Fortune Cookie, anyone?

Virpi Vaittinen • Design Strategist

What if we could go to the Bahamas after work without leaving the comfort of ‘hygge’ in the middle of the slushy season? Or commute through a pipe, paying for the ride with a simple smile? How about choosing your next home based on a Happiness Index? Whistling for your pet drone to pick up the milk that you forgot (again)? And end the day chatting to a beloved and trustworthy friend, AI(an)?

A fast changing world presents us with both opportunities and challenges. New ideas emerge from surprising combinations. In the midst of all this change it’s good to remember that the future is whatever we believe it will be. No one has predetermined the future and no one knows for sure what will happen. Our aim should be to think about the opportunities we may (or may not) have in the coming years - looking beyond the immediate constraints and embracing a systematic approach. Above all, Futures Thinking aims to inspire.

As well as providing the chance to dream, Futures Thinking offers a way of addressing, even shaping the future - illuminating the possibilities, outlining choices and assessing our alternatives. As it is good to acknowledge what is possible, what is probable and what is desirable, it is as essential to understand that we can all have an impact on our future through our actions and choice.

A critical component of shaping a desirable future is how we feel about the possibilities we identify, because our feelings and emotions are what guide our actions and behaviours. We should not underestimate the impact of emotion. Our thinking needs to combine sense and sensibility. What we feel and believe are often more important than what is fact or truth - something we’re seeing clearly today in global politics.

Everything new requires time, especially if an idea is very novel. some of us jump for joy when things are changing, others are more cautious. Futures Thinking serves as a tool to help adjust to change, stimulating diverse, strategic dialog and widening our understanding of what is possible. Values and dialog are central when pondering the alternatives.

At Futurice we’ve made a start on our Trends report looking into 2017 and beyond. The first set is available at Slush for you to decide how you feel about them. We’ll be releasing the complete set of trends for your consideration and inspiration at the beginning of next year.

Join us at Slush for a coffee and a chat. And crack open a fortune cookie to reveal your future.

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