Alchemy is the process of transforming one thing into another. Of course we all immediately associate alchemy with ancient, proto-scientific attempts to transmute lead into gold. But it is so much more than that. The original alchemists were only just learning about, inventing the scientific method. They came from the cultures of superstition and limited knowledge, and opened their minds to the possibilities of the world. They tested everything and experimented and explored, trying to see what new discoveries they could make.
As a futures alchemist I work with the elements in your organisation, help you to experiment, and make new discoveries. With the futures thinking knowledge and approach, applied to your company, people, industry and environment, we can create something significant for the future. Alchemy was a proto-science. That means that it was the very start of the scientific method where there was still a confusion of neat, observable scientific methods as well as superstitions. But futures studies is thoroughly modern and scientific. It is not fortune telling, time travel or sci-fi (as fun as those concepts are to play with). There are solid, academic, practical and peer-reviewed concepts and methodologies that we apply to all futures considerations. But that doesn’t mean we can’t dress up, have some fun, and learn in an imagined environment. We take the base knowledge of your industry, mix it with a little strategic foresight and futures thinking, and convert it into a new element – something part science, part magic and altogether wonderful. You get to influence and design the future you want to see happen.
Alchemists were not just interested in base metals. In fact a number of historians believe that much of the writing about transmuting metals was in fact a code to hide their real experiments about becoming more spiritual. This has nothing to do with religion. Alchemists were found in a number of different religious backgrounds. Their pursuits centred on learning and discovering more, not proselytising.