innovation

Future Trends

This tool helps small and large groups to identify key transformative trends over the next three years, explore their consequences, and begin to look at how they can be met to create business opportunities. By the end of the workshop, participants create a list of most relevant trends; and an elaboration on three most-important trends, including ideas around how their organization/s could act to meet those trends.

Trend report

Hyper Island uses this tool in the development of our trend report: Changes of Tomorrow, Trends transforming society.

Explore the trend report
  1. Step 1:

    Introduce the purpose of the workshop. Explain that we are going to discuss transformative trends in the near future, and explore how our organization/s might act to meet those trends.

    Begin with a 20 min Stinky Fish exercise, to support the group to safely share worries and concerns about the future and its challenges. The goal here is to normalise uncertainty about the future and open up the space to talk about it.

    The context for the Stinky Fish exercise might be: "Share one worry/fear about the digital future and how it will impact me personally or professionally.”

  2. Step 2:

    Now the group will collaboratively map the most relevant trends changing their industry over the next 3 years. Explain to the participants that by “trend” we’re not simply talking about transient fashion fads, but about driving forces in society that have strong and lasting consequences.

    This step has four rounds of 5 minutes. Each round focuses on a different category: Business, User Behaviour, Talent Demands, and Technology. The task is to brainstorm as many relevant trends in each category as possible.

    Give participants post-its and markers. Instruct them to write one trend per post-it, speaking them aloud before sticking them on a wall in four clearly labeled category sections.

    If necessary you can help to get the groups going by giving a few examples for each category (take them from Changes of Tomorrow, or think of them yourself.)

    Give them 5 minutes per category. 20 minutes in total.

  3. Step 3:

    After the four rounds, congratulate the group. Explain that the next step is to quickly prioritize the trends in terms of which will have the biggest impact. It should around 5 minutes.

    Use the Dotmocracy tool. It’s perfect for helping large groups to make rapid prioritizations. Using sticky dots or markers, give each participant 8 dots (votes) to distribute across the trends they have posted up. They should base their voting on which trends they feel “will have the biggest impact on their business over the coming 3 years.”

    To help avoid group bias, ask them to select their votes in their heads first, then place their dots.

    Once the votes have been placed, ask the group to select the three most-voted trends to explore in the next step.

  4. Step 4:

    The aim of this step is for the groups to collaboratively explore the most important trends, and generate ideas around the business opportunities that they might open up.

    Split the group into smaller groups of 2-4 people. Each new group will work with one trend, exploring its opportunities, consequences, potential risks, and imagining: What does our company look like in three years it we fully take advantage of the opportunities of this trend? What steps would we need to take today to begin moving that way?

    Give each group a trend template, and 15-20 minutes to complete it. Before they begin working, remind the participants that this is an exploratory exercise. They should work from what they know, sense and feel, and complete the template fairly quickly.

    After they have completed the templates, have groups quickly present back to each other.

  5. Step 5:

    Run a short check-out to create a sense of closure.

    Speak briefly about “What we’ve done here today.” Then invite each participant to “check-out” with one insight from the day that gives them a positive feeling about the future.

    Explain the next steps to the group. What are you going to do with the trends and insights? How are you going to work with them as individuals and companies?