The First Foresight Certificate Course of 2016 Done and Dusted

2016 Cerfificate Course JanOur bi-annual Foresight Certificate Course was presented from January 18-22 at the Hilton, University of Houston, Texas. After two other runs in May – one local and another in Belgium – the course will have completed its eighth year. We are glad to once again have attracted attendees from countries all over the globe such as the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates.

A substantial segment of the course focuses on our signature Framework Methodology which has become very influential over the past years. During the 5-day course, the content acts as a guide to participants on how to affect transformational change in their respective fields. Participants learn how to understand, map and influence the future. Put differently, the course focuses on anticipating disruptive change, learning the skills to identify possible contingencies, as well as acquiring the tools to peer ahead towards a plurality of possible future contexts relating to their industries. Lastly, with regard to influencing the future, the final stretches focuses on leadership in relation to change.

Besides a certificate of attendance and scoring 4 Continuous Education Units (CEU), attendees are also eligible for a certificate of achievement if they complete a foresight project on their own subsequent to the course.

Our professional certificate graduates have now grown to about 500 individuals from numerous companies, organizations and communities! For more program information feel free to contact Dr. Andy Hines or Alexandra Whittington regarding our future schedule and logistics.

Alum Laura Schlehuber joins Kalypso Innovation Consulting Firm 

Laura is now manager in the Foresight practice at Kalypso where she identifies strategic opportunities by using trends, forecasts and scenarios. Her role is to turn the STEEP categories (societal, technological, environmental, economic and political) into quantifiable data for clients in order to identify priorities, drive investment and discover innovation opportunities.

Previously, Laura worked in the People Advisory Services group at Ernst & Young LLP (EY). Here she was an lauraactuarial consultant and later focused her efforts on various human capital consulting projects. She has also been an adjunct professor in our Foresight Program teaching statistical forecasting during summers.

When we asked her whether she found what she learned in the Foresight Program applicable to her current context, she replied:

A trained futurist is a highly-attractive differentiator in the consulting world…and I learned the practice from the best.  So I feel 100% equipped for this position because of the foresight program.”  

Congratulations!

— Johann Schutte

Posted in Alumni Highlight by Andy. No Comments

Houston Foresight Fall 2015 Newsletter & Spring Gathering Save-the-Date

The College of Technology puts together a nice-looking newsletter of what its various programs are up to each semester. Here is the link to thnewsletter TOCe FORESIGHT_Fall Newsletter_Magazine. It’s a great way to catch up quickly on the highlights from the Fall.

One item not in the newsletter that’s important to note is that we’ve set our Spring Gathering to Friday April 15 and Saturday April 16. One key change this year is the venue – friends of the program Mike Courtney and Quinn are hosting the meeting at a beach house on the Kemah marina. We’ll have dinner and drinks in Kemah on Friday evening and then have the day-long meeting at the beach house on Saturday. And rumor has it that family members might be cooking a Vietnamese dinner for Saturday night.

The featured topic will be on “The Future of the Block: Block and the Future of Education” (aka the “Cryptofuture)”. Blockchain technology is poised to be a critical driver of the future in a wide range of areas. We’ll use education as an example, since the folks at Knowledge Works are going to visit and have done on a forecast on what blockchain/crypto means for education.

There will be more, but this should whet the appetite. If you’re coming from out of town, we’ll provide some info on local AirBnB places to stay near where the meeting is. You might want to come into Hobby, as it is closer than IAH. For now, block the calendar for April 15 to 16 and stay tuned!

Science Fiction Futures Workshop

Our foresight friends at the Marine Corps are hosting a Science Fiction Futures Workshop in Quantico on February 3rd 2016. They are looking for participants who  help them out in the workshop: “You will be challenged to apply your creativity to develop the narrmarinesative foundation for a series of short stories that will be used to augment the 2015 Marine Corps Security Environment Forecast: Futures 2030-2045  Participation is limited to 15 people.”

If you are interested, you need to act fast. By 22 January, submit a biography, your three most influential books/games/films/shows (and why), and a short story or proof of previous publication to MCCDC_STRAT_Vis_Grp@usmc.mil

Several members of the Marine Corps have gone through our Certificate program, so we are happy to see their work in promoting foresight and the study of the future. Andy Hines

Foresight Students Prep High Schoolers for Debate

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A team of Houston Foresight students joined Andy to spend a Saturday working with high school students on November 21st. They participated in the Houston ISD (Independent School District) Debate Initiative program, which is coordinated by alum Mark Niles.

