Ethnographic Experiential Futures, is a protocol for surfacing and documenting existing images of the future. It combines Ethnographic futures research, EFR, a protocol for surfacing and documenting existing images of the future. Experiential futures, XF, is a family of approaches for vivid multisensory, transmedia, and diegetic representations of images of the future. The hybrid approach puts together two modes of futures research and practice in a step-by-step guide. Its intent is to help groups develop a future-oriented mindset.
Familiarity with futures and foresight methods is strongly recommended.
The Scenario Exploration System (SES) is a serious game for future simulation (2035 and 2050). It involves participants exploring their long-term objectives in contrasting scenario-related contexts while interacting with other stakeholders. By creating a realistic journey towards the future, the SES generates a safe space to simulate possible responses connected to any issue of interest to the participants.
There are two editions: "Sustainable Transitions" and "Food Safety and Nutrition Challenges."
Over a dozen years of use to date, the game represents an accessible approach to introducing "images of the future" as a basic property of both cultures and individuals, and can be used as an introduction for more advanced futures and foresight tools and frameworks. It provides a structure for facilitating conversation among groups of participants and intended for groups. Duration is flexible, but typically runs 30-60 minutes. The resource provides step-by-step guidance for how to run the game as well as the reasoning for how the game has evolved.
This Field Guide is designed to support new-to-foresight practitioners in incorporating future thinking and foresight into everyday projects. In addition to describing methods (including purpose, pros, cons and considerations for each), it also provides guidance on how to advocate for a foresight related project or approach in your organistion, cultivate a futures/foresight mindset, and build a team.
The ""zombies" referenced represent an unexpected and unlikely event for humanity. Stories about the potential of a zombie apocalypse prepare us for a new world full of uncertainty and risk.
This canvas is a strategic design tool for developing descriptive models of transformative futures. It asks users to name the logics stabilizing the dominant regime — and then imagine how such logics might stabilize an alternative in terms of narratives, goals, core values, governance & practices, and physical inputs.
Requires email address in exchange for download.
The resource contains tools for visualizing and anticipating future risk of technology products, acknowledging that once technology is released and reaches scale it may be used for purposes beyond the original intention. The toolkit contains foresight methods, including 14 scenarios, for kicking off important conversations with product teams--including examples of current signals of future trends. It also contains a Risk Mitigation Manual with 8 risk
zones where hard-to anticipate
and unwelcome consequences are most likely to emerge. Finally, it contains 7 suggested strategies for future-proofing.
IMPACT: A Foresight Game is a serious board game that teaches you to think critically and imaginatively about emerging technology and the future of society.
It's goals for players:
/ Learn the basics of futures thinking including some of the key terminology
/ Learn about the latest advances in science and technology (neurotech, nanotech, artificial intelligence, IoT, biotech, robotics)
/ Practice thinking about how these emerging technologies could evolve and the various ways they could influence society
The game is best played with 3-6 players and lasts 60-90 minutes.
The author provides step-by-step guidance on how to conduct a short term strategic planning workshop based on knowledge management and contextualisation frameworks used by the private company Cognitive Edge. The publisher's suggests that it can be used to conduct pre-hypothesis research project to understand a complex problem. The outputs are comprehensive sets of cultural indicators, knowledge objects (comprising both codified and experiential knowledge artefacts), and large volumes of tangible suggestions to address complex issues. Another key objective of these processes is to increase the levels of interaction and dialogue between key stakeholders whether internal to an organisation or external, thereby establishing new social networks, or increasing the cohesiveness of existing social networks. Previous experience with the Cognitive Edge frameworks and methods is helpful when approaching this resource.
This manual introduces strategic foresight as a practice in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It was created with consideration for the resource constraints in developing country contexts, so proposes light-touch and low-cost methods. However, it could easily be applied elsewhere.
The manual features a selection of methods and techniques suited for framing development or policy discussions, but there are many methods and techniques available that are considered part of foresight and futures analysis. These span the gamut from long-term processes and quantitative data collection/analysis to participatory workshops and qualitative assessment of narratives.
It includes a review of different methods, including usage, strengths, challenges and examples of each in practice.
