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Understanding and adapting to change
What does the future hold?

‘Ka mua, ka muri’ – To walk backwards into the future.

Futures thinking aligns closely with this whakataukī. We learn from those who have gone before us. We view the past and the present as a single, comprehensible ‘space’ because that is what we have seen, known and learned. We walk backward into the future with our thoughts directed toward coming generations, but with our eyes on the past.

In today’s world of accelerating change, we need to be well-positioned to respond and adapt to changes, and think and act longer-term to make sure the future of sport and recreation is bright for future generations. Influences such as climate change, advances in technology and changes in society are shaping the future of the sport sector. The COVID-19 global pandemic is the most recent, and wide-reaching, influence that we are having to deal with.

Sport NZ is encouraging organisations to set aside time to think about the future and better prepare for it, and in so doing, position itself to be fit for purpose and sustainable. This is where futures thinking can help.

The following free resources and tools will help you with your own futures thinking.

What is futures thinking?  

Futures thinking (also known as strategic foresight) is all about being better prepared to respond to future change and create a more sustainable future for generations to come.

Futures thinking is typically sequential. We approach it through:

  • Framing – defining the topic, timeframes and mapping the domains to explore and monitor
  • Scanning – exploring drivers of change, identifying assumptions, and learning from the past
  • Anticipating – describing the possible futures that could occur
  • Visioning – choosing a preferred future
  • Acting – taking steps to move toward the preferred future
  • Monitoring and adapting – continue to monitor change and adapt plans when needed.
Tamariki Paddles Surfboard Out To The Incoming Set
Where to from here?

Sport NZ will work with the sector to encourage longer-term thinking. This will involve direct sector engagement, shared learning, and updated resources on this site.

Our learnings from the sector collaboration that arrived at a preferred future provide a useful starting point and anchor for immediate strategic thinking. We will promote and share actions that align to the preferred future.

If you require an accessible version of any content on the site please contact us at info@sportnz.org.nz and we will be happy to assist.

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