Andy and a student team consisted of Jason Crabtree, Maria Romero, Johann Schutte, and Will Williamson attended the event for a couple hundred high school students interested in debate.

The team kicked off the event with presentation — How Futurists Identify Emerging Issues — in which Andy talked for a bit and then the foresight students had a panel discussion sharing their experience as students in doing the actual work.

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After this kickoff the Foresight students led breakout group discussion with the high school students.

  • The Future of Privacy, Security, & Surveillance led by Johann and Will
  • The Future of Work: How do we earn a living without jobs led by Jason and Maria

After the event Mark said that “Many people have contacted me saying they enjoyed learning from you and the students.” Andy Hines

Futurist Christian Crews Joins Kalypso to Lead Global Foresight Practice

crews photoBelow is a press release announcing the new position of alum Christian Crews.

BEACHWOOD, Ohio–(Business Wire)–Internationally recognized futurist Christian Crews has joined innovation consulting firm Kalypso to lead the growth of its global Foresight practice.

The people of Kalypso combine unparalleled expertise in innovation with a depth of experience in the consumer goods, healthcare, high technology, manufacturing, life sciences and retail industries. Christian brings 20 years of experience delivering foresight, innovation and strategy for Fortune 500 companies across various industries.

“Foresight is an essential part of an organization’s ability to develop winning products and services for changing times,” said George Young, chairman of Kalypso. “Christian has a successful track record working with companies to translate insights about the future into action. We are excited to welcome him to the firm and help our clients use foresight to drive better results from innovation.”

Prior to joining Kalypso, Christian was the founder and principal of AndSpace Consulting, a boutique strategic foresight and innovation firm serving Fortune 500 clients and large non-profit agencies, including PepsiCo, Hershey, Goodyear and the Institute of Food Technologists. Before his consulting experience, he held internal foresight and strategy positions at Pitney Bowes, the Waitt Institute and Toshiba Industrial Corporation.

A well-known leader in scenario planning, Christian has developed specific foresight and ideation methods for innovation management. He will work with clients to use the future to identify strategic areas to play and innovate to win.Christian holds a MS in Studies of the Future from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, and a BA in English from the College of William and Mary. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and three daughters.

About Kalypso

Kalypso is a global innovation consulting firm, helping deliver better results from innovation. For more information, visit http://kalypso.com. Follow @KalypsoLP on Twitter and on Facebook.

Alum Mancuso Lands Job at UT Health Science Center

JMM_APF_HS mancusoAlum Jeremy Mancuso has accepted a position with the Office of Development at UT Health, which is the most comprehensive academic health center in The UT System and the U.S. Gulf Coast region, and  is home to schools of biomedical informatics, biomedical sciences, dentistry, medicine, nursing and public health. His new role will be to plan and conduct research on individual, foundation and corporate sponsors. He had been the Director of Insights with Shaping Tomorrow for the last seven years. Shaping Tomorrow provides is a horizon scanning service that develop insights into the future in a wide range of areas, such as  economics, the environment, healthcare, industries, lifestyles, organization, politics, society and technology and, illuminate the potential implications for organizations. Congratulations, Jeremy!

Alum Jason Swanson and student Katie King on The Future of Learning for KnowledgeWorks

jason and katieThe Future of Learning: Education in the Era of Partners in Code is a ten-year forecast created by alum Jason Swanson, Director of Strategic Foresight for KnowledgeWorks along with contributions of current student Katie King and other members of the KnowledgeWorks team.

KnowledgeWorks’ fourth comprehensive forecast on the future of learning explores provocations at the intersection three impact layers – people, structures and society – and five drivers of change – optimized selves, labor relations 2.0, alternate economies, smart transactional models, shifting landscapes.

In this paper you’ll also find Peter Diamandis’ exponential change concept to support the idea of rapidly changing trends that will have an important impact in the interwoven and complex world we live in.

The paper concludes with a section dedicated to issues identified by the forecast along with “Technologies to watch” list that could potentially change the game.

We’re always proud to see how our alums grow professionally and even better when they share their experience with current students!

