Advising and Applied Research
FTI provides our clients and partners with tangible strategic insights that lead to action. We identify new value flows, model risk, and help executive leadership teams confront uncertainty so that they can anticipate and plan for the future. FTI is a network of world-class researchers, strategists, data scientists and designers led by CEO and Founder Amy Webb.
Our work centers around the FTI Way: a rigorous, data-driven strategic foresight methodology that has been in continual use with our clients and partners for 15 years.
We support executive leadership teams in the following ways:
• Near-future decision support: helping executives prioritize decisions on emerging trends and ensuring those decisions fit into a longer-term outlook or strategy.
• Strategy support: helping executives develop their strategic plans to account for emerging trends, shifts in macro trends, and deep uncertainty in areas outside of their industry.
• Long-term planning support: helping executives develop a long-term position for their organization; developing scenarios; backcasting preferred futures back to the present day for action.
• Risk/ value indentification: supporting executive leaders in building models for future risk and opportunity; prioritizing action to address those models.
• Building organizational capacity for foresight: coaching executive leaders on the core frameworks, tools and methods of strategic foresight; developing curricula and workshops for organizations who want to build a culture and practice of foresight.
Modalities of our work
All of our work is tailored specifically to each organization's needs. Our engagements are varied and personalized. They include:
• Projects do address a specific area of investigation.
• Workshops in response to an immediate concern.
• Lectures in response to areas of curiosity or strategic interest.
• Experiential learning: for those organizations wishing to build internal capacity for strategic foresight.
• Content development: script advising, creative/ design advising (primarily for for those in the entertainment industry).
• Retainer basis in response to an organization's ongoing need for advising.
See below for a more detailed description of our workshops, lectures and advisory services.
Project Work and Consulting
FTI works closely with executive leadership and management teams to transform their strategic thinking on the future.
FTI works closely with executive leadership and management teams to transform their strategic thinking on the future. We identify risk and opportunity, prepare for next-order implications, and position organizations to achieve success in the wake of disruptive forces.
We identify emerging technologies and advise on strategic positioning, partnerships, investments, M&A, workforce realignment, and the implementation of new technology platforms, architecture, and core services.
FTI has a successful track record advising companies representing 26 different industries.
Advertising, Marketing and PR
Architecture and Urban Planning
Construction and Building Trades
CPG and Retail
Defense and National Security
Entertainment Media and Film
Legal and Professional Services
Medical, Health and Life Sciences
Tech, Platforms and Telecom
Our custom forecasting workshops are experiential and productive deep-dives into the future.
Using our unique convening framework, we bring together your staff with futurists for custom workshops. They are typically held on-site, within an organization's meeting spaces, to accommodate the schedules of busy teams and executives. We also facilitate futures workshops at off-sites and company retreats. Shorter workshops can be incorporated into conference agendas.
Futures workshop deliverables include:
• Pre-workshop reading materials
• Custom research
• Printed and digital workbooks
• Foresight tools
• A set of actionable steps that can be taken once the workshop concludes
Workshops range from half-day sessions to multi-day intensives. We work with clients to custom-build the best workshop for each team and project.
THINKING LIKE A FUTURISTThis course offers a practical, hands-on learning experience for organizations who want to develop their capacity for strategic foresight. Teams learn the most essential tools of futurists and how to apply them within their organizations.
The workshop is based on The Signals Are Talking: Why Today's Fringe Is Tomorrow's Mainstream, Amy Webb's bestselling book that details FTI's six-step forecasting methodology. In advance of the session, participants receive hard copies of course materials, a copy of Signals, and a short assignment.
Participants learn all six of the forecasting and risk assessment frameworks. They also learn how to build actionable business strategies for the future and how to pressure-test them in the present
SCENARIO MAPPINGScenario mapping workshops use data from an organization and adjacent industries, as well as trend insights, to build narratives describing plausible futures. Participants learn how to map scenarios to develop new product and service ideas--and how to understand the likely implications that could arise. Scenario workshops are also used to test theories for strategic change within organizations, industries and on the geopolitical stage.