The Game of Life 2050 draws on scenarios for a sustainable European society in 2050. It is an interactive board game in which players consider four scenarios that describe the radical changes needed to be living within key environmental boundaries by 2050.
The game takes a minimum of 2 hours to run (ideally 4 hours) and involves 5-7 actors (each played by one person or in pairs) and one Games Master.
Play consists of three ‘rounds’ in which actors are given a set of circumstances that have unfolded at 10, 20 and 30 years into the timeline, and must decide from a range of options how they will respond.
Game materials and guidebook are both available for download.
This resource contains a method library and playbook for commonly used strategic foresight tools, organised by a guiding framework of five planning phases (perspective, opportunity, solution, team, and vision). While it does contain the tools themselves, the resource also contains extensive guidance on each method, including overall guidance, examples, instructions, insights, tips, and tool templates. It also contains overall guiding principles, underlying theories, and considerations for using and sequencing the methods as an integrated methodology. This resource is extensive but organised and navigable. It is oriented toward a growth-focused private sector context but can be adapted for use in the public sector. The resource can be downloaded for free or purchased as a physical copy.
This toolkit was developed to help us cope with the rapidly changing world, such as global networks and autonomous drone fleets—that have never existed before. The publishers suggest that we need new stories and new mythologies to tell us how these things fit into our lives and make sense of these transformations.
The toolkit contains a card deck exploring different colored "archetypes" or ways of making meaning and each includes different ways of understanding Interactions, Environments, Symbols,Design, Perspectives, and Voice.
This resource is an imagination game that challenges players to collaboratively and competitively describe objects from a range of alternative futures. The object of the game is to come up with the most entertaining and thought-provoking descriptions of hypothetical objects from different near-, medium-, and long-term futures. The card deck can be downloaded and printed and contains cards, instructions, playsheets, and blank cards that you can customize with your own content. The website also contains suggested ways to play the game as well as examples.
Liberating Structures is a web resource that includes a collection of 33 results-oriented collaboration patterns have been developed and refined through field testing over a 10+ year period in a variety of sectors including healthcare and business.
They are intended to complement conventional practices for organisational design and strategy design. They are designed to be used in an inclusive collaborative setting.
Associated books (for sale) and video guidance is available to assist those getting started with this approach.
The resource is intended for those working in the international development or social impact space to assesses the future impact that innovation can deliver in a system. It focuses on three "systems": The Problem Space, The Innovation Space, The Context.
It's goals are to precipitate better understanding of the problem of focus and the context in which it exists, assess enablers and barriers
to innovation, track system change over time, and assess the impact of a program ex post facto. It includes tools and methods organised into different possible "journeys" that define overall related activities, resources, user values and timelines.
There is a free and paid version of this toolkit and an associated workshop offered by the publishers. The free version of the kit provides tools to structure your thinking when designing a service that includes machine learning elements. The core idea is that you first describe a user journey in a physical or digital space, and then use the materials from the kit to brainstorm service concepts in that space.
The core materials include:
- A booklet summarising key concepts for designing IA services, and a glossary of common machine learning terms
- Two canvases for summarising the service concept
- Three card decks that describe important elements of IA service design
- A map, showing the setting for the service concept
This resource is a modular set of tools (10 methods in 3 phases) that can be run in various ways, from a general tool to discover and ideate futures into a premeditated, repeated and ever-focusing exercise to build a vision on one or more lines of work. The resource can also be used to bring transparency and alignment to any organization through repeated exercises. It consists of three types of tools: Worldbuilding, Predictive Analysis and the Optimal Futures. The authors also suggest a process that includes a Setting Up and Follow-up steps. The resource is tailored for group work. The publishers suggest using it in diverse groups around 6-10 people and run as round robin — meaning at the end of canvas, each group presents their findings briefly, and continues to work on the next canvas / topic. The publishers suggest that all parts can be executed over a long intensive day, or over several days session, one task each day. The website also includes facilitation tips for each phase. The resource is oriented toward private sector but could be adapted for use in a public sector context. The toolkit itself is free to download in exchange for your email.
