Coined by, among others, positive psychology pioneer Martin E. P. Seligman, prospection refers broadly to the mental representation and evaluation of possible futures.
Prospection may include planning, prediction, hypothetical scenarios, teleological patterns, daydreaming, and evaluative assessment of possible future events. This ability to represent possible futures fundamentally shapes human cognitive, affective, and motivational systems and yet remains an understudied field of research. Effects of prospection on current cognition, emotion, motivation, and behavior are also of interest.
Prospection is a ubiquitous feature of the human mind. For the past several decades, social science has concentrated on the antecedents of human action: how the past determines the present and the future. With the emphasized focus of prospection it might be possible to catalyze a change in the course of social science by moving prospection to the center of research on human action.
Build & Share the future
Build & Share is a method that helps individuals and groups explore possible futures in a cognitive and experiential way. A key component in Build & Share is that it facilitates the benefits from narrative approaches using prospective storytelling and metaphors. In Build & Share the stories we tell about our future contributes to the construction, reproduction, or transformation of our reality and identity.
Through the use of LEGO® the participants build metaphorical models that visualize and make meaning of abstract concepts that can otherwise be quite difficult to comprehend. The metaphors give a more complex creation of understanding and can make something more meaningful by equating it with something else. At the same time the use of metaphors and the way participants visualize things in a Build & Share workshop makes it much easier for participants to remember.
The brain and building the future
Research has shown that the brain better handles and stores information through images and in that way use visual sources to create new ideas and make more meaning of complex things. A Build & Share process takes advantage of the human ability to imagine things and create something radically new. This is a key capacity when we want to be more innovative, create knowledge and develop ourselves and the group we interact in. In that context Build & Share aims to enable all three kinds of key properties of prospection : to describe, to create, and to challenge the future.