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- (idiomatic) Thinking that is not grounded or in touch with the realities of the present; open-minded thinking.
- Synonym: brainstorming
- 2010, Brian Tracy, Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want — Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible, Berrett-Koehler Publishers (→ISBN), page 55:
- He found that at the “take-off point,” every one of them began engaging in what he called “blue-sky thinking.” In blue-sky thinking, you imagine that all things are possible for you, just like looking up into a clear blue sky with no limits.
- 2010, Paul Chan, Rachel Cooper, Constructing Futures: Industry leaders and futures thinking in construction, John Wiley & Sons (→ISBN), page 3:
- Much work in future scenario planning has relied on the astute few to undertake blue-sky thinking, usually in committees, and so ‘futures thinking’ presents only a partial view of what tomorrow's society might look like and how this impacts on the future workings of the industry.
- 2014, Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann, David Cronin, Christopher Noessel, About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design, John Wiley & Sons (→ISBN)
- If the stakeholders say they want “blue-sky thinking,” you can use carefully selected exploratory concepts to test your blue-sky ideas and watch their reactions.
- 2020 April 7, Peter Conrad, “Abolish Silicon Valley by Wendy Liu review – rebooting our reality”, in The Guardian:
- The metaphorical blue-sky thinking recommended by startup accelerators in Silicon Valley is no substitute for the blue sky itself, which will go on shining whether we are here to look at it or not.
thinking that is not grounded or in touch with the realities of the present