Four ways to experience futures thinking
Map and reframe your future environment
We offer futures thinking as a flexible consulting service, usually carried out through full or half-day workshops or time-efficient participatory working sessions.
Working with the knowledge in the room, or with the findings from research, we build visual concept maps of your strategic situation, showing how your organization or activity relates to its emerging future context.
This future mapping captures leading-edge change in your strategic environment, explores its implications, calibrates uncertainty, and interprets the resulting strategic challenge.
This is followed by future seeking – the search for an inspiring vision and goal that is both meaningful and pragmatic in terms of your organization’s identity and your future strategic environment.
These futures workshops provide an effective way to assess your future prospects and the resulting options for your organization. The relative speed of these workshops make them compatible with an emphasis on strategic speed and agility.
Understand your future challenges in depth
We offer in-depth futures research to explore major future issues and challenges in detail.
These are projects that typically extend over many months, and involve the full set of futures thinking tools and processes. These studies are often sponsored by institutions who place the resulting reports in the public domain. Their aim is usually to advance awareness and debate in the areas addressed by the research and the final report, as a precursor to more considered policy and strategy.
Past research studies of this kind include: research into the future implications of sustainability for electric power generation for EPRI in Palo Alto (report released publicly); research on the future of the economy and its security implications for the Australian Defence Department; research into the future of urban transport in the city of Adelaide; research into the future of the global food supply for Chatham House in the UK (report released publicly); research on the future of higher education in an online environment for the Open University in the UK; and research into the future of cyberpower for the Ministry of Defence in the UK (report released publicly).
Publicly available reports can be accessed on our publications page.
See your future from a new perspective
We offer keynote presentations that deliver future insights to provoke, enlighten and expand the thinking of audiences.
These typically focus on the future of an industry, issue, challenge or technology. The aim is to open up thinking about future developments and potentials, and point the way to new initiatives, innovations, policies and strategies.
Past keynote presentations have been delivered on a wide range of future topics, in many different countries.
They include: the future of biotechnology at a CSIRO symposium in Australia; the future of energy for the Ministry of Defence in the UK; prospects for the 21st century for the Institute of Company Directors in Australia; the future of education for Connecticut College in the US; the future of transport for an ARRB conference in Australia; future global prospects for the CIL think tank in Johannesburg; and the future of food security at a Chatham House conference in London.
The approach is usually to open with a research-based overview of emerging trends and critical issues and then to introduce fresh perspectives on the future that enable a renewal of vision.
Learn skills for thinking about the future
We offer courses in futures thinking for executive team development, in the form of custom and in-house executive education programmes. These are typically one to two days long and cover the full range of futures thinking skills, processes and techniques.
Together, these provide a set of cognitive and participatory skills for understanding the future evolution of your strategic environment, future goal selection, and future-directed leadership. The design of these courses draws on experience accumulated over many years designing and delivering similar programmes, starting with the development of Global Business Network’s scenario training programme in the 1990s.
The skills gained will enable participants to approach strategy and leadership from a future-oriented perspective, and will greatly enhance their ability to frame decisions in the light of future potentials, one of the key benefits of futures thinking.