These cards were developed by Changeist as a tool to anchor discussions and activities exploring the possible futures of Dubai in the world over the next few decades. They are based on horizon scanning research,
and represent a cross section of trends and driving forces which are likely to shape the UAE, the region and the world.

The topics on these cards are organized into five categories: Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental, and Political.

Changeist uses these cards as anchor points in development of future timelines for the Future Design programme at the Dubai Future Academy, but they are exible enough to be used in a range of activities, thought starters and analytical exercises—as a group, in a cafe or anywhere.

To request of suggest new activities, use the Contact form to get in touch. Be sure to add "Trend Cards" to the subject line. 







Select three cards at random and place them on a table. Take 5 minutes to organize them left to right based on the time each card may be most important or have greatest impact. Organized left to right, in what order do you think these three trends will fully emerge?

When you have done this, take 10 minutes as a group (or a few minutes alone) and discuss what, if any, relationships or impacts the trends may have on each other.

What factors did you consider when setting their chronological order? Which were dif cult to determine timing of impact of? Which were easy? Why? Did members of your group come to different interpretations or conclusions?







This exercise can be used as a follow-on to the one above, or as a standalone exercise.

Select three cards at random from the deck. Thinking about your organization, country, region or globally, take 5 minutes to organize the trends or drivers you’ve selected in terms of overall impact each may have. Arrange the cards vertically, with the higher impact trends or drivers above the lower ones.

When you have done this, take 10 minutes as a group or a few minutes alone) and discuss what factors or insights contributed to your decision to determine, of the three items, one had a higher or lower impact than another.

How did you qualify “impact”? Does the ranking change if this moves from “my organization” to “the world”? Which were difficult to determine? Which were easy?







This exercise can be used as a follow-on to the one above, or as a standalone exercise.

Draw three cards from the deck. Take two of the cards and imagine what might happen if you combine them. What kind of world emerges when you combine them? Does an interesting, surprising, new or different situation, scenario, or world emerge when you combine them? Does adding the third card change the scenario?

What new thing (product, service, policy, experience) would be required, appropriate or interesting in that scenario? How would it change if there was no Internet? No oil? No money?

What’s the least favorable outcome for your organization or team in this scenario? The most favorable?




This exercise can be run for a larger room full of teams, with two rounds focusing on different change drivers based on different cards.

For this exercise, you will need a few colleagues, a pen or pencil, and a large (A3 suggested) sheet of blank paper. Select one card and place it on the table. As a group, decide what key change might be represented by the trend or driver on the card. This may be simply the topic itself, or some simple reframing of what is stated on the card. 

Example from a card: 

New Forms of Travel

Hyperloop, suborbital flight, and the return of supersonic flight, show new forms of fast (but expensive) travel will reshape international journeys and change transport infrastructure in potentially far-reaching ways.

Change: Traveling to other continents in just a few hours.

Draw a circle in the center of the page and write the change there. From this circle, name three or four changes that might occur because of the central change. These may be economic, social, political, etc. Use STEEP to help you think of a range of these implications. Put these in circles surrounding the center circle, connected by lines. These are your first-order implications.

Repeat this process again for each of the outer circles to get to second order implications. And again from each of those circled changes to get to third-order implications. When you have done this, you should have a large flower-like design with each change branching into several more.

When you have reach a reasonable number of third-order implications, take a few minutes to discuss new insights that emerge from unpacking the central change. Which implication was the most surprising? The most potentially disruptive economically? Socially? Where did new opportunities emerge? Unexpected threats?