Management Consulting, Strategic Foresight Advising, Applied Tech Trends Research, and Futures Workshops
The Future Today Institute offers management consulting and advisory services, short-term workshops, foresight training, speeches and lectures, bespoke research and foresight coaching for leaders and teams.
Management and "Future of X" Consulting Services
We support executive leadership teams.
The Future Today Institute works closely with executive leadership and management teams to transform their strategic thinking on the future. Advisory services include: signal mapping, trend identification, scenario development, risk modeling, visioning and strategic planning.
Management consulting and advisory engagements range from a few weeks to a few months. Here's how we can support your teams:
Strategic decision-making: We support executive teams as they make critical decisions about their futures.
Building early warning systems: We create early warning systems for organizations and teams to help them see the next disruptive forces early and make better strategic decisions.
Managing through Covid-19: Identifying next-order implications of the global pandemic and ensuring decision points and strategies fit into your preferred longer-term outlook.
Building organizational capacity for foresight: Coaching others on FTI’s core frameworks, tools and methods of strategic foresight; developing curricula and workshops for organizations who want to build a culture and practice of foresight.
Near-term strategic planning: Helping executives develop their strategic plans to account for emerging trends, shifts in macro trends, and deep uncertainty in areas outside of their industry.
Visioning and long-term planning: Helping executives develop a long-term position for their organization; developing scenarios; backcasting preferred futures back to the present day for action.
Scenario development: Supporting executive leaders in building models for future risk and opportunity; prioritizing action to address those models.
Shorter Engagements: Foresight Workshops
Our custom forecasting workshops facilitate a practical, short-form exploration of your futures.
Sessions are tailored for each client's specific needs and typically focus on a singular need. Typically, our clients ask us to design a workshop for one of the following purposes:
- Explore the disruptive forces influencing a decision that must be made
- Discover newly-emerging signals and trends
- Rapid-prototype scenarios for a specific project
- Explore alternative future states
- Reverse-engineer a desired future to strategic action
- Pressure test products, services, ideas, policies for next-order negative impacts or unintended consequences
- Deliver an engaging, enlivening team-building session using one or more foresight tools
Using our unique convening framework, we bring together your organizaton with our futurists for custom workshops. We are able to accommodate the schedules of busy teams and executives. Workshops range from two hours to a full day. We work with clients to custom-build the best workshop for each team and project. Shorter workshops can be incorporated into conference agendas. All participants receive pre-workshop reading materials, custom researcn and a foresight toolkit.
During the Covid-19 quarantine period, we are hosting workshops virtually.
The Axes of Uncertainty is a fast-paced, rapid prototyping session designed to deliver immediate insights about your future.
We tend to under-predict or over-predict change. The reason: imagining plausible outcomes forces us to confront our expectations and cherished beliefs. The Axes result in short stories that tell us something about your futures. The session can be practical, to give actionable insights, or it can be more theoretical, to stretch your team's thinking as they confront deep uncertainty.
This is one of FTI's most popular workshop offerings. We've developed Axes workshops for teams all over the world, including a successful half-day workshop delivered to 750 participants at once.
What are the unintended uses of your products and services? How might your decisions accidentally result in future harm? This hands-on risk and threat mapping workshop surfaces plausible threats using data-driven frameworks.
Before you can plan for the next disruption, you must radically rethink your approach to risk. Using a transdisciplinary approach, you and your team will consider adjacent and theoretical influences on your organization, find next-order risks, and know when to take action. If you can spot risk early enough, you mitigate it -- or even use it as a catalyst for innovation.
Available as a virtual or in-person half or full-day session. During the workshop, we will introduce a series of strategic foresight tools to help you identify plausible future risks and threats, as well as how to assess their seriousness. Participants will develop a system to make decisions given the associated risks, and to take incremental actions.
Discover what emerging signals and trends will influence your organization in the future. FTI's rigorous, data-driven method for finding, tracking and monitoring signals and trends is used by hundreds of organizations worldwide. We work with your team to surface relevant trends and develop an escalation system so you know when to take actions on them.
In this workshop, we will develop a comprehensive set of disruptive forces, signals and trends that must be tracked by your organization.
Available as a virtual or in-person half or full-day workshop.
What might a post-coronavirus world look like? How will we live, work and do business in the future? Discover multiple future states for your organization. The purpose of this workshop is to help your team have strategic 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 have been directly impacted by the global Covid-19 pandemic, or for teams that are working on longer-range projects––those having to do with artificial intelligence, climate change, warfare, global population shifts, agriculture––a worldbuilding workshop offers rich strategic insights.
Available as a virtual or in-person half or full-day workshop. 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.
Explore alternative future states. In this workshop, we will discover plausible futures using FTI's scenario modeling technique. Workshops are custom-built to deliver insights on your future. Whether you are deciding what strategic direction to pursue, what new product to create, what a longer-term vision for your organization might be, what future risks you'll face, or how to transform your organization, we will lead you through a methodical process to find answers. Scenario workshops are also used to test theories for strategic change within organizations, industries and on the geopolitical stage. As a final step, we use a probabilistic model to help teams make informed decisions
Available as a virtual or in-person full-day workshop.
