With over 20 years’ experience of practicing the science of foresight with major international corporations, government institutions, associations and non-profits, The Futures Lab, Inc. can proudly say that we are experts in delivering revolutionary, actionable visions and strategies for the future of a multitude of industries and geographies. Our passion is to create your preferred future.
Vision is generally defined as seeing the desirable over the possible, but we think that it is more about seeing the seemingly invisible. Hacking examples from unknown space, hijacking unexpected signals, drawing from the unthinkable, leveraging disruption and possible dystopias, creating hybrids and new paradigms. Our goal is to explore and optimize your hidden future potential!
To create the winning future, we fuse our unique, robust six-stage science of foresight approaches with complex, non-linear, alternative thinking techniques and intellectual adventure.
To prove its relevance, feasibility and potential, we use an extensive array of evaluation tools, supported by real-world simulation and modeling in living the future workshops, customized in collaboration with our subsidiary – the FutureXperience Lab.
We share our expertise and experience by teaching future futurists through grad courses at the University of Adger in Norway and Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia, USA and present our research at numerous speaking engagements at educational conferences across the globe.
As experts in the field of foresight, as applied to multiple domains, we are regularly invited to speak at major international conferences and corporate events. Each presentation is comprehensively researched and customized.
While ensuring we do not break any confidentiality agreements with our clients, we transfer the experience from our research to our teaching of foresight and academic publications.
We are an international team of highly specialized practicing futurists, technologists, business experts and researchers dedicated to advancing society through the science of foresight.
President and Chief Futurist
Derek is a consulting futurist, author, university lecturer and curator. He has been President of The Futures Lab, Inc. for 21 years. Within the futures field he is known as both the ‘tech futurist’ and the ‘creative futurist’. Derek's principal expertise is in the corporate and institutional futures. His past roles on the board of two major corporations and 17 years SVP level strategic experience provided the corporate background. Prior to that he was a diplomat with the British FCO.
Derek is also an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information and Communications Technologies in the Faculty of Engineering and Science at the University of Adger in Norway; and Adjunct Professor in the Learning Technologies Division of the College of Education and Human Development at Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA, USA. At both universities, he teaches emerging technologies and the science of foresight at the PhD and Masters level. As a leading futurist, Derek is due to complete his PhD at the University of Adger by the end of 2017. His dissertation is titled: "The Augmented Learner: The pivotal role of technology enhanced learning as part of an integrative model designed to accelerate the delivery of higher levels of learner creativity."
His book, Future Frequencies (2004) was considered paradigm shifting in the foresight field, and his various pieces already published from his forthcoming book Future Flow give a fresh look at how experiential manifestations can be designed to be adaptive to personal aesthetics, imagination, moods, and emotions to facilitate new approaches to exploration, innovation, and learning. Derek's other published works include: The Future of Advertising - a chapter in “PR Rules: The Playbook" (2014) and he co-authored “Calling the Toads—A Burroughs Compendium” (1999), with Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, Allen Ginsberg, and Douglas Brinkley and a multitude of peer review publications, the latest of which was published by Springer in July 2017 – Advances in Human Factors in Training, Education and Learning Sciences.
Derek is a founding member of the Association of Professional Futurists and ex-President of the World Futures Society Texas Chapter.
Helga studied for her PhD in Futures Studies at Corvinus University in Budapest. She has taught undergraduate and masters level courses in Futures Studies (The Science of Foresight) and contributed to the development of course content for the Future Studies’ curriculum. She is a seasoned workshop facilitator on multiple foresight projects, with specific emphasis on systems thinking, foresight processes and modeling.
Helga is an expert in Weak Signals and the application in creating future insights, indicators and scenarios. Helga is the founding member and former Secretary of Hungarian Association of the Club of Rome.
She is an Academic Researcher and has worked on multiple EU and government research projects on outlining strategies for economic and environmental development. Helga is also the co-author of numerous book chapters and journal articles on Futures Studies theory and practice.