 

Futurists in Media: November Highlights

Futurist in the media logoThis week in futurist in media returns, there were some interesting articles pertaining to the futurist persuasion. There was a nice interview with Nottingham University’s Christopher Barnatt on his new book entitled “The Next Big Thing – From 3D Printing to Mining the Moon,” a page devoted to Sohail Inayatullah’s new book “What Works: Case Studies in the Practice of Foresight,”and an outline of some of Ray Kurzweil’s predictions for the future of technology and its accelerating integration into the lives of future world citizens.

Futures researcher and professor at the University of Nottingham, Chris Barnatt, has given an interview to 3Ders.org concerning 3D printing among other things discussed in his new book. Barnatt asserts that it will not be 3D printing alone which creates the next manufacturing revolution, but it will be a combination of technologies including nanotech, synthetic biology, and resource collection from space. “Just imagine having all of the molecules needed to make a smartphone, and putting them into a cocktail shaker, giving it a really good workout, and then opening it up to take out a fully assembled Apple or Samsung device.” “…There is the related possibility of creating bioprinters that will output living materials engineered by synthetic biologists, and that will self-assemble into their final programmed form after 3D printout and then die on digital cue.”

A welcome development, University of Hawaii’s own expert on interdisciplinary future studies, Sohail Inayatullah, has produced a new book of case studies aimed at translating “the principles and theories of future studies into a practical overview that is accessible for business and community leaders, as well as academic readers.” Inayatullah says his book draws on 30 years of fieldwork and is meant to get businesses thinking along the same lines with respect to a common journey into a future full of stakeholder disagreement and technological disruption. His pioneering work in Causal Layered Analysis has definitely had an impact on my understanding of alternative perspectives.

Despite the controversy among futurists today, I think that Ray Kurzweil is in a position to make some fairly accurate projections given his unique access to one of today’s biggest and most innovative companies, Google. And I am inclined to pay attention to him even if, for no other reason, it is just because his assertions are so provocative. Personal preference aside, when he releases a statement there is usually a fairly prominent response online, and one such response surfaced this week in the form of an article titled (somewhat grandiosely) “8 Shocking Predictions for Life After 2020 from Google’s Genius Futurist”. Title aside, the article actually outlines some of Kurzweil’s key predictions in a very relatable way, mentioning nanobots and Kurzweils perception of their future impact. He says that via nanobots, we will be able to plug our minds into the cloud, radically extend our lives, and increase both logical and emotional intelligence. We will “be able to 3D print basically everything”, “be able to ‘reincarnate’ people who have died through AI”, achieve the singularity, and continue forward into the future following the law of accelerating returns.

Values and Design Thinking

Program Coordinator Dr Andy Hines contributed a chapter “Future-friendly Design: Designing for and with Future Consumers” to the latest PDMA Handbook. He shares a few thoughts on this contribution below.

The increasing partnership between foresight and design over the last several years has nudged more and more futurists towards the design space. For some this has been quite natural. My fellow student in 1990 in the Houston Foresight Program (then “Futures Studies) Lloyd Walker came to the programpdma design thinkingwith a background in industrial design and has long been a proponent of this partnership. He curated an APF Gathering at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena several years ago. Design has been a regular topic inAPF meetings and discussions. The Houston Foresight Program held a joint course with OCAD a few years back called Futures by Design. And this Fall, I supervised a PhD student from Italy for her dissertation comparing the use of scenarios by futurists and designers.

So I was happy to have the opportunity to jump deeper into the fray with a contribution to the latest PDMA Handbook on the role of design thinking in new product development, aptly titled Design Thinking. It’s quite an impressive volume, and being a part of it allowed me to read up on what my fellow contributors were thinking.

I chose to focus on the role of changing consumer values in the future of design, drawing on the research I did for ConsumerShift. The premise of my contribution is that while new product ideation and design is aimed at future markets, the ideas and designs are typically developed using current consumer needs. I outline the framework for understanding long-term values shifts, which provides insight into how consumer preferences are changing into the future. I focus on the two emerging values types (postmodern and integral) that are driving these changes are describe their trajectory over time. I note how these shifting values are at the core of five emerging consumer needs, which are illustrated and brought to life with representative future personas. Finally, I conclude with implications for designers and developers both in terms of adding to their tool kit as well as identifying cross-cutting themes of change across the consumer landscape.