Futures Thinking can feed into Design Thinking. Divergent and convergent phases of the Futures Thinking process produce a series of scenarios, which illustrate multiple options for what the future might be. The end-point of the Futures Thinking process can be seen as the starting point for the Design Thinking process. You can then create product concepts and designs for any one of these future scenarios.




Design Thinking

Futures Thinking

Defining goals and outputs

Designing products, services, and experiences for today’s world

Strategic thinking about opportunities you may have in the coming years to help develop a more effective long-term organizational strategy

Empathising with customers

Putting yourself in today's customer's shoes

Putting yourself in tomorrow's customer's shoes

Looking to the edges  as a source of inspiration

Looking at lead and lag users to expose user needs and analogous systems to show opportunity areas

Looking at tiny signals of change observed in today’s world and extrapolating what they might grow to in 10 to 15 years

Relying on personas, simulation games and beta-testing of prototypes to bring abstract concepts to life

Helps make user needs and product ideas tangible which, in turn, helps potential users react to prototypes and provide useful feedback.

Anticipating abstract scenarios for what life might be like in the future tangible by putting some prototypes in front of business stakeholders

Looking back to look forward

Being guided heavily by stories from the users that provide data points about the past

Connecting the data points to understand users on a deeper level by seeing how their realities and behaviors have evolved and to uncover trajectories of how they might continue to evolve

Collecting and clustering signals

 Looking to “tail” users and analogous systems for insights and inspiration

Seeing how else we might look at what is happening at the edges of our organizational context to better understand potential opportunity areas

Forecasting two curves

Thinking about how insights from extreme users can translate to more mainstream user groups

Using a structured approach to envision how seeds of change from today’s edges might make their way into the mainstream and how, conversely, the elements from today’s mainstream might fall to obsolescence

Divergent and convergent thinking

Ultimately converges to a concrete concept that is tested, finalized, and brought to market

Developing a series of scenarios, which are meant to illustrate multiple options for what the future might be without defining an exact prediction.

Revealing unexpected possibilities

Generating a lot of observations, insights, and ideas throughout the divergent stages of the process.

Creating a framework to help make sense of these diverse elements and uncover new opportunity areas

Playing INNOBALL simulation game Innovation Brainball simulation games

Gaining deeper customer insight and developing creative solutions to meet diverse customer wants and needs

Anticipating future customer wants and needs as well as challenges to be dealt with to meet those wants and needs





Futures Thinking Questions

What game-changing innovations might stem from today’s signals of change if they become mainstream?

Which components of customer value that are important today will continue to be so and which will become obsolete?

What challenges we may face when we start creating futuristic value innovations and user experiences? ... More




INNOBALL simulation game Innovation Brainball INNOBALL-assisted Business Design Process

Play INNOBALL (Innovation Brainball) simulation game with the most promising 'What If?' scenarios. Powered by KoRe 10 metaphoric innovative thinking tools (10 KITT), Innoball engages and synergizes all the four types of design thinking: abstract, generative, concrete and analytical... More