of our fossil-fuel dependent status-quo and the emergence of a way of life adapted to a sustainable, post-carbon future.









The Three Horizons model suggests that socially and technically innovative initiatives, better adapted to newly emerging circumstances and values, are used to lay the foundations for building a new (3rd horizon) future. Whilst the transition occurs, these initiatives may also be co-opted to ‘prop up’ the (1st horizon) status-quo for a little bit longer.

Crucially, the Three Horizons framework can be used to help people step out of their habitual mindset and assumptions about the future, to put themselves in the shoes of someone viewing issues from differing perspectives and to look at change in a much more creative way.

Following on from the morning’s introduction, a two-hour workshop in the afternoon will be available for participants wishing to explore the possibilities of Three Horizons approach in more depth.