A history of prediction



We’ve created an interactive timeline through dipity that collects insights and future predictions.  Have a look here if you’re interested, it’s growing rapidly at the moment.

Dipity - history of prediction

Why would we do this?

We believe its a useful exercise to chart predictions about the future.  This is a complex task and when you start collecting data, you realise there are a lot of predictions out there!  So, as start point we’ve begun by collecting specific trends highlighted in the UK Global Strategic Trends Programme and matching them to the dates when they are supposed to occur.  This is an interesting exercise as many of the predictions made through this programme are due to come into effect next year in 2015!  We believe doing this will do two things:

1.  It will enable any probabilities around future outcomes to be tested – this means that, in principle, the accuracy of the forecasts for the future should be able to improved.

2.  It helps people produce their own forecasts – by having all the predictions that everyone else has made in one place, provides a resource that people can use when attempting to make their own forecasts or long term plans.

What is ‘STEMPLE’?

To make it easier to manage the data, we’ve classified the trends into 7 categories using an intelligence analysis technique known as ‘STEMPLE’.  This is really a way of classifying world events into the following categories:


At present – this is just a proof of concept.  We’ve just focused the timeline on outputs from the Global Strategic Trends programme, but, we’re currently producing a more complex analysis, that combines these predictions with other futures assessments around the world and any interesting other sources we pick up along the way like this:

A history of failed predictions by Richard Watson (part 1) http://www.fastcompany.com/1706712/timeline-failed-predictions-part-1

A history of failed predictions by Richard Watson (part 2) http://www.fastcompany.com/1708967/timeline-failed-predictions-part-2

A history of space predictions - http://www.dipity.com/mielles/Space_Predictions_Through_2020/

If you are interested in the full dataset we’re using to populate the timeline please get in contact through info@simplexity.org.uk.

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