Posts Tagged ‘Foresight’
On 1st January 2017, The Futures lab, Inc. will be 20 years old, having commenced its first foresight project on that date. From its early beginnings in Belgium and London to its highly successful years in Austin, Texas, with its major global expansion in the mid-2000s to its transformative years in Atlanta, Georgia, we have continued to thrive and create revolutionary, but highly salient futures for our broad-base of internationally renowned clients. As we claim: We are the leaders in the future potential business.
The idea for The Futures Lab was inspired by my long-term strategy work at VF Corp, at a time when I really did not know that the Science of Foresight/Futures Studies actually existed. I learned the process and approaches to foresight from the classics and the experts in the field of the day and in time created a distinctive, expert approach for The Futures Lab, which has been successfully applied to nearly 100 clients, some 140 projects and a multitude of industries over the past two decades.
Whilst, I founded the company and remain the architect for its business structure and strategy to this day, the company, which was incorporated in 2000 would never have reached the success levels it has without a great number of people,namely, colleagues, partners, clients, collaborators, futurist peers, family and friends.
Some such as Clive Cooper and Simon Ratcliffe of Your Future (London), were there from the first day till the present. Peter Bishop, who lead the Futures Studies Program at the University of Houston for so many years, provided us with amazing talented and well-suited staff such as Wayne Pethrick and Gary Golden amongst others. Maggie Duval, with whom I had a decade of successes by extending the company into new realms helped give the company and me new areas of focus that transformed the organization to keep us afloat through the recession. International partners such as: Ramon Ascobereta, Luciana Tanure, Lisa Zhang, Linda Hodgsonenabled TFL to conduct large-scale, multi-country projects for major corporations all over the globe. Finally, none of this would have been possible without the brilliant research and foresight support from my daughter, Tessie Woodgate and Helga Veigl.
While, we will celebrate this milestone with a new website and some new services, we enter our 21st year, in the midst of a number of projects still in process and more in the pipeline. Looking forward to a successful 2017 as we march forward into another decade of foresight. We are eternally grateful to everyone that has helped make The Futures Lab a success. Wishing you all a wonderfully successful and happy New year.
TFL’s President, Derek Woodgate participated in a two-day workshop titled “Making Sense of the Future of learning,” designed for higher education leaders and innovators to explore implications raised by KnowledgeWorks’ new ten-year forecast, “The Future of Learning: Education in an Era of Partners in Code.”
The workshop took place at Sparkspace and produced a number of exciting insights about future potential for education and learning.
The workshop was organized by Cincinnati-based social enterprise, KnowledgeWorks, http://www.knowledgeworks.org/- an organization that explores the future of learning to help education leaders and innovators anticipate change, explore strategic possibilities and identify ways of creating better opportunities for all learners.
The Futures Lab, Inc. has been awarded a foresight project to explore and develop strategic direction for the IAEE.
Organized in 1928 as the National Association of Exposition Managers to represent the interests of trade show and exposition managers, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events™ is today the leading association for the global exhibition industry. Today IAEE represents over 9,500 individuals in over 50 countries who conduct and support exhibitions around the world.
Over 50 percent of IAEE’s members are directly involved in the planning, management, and production of exhibitions and buyer-seller events. The remainder of IAEE’s membership consists of those who provide products and services to the industry.
In addition to our foresight expertise, TFL’s experience in the events industry through it subsidiary, The Future Entertainment and Events Lab (FEEL) will provide additional insights into the potential for the Association and the industry.
Here is a podcast of an interview Derek Woodgate gave on Inkandescent Radio.
As The Futures Lab enters its 19th year of operation, I am pleased to report that 2014 was both a very successful and transformative year.
On the foresight consulting front we undertook some exciting projects both directly and through our sister company in London (Your Future (London) and our satellite offices. These included foresight work for Kelloggs, AKZO-Nobel, Phillips, the BBC, Intercontinental Hotels and Whitbread amongst others.
Then there was the expansion and consolidation of our Future Entertainment and Events Lab (FEEL)(previously Plutopia Productions) www.thesenseevent.com, where we created, curated and produced STEAM³ – The Future of Education,a conference and interactive playground, which was held in March at the University of Texas’s Commons Learning Center. www.steam3.com. We will be holding a similar event together with Georgia State University in September 2015.
We also added a non-profit arm LIFE (Learning Innovations in Future of Education) www.http://livinglearning.co/, which besides being very involved with the STEAM³ event, undertook to create a fully self-contained mobile learning course on The Future of Mobile Learning for the University of Adger in Norway, with our President, Derek Woodgate as the class instructor and Maggie Duval, the Chair of LIFE providing all the back end design and set up. Derek Woodgate has since been made an Adjunct Professor at the University of Adger and will be teaching a Future of Media course in Spring 2015. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Georgia State University, where he teaches The Future of Entertainment and Learning through The Futures Lab’s foresight process. Also in 2014, Maggie Duval, taught at the Skybridge Academy in Austin.
TFL’s focus over the past decade has been firmly placed on the future of entertainment and media, education, culture and new communities. Consequently, Derek Woodgate has continued to be in wide demand to speak on these subjects and 2014 was no exception with a keynote role at the MMC and numerous engagements at conferences and universities.
2015 has already set off at a whirl and we are anticipating another exciting, successful year and wish you all the same.
Woodgate was brought up on physicist and philosopher David Bohm’s “Thought as a System,” in which he states: “What I mean by ‘thought’ is the whole thing—thought, felt, the body, the whole society sharing thoughts—it’s all one process. It is essential for me not to break that up, because it’s all one process; somebody else’s thoughts become my thoughts, and vice versa.”
This was followed by a strong dose of hierarchical and systems thinking as Woodgate developed as a successful corporate strategist. When in 1996, he founded The Futures Lab, Inc., he soon realized that he needed to develop new thinking techniques and a differentiated system to create the future, given that it meant working with discontinuous change and creating connects from a multitude of disparate disconnects.
At the time, he had been highly involved in post‐modernist philosophy, in particular the works of Gilles Deleuze, Guattari, Derrida, and the post-structuralist approach of Slavoj Žižek, as well the digital cultural work of Arthur Kroker and the cyberpunk narrative of Gibson and Sterling.
Fur particular quotes drove him to devise a fresh thinking system, specifically relevant and purposeful for creating the future, namely:
Nietzsche: “You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.”
Heinlein: “One man’s “magic” is another man’s engineering.”
Oldenburg: “The art of conversation between the sidewalk and a blind man’s metal stick.”
Ono: “You need a glass key to open the sky.”
Consequently, he decided to create a thinking system that applied elements of Deleuze and Guatarri’s rhizomatic thinking in “A Thousand Plateaus” and remix it with elements of network and nomadic thinking techniques in order to generate the unexpected, even the unthinkable. Such an approach is designed to leverage projected future dystopias and disruptors, in order to create positive future worldviews, which Woodgate terms “plutopias”. Recent developments in the cognitive sciences, imaginal visioning, and emotionally intelligent, optical, and quantum computing are adding additional layers to the process.
The presentation describes the tenets of this new thinking approach and its successful application in creating revolutionary ideation in terms of business models, product innovation, market approaches, and design.