Some forecasting techniques to prepare for the future include genius forecasting, trend extrapolation, consensus and simulation methods, cross-impact matrix method, and scenarios. Users can combine one or more of these methods to enhance forecasting accuracy. However, there are always unforeseen variables that alter or nullify a forecast. Forecasting in the technological arena is one of the most difficult to reconcile due to the multiple implications a single technological breakthrough is capable of yielding.
The genius forecasting technique includes a combination of intuition, insight and luck. An example of this technique includes psychics and fortune tellers. While many who have employed this technique have produced consistent results, mainstream science typically classifies this type of forecasting as luck.
Trend extrapolation is the process of compiling historical data and statistics and applying them to the future. This technique functions solely on the basis that past trends and technologies are applicable to the future. For this reason, it is best used for short-term forecasts.
Consensus methods consist of the use of expert opinions from all applicable fields of inquiry to compile a final forecast. Conversely, simulation methods of forecasting create tangible models rather than conceptual ones. These models are called analogs and are used to create a fake scenario that represents a more complex system of relationships.