The book is a collection of ready-to-implement tools to structure and manage the challenges and exploit opportunities of sustainability and transitions. The goal is twofold: improving the understanding of a challenge by going deeper, broader and by improving the quality of the discussions and conversations around the problem among participants. It focuses not only on the problem-solving process but also on the learning process while designing and implementing solutions. The tools are presented in a simple and visual approach to support practitioners’ every-day work on climate change, transition, and system innovation.
Our Futures is a game for discovering new ways of engaging the public in thinking about alternative futures. The basic premise of Our Futures is that participants are randomly offered a series of constraints by drawing cards and rolling a dice, which serve as a primer for imagining a participatory futures activity. The game is played either with a group of individuals competing against each other or in teams in 30-75 minutes. The game has three different gameplay models of varying scope and complexity. The resource includes a printable card deck, game board, instructions booklet, and video explanation. The editable materials are also available on Github.
This resource contains 11 frameworks and methods used by the Future Today Institute, including:
The FTI Forecasting Model
How To Think About Time
Identifying Key Stakeholders
Assumptions vs Knowledge
Axes of Uncertainty
Scenario Planning Guide and Templates
Four Laws of Tech Trends
11 Macro Sources of Disruption
Velocity of Change: Calculation Guide
Each resource includes guidance and instructions on its use.
This resource is a generative tool for creating new metaphors to help understand the world in new ways, reframe problems, generate new ideas, and imagine different futures.
New Metaphors has been developed by the Imaginaries Lab, a design research studio based at Carnegie Mellon University, and working internationally. New Metaphors is a set of 150 cards and a number of simple, fun workshop formats which enable idea generation and new ways of thinking about issues creatively, from specific problems within an interaction design or UX team or organisational context. The entire resource, including cards, worksheets, and introduction booklet, can be downloaded and the website includes additional guidance as well as a metaphor auto-generator.
The publishers intend for this resource to be applied and used in real situations, whether by designers or by anyone looking to reframe ideas or generate new approaches.
This toolbox is a guide for shaping the future and developing organisational operations. It guides users through how to build an organisation’s future capability to ready it to deal with new phenomena. It guides users through all the steps of building a vision and for viewing, interpreting or shaping futures. It contains three phases: Trends and Signals, Interpretation and choices, and Shaping futures. Each tool includes step-by-step guidance and downloadable resources.
The transition game is an adapted version of “Le jeu de la transition” developed by the French Think Tank FING (Fondation Internet Nouvelle Génération) and adapted to a national defence environment, covering topical areas such as cyber and information warfare, man-machine teaming, and situational awareness and reconnaissance.
It guides groups through several steps:
1) Think about how different context factors and "internal tensions" shape today's state (ordering principles, norms, tensions, etc.),
2) How future trends, innovations and initiatives transform today's state, including chances and opportunities, and which actors play a role, and,
3) Describe how the story of transition can be told from today's situation to the implementation of a new solution in a possible future state
The output stories may take different forms, including text or comics, but is up to the facilitator to define. The resource is available as an Excel file that automatically populates a Transition Graph based on inputs. According to the publisher, the ideal parameters for the workshop are groups of 7-10 individuals and about 4 hours. The website also includes rules for moderators and example outputs.
Futures Frequency is a workshop method for groups of 8–20 people. This website provides tools for facilitating the workshop either online or in person. There are videos that introduce each theme and the facilitator’s handbook includes detailed steps for facilitating the group assignments.
Futures Frequency was developed by Sitra based on input from a development team in various fields. It's purpose is to increase participants’ ability to envisage different futures and take action towards the realisation of a preferred future. The workshop method is intended for use by anyone.
Futures Frequency can be adapted to the needs of various kinds of groups. The publisher suggests possible incorporation of megatrends to bring more depth, weak signals to add context, or other methods from their accompanying Futuremaker’s toolbox.
The resource includes a facilitators handbook with detailed instructions for each stage of the workshop and scripts for the facilitator’s spoken parts. The resource also includes materials to run the workshop, including a slide deck and online whiteboard tool template. The toolkit is available in English and Finnish.