The Future of Work in South Africa

We are entering an economy where jobs as we know them are rapidly changing and in many cases disappearing: where technology and humans are changing how and where we work. So, what will the world of work look like in 2030? We often hear buzzwords like ‘collaboration’, the ‘gig economy’, and ‘artificial intelligence’, and see companies forming around these ideas (like Rainfin, TaskRabbit, and the Bebot AI in Japan, respectively), but what are the implications of these trends and how might…

What Can Strategic Foresight Do For You?

The field of Strategic Foresight was born decades ago. Traditionally, it has been relegated to academic circles and small teams within large corporations. But today, in this increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment, it’s much more obvious that every organization, and every individual, needs foresight. In its most basic form, Strategic Foresight gives us a framework to identify emerging trends and issues, and then use this insight to map out possible futures. These well-informed maps of the future allows…

Foresight Movement Takes Hold in Africa with TFS Cape Town

Each of our TFS cohorts is special, but the first ever group in South Africa was in a league all its own. Many of our participants have a sense of excitement when it comes to learning foresight, but in our Cape Town session, there was a sense of urgency and energy that made the session come to life. As our South African partner Wilhelmina Linell puts it in her Profiles in VUCA piece, “We have a survivalist mentality in South Africa.…

Finding Opportunity in the Fast-Paced Apparel Industry

PVH is one of the largest apparel companies in the world with 30,000 associates in more than 40 countries and iconic American brands such as Calvin Klein, IZOD, and Tommy Hilfiger. What role do you play in this huge operation? I lead a team that is focused on the future of supply chains, and how PVH should be operating in that future space. We’re not responsible for day-to-day supply chain operations, but we explore, build, and implement how they’re going…

Why the Future Needs WorkHuman

After a decade as a finance professional, I was tapped to lead a division focused on the future of work at Disney. But in just the 7 or so years I’ve been in the field, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend. In an attempt to earn the coveted “seat at the table,” most HR professionals seem singularly focused (obsessed even) on data and quantification.

Hyperweb: Wired For Next Part 1

The Wired For Next series looks at the deepening relationship between technology and humanity, and how that co-evolutionary relationship is changing the way that we approach the future of work, consumption, connection, food, play, learning, health, governance, transportation, organizational development, and so much more. In 1973, renowned design theorist and university professor Horst Rittel penned a treatise on an original concept that he called wicked problems. According to Rittel, a wicked problem differs from a regular problem in that the…

Is Foresight a Luxury?

You could think of Richard Ramsey as the foresight maestro at Walt Disney International. He expertly coordinates training, projects, and presentations for hundreds of practitioners in various time zones. While his work started with a focus on talent in the workplace, it now affects all aspects of the company. Members of Disney’s regional foresight teams span different functional areas, ethnicities, and age groups. The foresight program is taken very seriously (they have an application process with a mile-long waitlist), and…

Take Off The Blinders: Working Around Our Assumptions and Biases

A key focus of The Futures School is on assumption and bias work.  This unique feature set us apart from similar training programs, and is THE critical success factor of any foresight effort. It’s tempting to skip the “Discover” phase (where we uncover our blind spots) and jump right to scanning and scenarios.  Unfortunately, if you fail to challenge your perspectives, you will only find trends and build scenarios that look much like today’s world, and that’s a waste of…

Marching Toward a Feminine Future

Today, Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States of America. Every single day since the election, I have spent countless hours thinking about what this presidency – born in an atmosphere of fear, anger, hate, and authoritarianism – means for the future of the great American dream and experiment.