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Uncharted: How to Map the Future

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  140 ratings  ·  19 reviews
'An urgent read…Karl Popper for the 21st century'  Robert Phillips, former CEO, Edelman EMEA and author of Trust me, PR is Dead

How can we think about the future? What do we need to do – and who do we need to be?

In her bold and invigorating new book, distinguished businesswoman and author Margaret Heffernan explores the people and organizations who aren’t daunted by uncert
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published February 20th 2020 by Simon & Schuster UK
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Laura Spira
A timely read, about tackling uncertainty. A quick read because Heffernan has an engaging writing style. But I found it somewhat unsatisfying. The structure seemed incoherent and made the argument difficult to follow. She has conducted many interviews but it was not clear how these articulated with her project. Her use of illustrative cases is more effective when analysing organisations than individuals.

Nevertheless, I found her account of the global initiatives addressing areas of uncertainty
Oct 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Great book, not the greatest. Had some very interesting ideas, especially scenario planning. Really drives home the point that once you accept that no one knows what is going to happen in the future, then you can start asking better questions.
Joshua Gutman
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
It was pretty uncanny how the last chapter of the book talks about pandemic preparedness (it's actually a more optimistic take than how things panned out) even though the book was published in February of 2020. It even specifically mentions social intervention in relation to the 1918 flu and how MERS-like and SARS-like viruses were among the ones that were most important to be prepared for. ...more
John Crippen
I'm surprised this title wasn't published by HBR Press. I don't know How to Navigate the Future, but I have read a lot of very interesting stories now. One good thing about the book was that it prompted me to pick back up a study of scenario planning (only covered in one chapter here). And for the record, I would give Russ Roberts' EconTalk interview with the author four stars! ...more
Antonio Skarica
Feel good pop current affairs ramblings.
Sergio Caredda
Uncharted è un libro sul Futuro, che spiega perchè sia in fondo impossibile prevederlo. Le armi per poter affrontare l'incertezza sono la creatiuvità e le nostre capacità di resilienza e adattabilità. Perché quindi le nostre organizzazioni cercando di ridurre tutto attraverso processi di previsione che non funzionano?
Un libro pieno di esempio, forse anche troppo ricco di contenuti a volte non pienamente coerenti, ma che offrono un'ottima chiave di lettura, anche a livello individuale.
Sep 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is about how to map the future together.

1. The future is unknowable. Even Super predictors are wrong a lot of times. Pundits perform even worse, and the more the fame, the worse the prediction. Even then, there is a huge market for predictions because humans crave certainty (even if it is wrong)

2. To prepare for the unpredictable future, we need to have strong institutions, not necessarily of the government. We need to be humble, nimble and build up solidarity with our groups. Think o
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I received a digital pre-publication galley of “Uncharted,” in exchange for a fair review. Margaret Heffernan provides us with a sage and engaging book that is meant to make us more thoughtful and resilient as we confront the future. In the introduction she brilliantly remarks that “We have moved from a complicated world to a complex one.” Complicated scenarios, she argues, follow rules and ultimately can be mastered with analytical thinking. Complex situations are non-linear where small effects ...more
Ben Pratt
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Margaret Heffernan is on my short list of favorite non-fiction writers. In this book, her focus is on the future and how to more effectively navigate it given our discomfort with uncertainty and the narrowness of our individual experience. It’s a timely topic given the increasing rate of technological change and its impact on our lives, livelihoods, and society.

The entire book is brilliant. It’s perhaps more a collection of independent essays, but there is an arc over the extended sequence, and
Thomas Ernst
Dec 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Any book that exposes on page 14 the fraud stock picker Jim Cramer with the lines , "investors in Cramer's picks do not make money. Academic analysis of his advice showed that over time his believers either made no profit or incurred losses. If you slavishly followed his tips, you could lose a third of your money in two months". The author got my immediate attention with those lines, as she further p0ints out Cramer is bad a predicting the future trend of stock prices. She also mentions he is no ...more
Dennis Leth
Mind-blowing book. Especially for someone with a digital and technological approach.

I really like the humanistic approach that this book offers on the future. We don't have to wait for the future. We create it.

What makes us human is our ability to navigate and survive in complex environments. A complexity that for most is created by our self and the human traits: imagination, creativity, compassion, generosity, variety, meaning, faith and courage.

When someone is trying to make the world more pr
anna b
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was ok
The book started promisingly then went off tangent for with topics and subjects that tenuously hold the book together. While the concluding chapter was perfect for our present time (uncanny if I may), there's nothing much I can learn from the book. The case studies were all interesting though but I've already read them or seen them through my course of work. This is not a book about how to chart your future but serves as a guide and makes you think more about the way you are thinking. Great read ...more
This book had excellent stories around dealing with uncertainty but the book itself felt wandering and incomplete. It promised to deliver tools to deal with uncertainty but I don’t think it did that well. The premise around our desire for certainty is interesting, and the ways humans have attempted to reduce uncertainty–often poorly–informative. But I think Superforecasting by Philip Tetlock is a much more effective book on the subject.
Jan 29, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
An interesting read and some good questioning of sloppy stats and judgements, how a story or idea or prediction gets legs based on spurious / incomplete / misleading information. I really enjoy this kind of critical thinking! But the author did fall into the same trap herself repeatedly — not having researched ideas fully (eg, narrow analysis of the main reasons AVs will reduce travel times / traffic). But still a good and thought provoking read.
Nov 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Some really interesting insights and fascinating examples of how uncertainty had been approached. The story of the Sagrada Família cathedral puts a great case across for adversity and endeavour over rigorous future planning. A good case put forward for our over reliance on technology too, and how we are outsourcing to machines tasks that we should do ourselves, and how this is limiting our capacity to think for ourselves (the satnav example was useful here!).
Nov 24, 2020 rated it liked it
It was good, I enjoyed it.. But not sure it was always on topic.. it felt more like a conversation with her than any real road map.. I don't usually give books 3 stars and maybe that's harsh.. ...more
Le Coronado
Nov 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
Chaotic story telling. Poor structure. There were some few good takeaways though.
Nov 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
A really enjoyable and thought-provoking read, and felt particularly on-point given how the world has been upended in 2020.
Jinesh Parekh
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really cool insights and way to look at the future!;
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MARGARET HEFFERNAN is an entrepreneur, Chief Executive and author. She was born in Texas, raised in Holland and educated at Cambridge University. She worked in BBC Radio for five years where she wrote, directed, produced and commissioned dozens of documentaries and dramas.

As a television producer, she made documentary films for Timewatch, Arena, and Newsnight. She was one of the producers of Out

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