Last week we went public with a project that has been taking shape for a while—How to Future. It's a result of the confluence of several things: a need to create a more formal teaching text to accompany classes and workshops we've been doing for a number of years, and a desire to streamline methodologies and approaches we apply in our everyday consulting work to a straightforward, repeatable toolkit that can be used for a diverse set of needs.
I'll quote from the inaugural blogpost:
"This doesn't mean there aren't detailed texts and courses available for academic or professional use, but ways to get groups or individuals in the futures frame—and able to apply the skills and approaches we use in real-world projects—are hard to access.
This project is intended to make it easier. This isn't a graduate course in Strategic Foresight (there are some great ones out there if you want to go deep), or a heavy tome of methodologies, but reflects the best way we've found to get the necessary basics—vocabulary, concepts, exercises and approaches—into the hands of non-experts as quickly and clearly as possible. Most importantly, we've modified and created hybrid approaches over the years that work with design, innovation, strategy, policy, creating stories and narratives for media, and many other applications."
We decided to start with workshops first, as writing may take longer than just rolling out what we already have prepared. These will take the form of 1-Day Intro courses meant to give professionals in a wide range of roles an orientation, vocabulary, and key tools to get started—running from front-end "sensing" through to communicative prototypes that share futures with others. We will also be announcing some limited 3-Day courses with partners soon, and even have the capacity to run 10-Day Studio Intensives, hosted by sponsor organizations.
The assembled team who will be helping to manage and run this project are stellar as well. Susan Cox-Smith, partner and creative strategist at Changeist, takes charge of the project. Natalie Kane and Madeline Ashby will also support European and North American workshops. Everyone will have a hand in creating materials. Finally, there will be a book in here somewhere soon!
Contact Susan or me with any questions, follow along on Twitter, and let us know if you are interested in organizing a workshop—either inside your organization or bringing together an interested group of individuals.