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Shermon Cruz

In a constantly evolving world, anticipating future possibilities and navigating uncertainties has become an invaluable skill. How can we facilitate a futures conversation where imagination meets insight and innovation converges with exploration to embark on a journey of speculative thinking, collaborative exploration, and creative foresight as we envision the radical futures that lie ahead?

In his work, Shermon draws on curiosity, design, indigeneity, inspiration for innovation, and desire to make a positive impact. He shares his experience as an inventor and co-designer of an imagination-based scenario-building card game, Dreams and Disruptions, a game that shapes thinking about alternative future worlds and empowers players to shape the world around them. Over 200 games of Dreams and Disruptions have been played worldwide since 2020. Shermon reflects on the experience of futurists, military personnel, scientists, communication experts, environmentalists and others who have played the game and input from consultancies, futures organisations, government agencies, and companies worldwide.

Shermon delves into the heart of Dreams and Disruptions as a case study in a dynamic foresight and an imagination platform designed to stimulate creativity and challenge assumptions. The game encourages players to think beyond the confines of the present. Navigating through various hypothetical situations, players encounter opportunities for innovation and dilemmas that demand critical thinking, paving the way for scenarios that call for thoughtful reflections and decision-making. The gameplay experience encourages exploration of the complexities of alternate worlds through prompts, fringe scenarios, and challenges, players collaborate with others to co-create radical narratives that challenge existing norms, explore emerging trends, and stretch the boundaries of their imagination.

The game has three phases: building hybrid futures, forging pathways, and transcending disruptions. The game concludes with an open conversation session centred around various topics, including scenario building, the influence of random emergence, the pivotal role of leaders and movements, and incorporating planetary stressors in constructing narratives of hope, decolonisation and anti-fragile visions of the future. The game also harnesses the art of storytelling to help frame and communicate futuristic concepts effectively. By weaving narratives around speculative scenarios, players refine their communication skills and engage others in the thought-provoking landscapes of their imagination.


Shermon Cruz is the founder, executive director, and chief futurist of the Center for Engaged Foresight, a global futures innovation and strategic foresight hub based in Manila. He has collaborated with the best in the futures field and designed transformative and cutting-edge global and local events and projects to advance futures literacy, futures studies, and strategic foresight in governance, public policy, disaster risk reduction and management, strategic planning, and public policy.

He is currently the UNESCO Chair on Anticipatory Governance and Regenerative Cities at Northwestern University, the Chair of the Association of Professional Futurists, Chair of the Millennium Project Philippines Node (MP), Co-Founder of Make Our Future, and Co-Founder of the Asia Pacific Futures Network. He was formerly a business continuity manager for PwC Manila, a business continuity management and risk management country lead for EY GDS Philippines, and business continuity site leader for Accenture Philippines, and formerly an Associate Dean and Department Chair of Political Science and Public Administration and Director of the Philippine Foresight Education and Innovation Research at Northwestern University.

Dreams and Disruptions, invented by Shermon and the team at the Center for Engaged Foresight, is used to explore the uncharted territories of imagination, challenge the status quo, and contribute to the collective exploration of the futures.

This video clip is courtesy of JFS Futures Community, which regularly meets to make futures literacy more accessible to a wider global community. The full session is available as a playlist on the JFS Youtube channelJFS LinkedIn page | Synopsis (on Substack)

Members of the Association of Professional Futurists and the JFS Futures Community have contributed to making this RSD12-ONLINE session possible.

Many thanks to Shermon Cruz and Maggie Greyson (APF), and Anisah Abdullah and Lavonne Leong (JFS).

RSD12-Toronto and RSD12-ONLINE




Citation Data

Author(s): Shermon Cruz
Year: 2023
Title: Radical Futures Unleashed: Igniting your imagination with Dreams and Disruptions
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
Host: Georgetown University
Location: Toronto, CAN | ONLINE
Symposium Dates: October 6–20, 2023
First published: 15 July 2023
Last update: no update
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404
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