The “Let’s Design the Future” workshop will help teams in your company acquire the ability to use future scenarios as a tool for planning, adapting, designing innovation and change; it will develop competencies for building informed, creative and empowering relationships with the future.
Why is this important? Read here: “Future competences: future literacy”
Today, when uncertainty about the future caused by the coronavirus pandemic has become a common experience, it is becoming more and more important to be prepared for different variants of the future. It is not a matter of predicting the future, reading its development from a magic bullet, but of imagining its various scenarios and then reflecting on their consequences and consciously preparing for them. This means the ability to work with uncertainty, to perceive trends, their signs and symptoms, but also – and above all – the ability to consciously shape the future, to creatively and efficiently design it.
Unexpected disruptions to the rhythms of our work and daily life can become the new normal of our world. Disruption, chaos, disruption become the rule, they cease to be the exception. Can we develop in our organizations methods of adaptation to a situation of permanent crisis? Should our answer be creating stable, long-term, consistent action plans or, on the contrary, flexibility in adapting to constantly changing conditions? How can organizations learn to spot trends and respond to them in an efficient way? How can we deliberately plan for action in a world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity?
A workshop process spread over five meetings and preceded by a needs survey. It will end with the presentation and discussion of the team’s results in the form of a workshop involving a wide group of stakeholders – local communities, experts, business environment entities, clients.
Number of participants: 15 people (permanent group during all meetings)
Format: needs research + 4 closed meetings with a group of 15 participants (6-hour workshop in the company’s headquarters, 2 breaks) + 1 meeting with experts, stakeholders, the company’s environment
DESIGN THE FUTURE NEEDS RESEARCH + SITE VISIT
20-minute online interviews with workshop participants – we want to talk to each person participating in the workshop process and build a non-hierarchical map of the needs of male and female employees of your company. At the first joint meeting we will create a contract, taking into account the needs and capabilities of all parties. At this stage of work, we would also like to visit the headquarters of the company, if possible, to see the workplaces, different departments, key rooms of the company.
WORKSHOP 1 – TREND MAPS
Participants work on their trend maps based on two models: three time horizons / probability scale and “4 Futures”. They discuss the multi-level consequences of individual trends and drivers of change, looking for patterns and lines that connect individual trends into sequences or constellations of phenomena and processes. They consider how trends coexist with each other, how they are reinforced or weakened by other trends, how trends conflict and come into conflict with each other. This is an iterative process in which participants return to their maps several times, each time asking slightly different questions, filling in blanks, adding new trends, looking for new patterns. The results of the work are trend maps on which we can clearly see several patterns/threads connecting trends in sequences/constellations. These will become the basis for creating scenarios of the future.
WORKSHOP 2 – FUTURE SCENARIOS
During this workshop we will create screenplays, for which the starting point is a trend map. A trend map is the skeleton of a screenplay, a bit like a ladder when working on a film script. The scenario allows us to look into the world of the future, see what images create it, find ourselves for a moment in situations from the future, experience them in their sensual richness – feel, hear the future, breathe the air from the future. Feel its tensions, conflicts, see its bright and dark sides. A script is a story, so this workshop will have a lot to do with storytelling. We will create a person from the future, immersed and acting in the circumstances of the scenario, a “dense description”, sensual, concrete, imaginative, fictional. At the same time, however, we will not forget the other pole, more scientific and strategic: the scenarios will respond to a key challenge of our organization, identified during the needs survey and the previous workshops. The fictional scenario has to be plausible and certain events or phenomena cannot appear without a systemic link to other elements. Each time we will ask ourselves what should happen in order for us to move “from a to b to c to d etc.” in our narrative. in our narrative. Perhaps after this workshop there will be a need to confront our ideas with an expert in some area? To ask what would have to happen for a certain course of events to occur. During the workshop we would like to create 2-3 scenarios of varying degrees of probability and “preferability”.
WORKSHOP 3 – PROTOTYPES – DESIGN THE FUTURE
Prototypes are objects, services, situations, images, organizations, technologies, policies, or texts from the future. They are concrete and material in nature. They allow us to interact with a particular version of the future, to better capture it and to tell its story. It is as if we focus on one – in our opinion the key and critical – point in the scenario and apply an optical tool (a magnifying glass, microscope, telescope) to it to examine its details. However, we do not do this from a distance. We construct this piece of the future today, in the present, to see how it might work, what comes of it. How do other people react to it? Is it really as pleasant or scary as we thought? How might a service or product from that future work? Here it’s not just about speculation, it’s about a test, an empirical examination of a fraction of a previously outlined future. In doing so, we gain greater insight into a variant of the future and knowledge about how to develop our organization’s offerings, work methods or resources.
WORKSHOP 4 – EVALUATION
This is a moment to reflect on what emerges for our business and organization from the explorations previously conducted: trend map, scenarios and prototypes. We will think about what competencies and skills will be useful in each of the scenarios. What knowledge or data will we need in case a given future scenario occurs? How might we be able to shape the future we care about in an efficient way, keeping in mind circumstances, supporting or conflicting trends. What tools and technologies do we need? What would we need to build, create to work well in the future? Do we want to develop a particular prototype (service, product, relationship, policy, organization)? How would we like to change it, improve it? What will be our audience and community around our organization? To whom and how will we target our offer? How do we want to communicate? What partnerships and relationships will be key to “success” in this scenario? What does your organization already have that can help it operate effectively in your vision of the future? What does it not have but needs? What new challenges will our organization face? We will try to answer these and other questions during our last internal workshop, trying to best prepare ourselves for the future that may come and that we most want. This will be a workshop meeting with the participation of a graphic designer who will offer a visualization of the results of the process.
WORKSHOP 5 – PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION OF THE WORKSHOP GROUP’S FINDINGS TO A WIDE RANGE OF STAKEHOLDERS
The last workshop is a joint reflection on the basis of trend maps, future scenarios and prototypes developed by the workshop group. During the meeting we will try to design together an “ecosystem of the future” in which your company is one of the key players in a predefined market segment, which at the same time tries to take into account the needs of all stakeholders invited to co-create it.
Number of participants: 30 people
Formula: 1 meeting (6-hour workshop, 2 breaks)
MATERIAL RESULTS OF THE PROCESS (materials for further work and publication)
- documentation of the workshop process – material for internal use
- analysis and summary of the workshop process in the form of a report
- visualization of the results of the workshop process
Contact us to discuss the details of the “Design the Future” workshop.