This workshop isn't like other scenario mapping activities. Participants learn the Future Today Institute's unique, proven methods for creating data-driven probable, plausible and possible scenarios across different emotive framings. As a last step, they apply a probabilistic model to help them make decisions. This workshop can be replicated within organizations by participants, to help develop internal capacity going forward.
SURFACING EMERGING TRENDSIn this workshop, participants take a deep dive and learn the critically important first two steps of FTI's forecasting methodology: listening for weak signals at the fringe, and applying the CIPHER pattern recognition tool to surface emerging trends.
Participants learn how to recognize cognitive biases within themselves and their teams; they gain an immediate understanding of where to look for the most important information; and they learn a formula for asking the right questions when thinking about trends.
This intensive session produces a list of emerging trends that the organization should be monitoring in the near-future.
FUTURES WORLDBUILDINGIn this hands-on workshop, participants build narratives for a time many years into the future. The purpose of this workshop is to help organizations have detailed conversations that spark new ideas, potential threats, and generate discussion on topics related to social change, geopolitical shifts, and quality of life.
For organizations that are working on long-range projects––those having to do with artificial intelligence, climate change, warfare, global population shifts, agriculture––a worldbuilding workshop offers rich insights into how to think about plausible economic, social and political implications of our actions.
Organizations learn a set of tools to help them construct a world of the future, so that they can visualize and experience it as a team, in the present.
RISK AND THREAT MAPPINGThis hands-on workshop teaches participants how to understand plausible risks and threats using data-driven frameworks.
The learning activities in this workshop are meant to be practiced and replicated. As a result, organizations build their internal capacity for seeing likely complications in the future using proven techniques and frameworks.
During the workshop, we introduce a series of tools to help an organization identify plausible future risks and threats, as well as how to assess their seriousness. Participants learn how to make decisions given the associated risks, and to take incremental actions.
NEW BUSINESS ASSESSMENTDuring this intensive, hands-on workshop, participants learn how to use emerging trends to develop ideas for new verticals, business centers and growth.
We take a deep dive into identifying and analyzing new business opportunities, calculating their likely demand in the marketplace, and determining potential risks.
Through this workshop, organizations develop their internal capacity for faster, data-driven thinking, as well as their ability to assess new business ideas using a strategic growth mindset.
FTI offers custom lectures to corporate audiences, boards of directors, festivals, and association gatherings around the world.
We have presented on some of the world's most influential stages, including: South By Southwest (SXSW), the World Economic Forum, the Milken Institute Global Conference, the Aspen Ideas Festival and TED, and we have addressed teams at hundreds of companies, including Sony, PayPal, Ingersoll Rand, IBM, Microsoft, Ipsos, UnitedHealth Group, Fidelity Investments, MasterCard, AmericanExpress, Google, BestBuy and more.
This is the Institute’s flagship offering. Started in 2008, the Foresight Program is a yearlong collaboration between the Institute’s futurists and an organization’s staff. If you are in any position of leadership—whether you’re the CEO of a large corporation, a media executive, an investor, a chief marketing officer, a government administrator, part of an R&D team, a program director within a nonprofit, or the manager of a division within a sprawling company—you must continuously and strategically monitor trends and plan for the future. The Foresight Program is uniquely designed to ensure that you, your team and your organization are positioned to create your own preferred futures.
Benefits of the Foresight Program
Each participating organization receives:
• Quarterly in-person workshops (at your office)
• Custom tech trends research
• On-demand access to collaborate and brainstorm with the Institute’s staff
• Invitations to our events
• Printed sets of our annual Tech Trends reports
In-person workshops are both inspiring and pragmatic: by the end of each one, participants have an action plan and next steps.
Foresight Program members include Fortune 500 companies across a variety of industry sectors, including media, retail, technology, financial services, hospitality and transportation.
Departments that typically send staff to the program include strategy and planning, R&D, technology-specific groups (autonomous driving, platforms), marketing, customer insights/ research, investment divisions and senior leadership groups.