Your Future, London
Clive Cooper is the Chairman of Research and Brand Futures with our partners Your Future (formerly Corporate Edge), a world-leading specialist in brands, innovation and design. Clive is an expert in Consumer and Brand Futures, his specialty being futures insights and their practical application in the marketplace. According to Clive, to know the future is impossible, but to anticipate it is critical for truly innovative brand development. In 1997 Clive set up the Brand Futures Consultancy. His clients including Sainsbury’s, Procter and Gamble, Freemans, Granada and Dulux ICI. The company then fused with Corporate Edge in 1999 before later emerging as Your Future in 2004. Clive’s experience includes working on future consumer trends, brand vision and innovation for the following clients in diverse industries such as: Shell, Cadbury’s, Nokia, M & S, Ben Sherman, Hugo, Granada, Barclay’s Bank, Hi Tec Sports, Golden Wonder and Casio. Previously Clive was with Davidson Pearce Advertising, BMP and Grey Advertising, where he served as Deputy Head of Account Planning and as a member of their Agency Management Committee. Clive has appeared on TV, radio and in the national press as well as the marketing media. He is a regular commentator on Brand Strategy and Consumer Trends. He is a member of the World Futures Society.
Lisa (Xiaofan) Zhang
The Futures Lab, Beijing, China
Lisa heads up The Futures Lab operation in China. The Futures Lab, China offers comprehensive futures studies consulting, as well as futures research, Frontline Panels and consumer focus groups and is able to create customized business development plans and to establish successful long-term platforms on which to base entry into the Chinese markets. We are also able to locate suitable partners and alliances, as well as maintaining communications support whilst such arrangements are being built. Lisa holds a double degree in International Business and English and is a fluent English speaker with over 8 years first hand experience in multi-national business environment, extensive experience in working with multi-national clients/MNCs. She has considerable management skills and extensive experience, having run her own company for a number of years as well as working as a corporate executive. Lisa customers have included international companies, organizations, executives, business owners and professionals from a plethora of categories, industrial to consumer products, media and communications to entertainment and education, such as Granada TV and The Sunday Times, (UK,), Trax-Matthies Architecture, (Germany), Ncdiesel Engine (South Africa), IOWA Department of Economics Development, Virginia Commonwealth University and Pittsburgh Plastics (US). The Futures Lab, China is fully integrated into our global network, and provides important insights for our global clients on the world’s fastest growing economies.
The Futures Lab Brazil
Luciana Blanton heads up The Futures Lab operations in Brazil, based in Belo Horizonte, but with additional facilities in Sao Paulo. The company offers comprehensive futures studies consulting, as well as futures research, Frontline Panels and consumer focus groups. The Futures Lab, Brazil is fully integrated into our global network, and provides important insights for our global clients on one of the fastest growing economies. A creative thinker and accomplished executive, Luciana combines her work as a futurist with her teachings of Technology and Culture in Belo Horizonte. Luciana holds an interdisciplinary Masters degree from The University of Texas, where she combined Media Studies, Anthropology and the Humanities to develop a unique approach to developmental issues. She has worked in the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, Germany, Holland, Japan, Chile, Argentina, Canada and Spain. In Brazil, she has worked as a journalist, filmmaker, producer and writer, before joining the economic strategy division of the International Bureau of Banco do Brasil, Brazil´s largest bank. Luciana also founded CRIA-UFMG-JR, a successful student-run organization that currently provides work for over one hundred students and serve small businesses in the community. While in Austin, she founded Cultural Business Solutions, whose clients included Gessy-Lever and Dove. She was also a researcher and collaborator for the Science, Technology and Society Program, where she worked with Dr. Elizabeth Keating in developing an international research on mobile technologies and its impacts on the lives of the blind, elderly and dearth communities. Luciana has written many articles a number of which were published in Encyclopedias, such as 'Brazil: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Republic (Greenwood Press) and Encyclopedia of Latin American Women Writers (Routledge).'
The Futures Lab Chile
Since graduating from the University of Sussex in 2005, Tessie has worked in London, Austin and Santiago as a Futures Researcher. She graduated with a BA in International Relations with Spanish and a year of her studies was spent in Chile. Whilst in Santiago she secured a competitive internship working as a journalist and translator for Chile’s English language newspaper, The Santiago Times. In 2006/2007 Tessie worked for London-based futures consultancy Global Futures and Foresight, where she worked on projects covering a wide range of sectors including a client project on the future of China, a published report on the future of China’s economy and client projects on the future of travel and tourism in the Middle East and the future of social networks and virtual worlds. Consequently she was contracted to conduct a 3-month research project for Rainer – a UK nationwide charity that provides support to disadvantaged young people in the UK. Now based in Santiago, Chile, Tessie is continuing her work as head researcher for The Futures Lab. Since joining the team in March 2008 she has worked on a governmental projects, on the future of culture and the arts, the future of education and multiple corporate client projects.
Our work is beyond strategic planning, taking a preferred futures approach rather than traditional baseline projections.