Thinking about the future is aided by seeing futures as a multitude of emerging alternatives, not a single predictable reality. The five images of the future developed by analyzing the materials collected through the Maritime Futurescapes 2050 workshop represent diverse maritime futures worthy of further discussion, but cannot offer ultimate or definitive answers to questions about how the maritime sector will continue to develop and be transformed.
However, considering futures as a set of alternatives enhances the capacity to effectively understand the various potentials of the present, and to explore what decisions and policies can be enacted today to offer the best opportunities for reaching preferable futures. More categories of stakeholders should now become involved in the process of determining what these desirable futures may be.
These future images will ideally be used as a basis for guiding further systemic futures thinking, since foresight should be an ongoing and continuous practice in fast-changing, complex environments such as the maritime sector.