Thursday, May 18, 2023

The Quantum Shift in Social Innovation

In the realm of futures & foresight, one crucial lesson stands out: the importance of defining what is logically possible from the outset of any transformative exercise.

As we delve into the world of quantum theory, we discover that the classical notions of possibility and impossibility are not absolute. This post explores the implications of quantum logic on our understanding of the future and the necessity of embracing radical shifts in social innovation to expand the boundaries of what is deemed preposterous.

Quantum Theory and Logically Impossible:

Quantum theory challenges our conventional understanding of possibility by introducing the concept of logical impossibility in the classical sense. It reveals that what may seem logically impossible within the framework of classical set theory can, in fact, be logically possible within the quantum realm. One intriguing example of this is the violation of the Bell inequality, derived from classical set theory. This video ( showcases Susskind's calculation of this violation, highlighting the departure from classical logic.

The Futures Cone: Exploring the Beyond:

In the pursuit of futures & foresight, the concept of the Futures Cone, as developed in the celebrated work by Voros (, provides a valuable framework. The cone illustrates various types, ranging from the most probable futures to the less plausible ones. At the outer edges of the cone lie the Preposterous Futures, where ideas may appear implausible or even impossible based on current knowledge. However, it is within this realm that we must challenge ourselves to push the boundaries of what is considered logical and possible.

Engaging in meaningful conversations about the logical possibilities or impossibilities of the future can be challenging unless we embrace a radical change akin to the paradigm shift from classical logic to quantum logic. By adopting a mindset influenced by quantum principles, we can disrupt the traditional modes of thinking and open ourselves to new avenues of exploration. This shift calls for an expanded vision, where we continuously push the envelope of what is logically possible and seek to displace or shift the boundary lines of the preposterous.

In the ever-evolving landscape of futures & foresight, it is essential to acknowledge the impact of quantum theory on our understanding of possibility. 

By recognizing that classical notions of impossibility can be defied within the quantum realm, we gain a fresh perspective on the logical boundaries of the future. Embracing a radical change akin to the shift from classical logic to quantum logic in social innovation allows us to explore the realm of Preposterous Futures, challenging our assumptions and expanding the realm of what is deemed possible. 

As futurists, it is our mission to continuously question and push the boundaries of what is considered logically possible, ultimately paving the way for transformative change and inspiring a future beyond our wildest imaginations.

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