How can you plan for an uncertain future? Futurists use a process called "backcasting," a strategic process leaders can use to reverse-engineer their preferred future states. Participants will use backcasting to offset current challenges like the coronavirus. They will also use backcasting to make critical immediate, near and longer-term decisions.
In this session, we will use key FTI frameworks to analyzing new business opportunities and threats, calculate their likely demand in the marketplace, and determining potential risks.
Available as a virtual or in-person half-day or full-day workshop.
Foresight Training: Master Classes
FTI Master Classes will train you and your teams to see the future, today.
The Future Today Institute pioneered a data-driven, applied foresight methodology that is now used within hundreds of organizations worldwide. Our custom strategic foresight Master Classes are designed to teach teams that methodology, including the essential concepts, frameworks, tools and processes necessary to confront the future. Every Master Class is tailored for your organization. We combine our methodology and tech/ science trends research with original case studies we create specifically for your team. The result is an experiential learning session.
For more information on our custom Master Class offerings, download our Master Class brochure.
FTI offers custom virtual and in-person keynote speeches 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 and governmental organizations, including Sony, PayPal, IBM, Microsoft, UnitedHealth Group, Fidelity Investments, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and many others. During the Covid-19 quarantine period, we are offering virtual lectures and panel.
Get custom research, trends, scenarios and advisory services for your organization.
Started in 2008, the Foresight Program is a yearlong collaboration between FTI's futurists and your team. The Foresight Program is uniquely designed to ensure that you, your team and your organization are positioned to create your own preferred futures. Every quarter, we will lead your team through foresight exercises to build your organization's internal capacity for strategic foresight while staying ahead of disruptive forces. You and your team will receive:
Quarterly in-person or virtual workshops
Access to collaborate and brainstorm with the Institute’s staff
Custom tech trends research
On-demand access to collaborate and brainstorm with the Institute’s staff
Custom toolkits created for your organization
A keynote presentation for your organization
To learn more about how the Foresight Program will prepare your organization for the future, please contact us.
We answer your most challenging questions using strategic foresight.
How can we build an early warning system to see the next disruptive event?
Is your organization positioned to see the next disruptive event and take measures to leverage opportunity or mitigate risk? How are you mapping the cadence of decision-making and action within your organization to the cadence of uncetainty, signals and trends? If your organization has not yet developed an early warning system to determine which signals to monitor, which signals should be escalated to senior executives and when to take action, you will be vulnerable to disruptive forces.
The Future Today Institute will work with your team to build an early warning system that can be operationalized within your organization. This early warning system will identify weak signals, strong signals, emerging trends, and will establish a process to monitor external chaotic/ Black Swan events as they are forming. We will develop a set of escalation triggers, a matrix for making decisions, and a shared language to help activate signal tracking across all of your workstreams.
Client Case Study
A multinational financial services company needed to track signals earlier in order to accelerate new product innovation and to find emerging risk sooner across different areas. We developed an early warning system for the company and a set of early warning triggers. This resulted in faster alignment, more agile strategic decision-making, and better preparedness throughout the organization.
What is your organization’s FutureX?
Every organization and industry must take an active role in building its future. Our FutureX projects reveal your plausible future states, whether that’s a new business unit or service line, a bold strategic plan, or a clear vision for how to shape your industry. We use our technology-led, data-driven forecasting methodology for FutureX projects, which includes: signal mapping, trend identification, scenario development, risk modeling, visioning and strategic planning.
A clear articulation of your time horizons; alignment on your organization’s vision for the future; identification of signals and trends relevant to your industry; stakeholder matrix including familiar, adjacent and future players; scenarios describing your organization’s optimistic, pessimistic and preferred futures; a clear, risk-balanced strategy to take action on your preferred outcomes; capabilities to continue doing strategic foresight work within your organization.
Client Case Study
A multinational CPG organization’s FutureX involved reimagining ice cream and the global cold chain. We used our complete methodology to reverse-engineer desired future states across three work streams. This resulted in a new strategic plan and a new process to build internal capacity for strategic foresight within the organization.
How do we mange Covid-19 disruption?
The global coronavirus pandemic will lead to downstream implications we’re only beginning to see. Now is the time to rewrite your strategic plan and to create recovery scenarios for your company and industry. We will develop a series of provocative scenarios that describe future states in a post-Covid world and help you see new opportunities where previously you only saw constraints. We will reveal your preferred future state, and we will empower you to discover and take the steps you need to achieve your desired outcomes.
A clear articulation of your time horizons over the immediate, near and long-term; alignment on your organization’s vision for the future; a set of scenarios describing your organization’s optimistic, pessimistic and preferred future scenarios; a clear, risk-balanced strategy to take action on your preferred outcomes.
Client Case Study
Using our scenario modeling frameworks, we advised a multinational investment bank on the next-order economic implications of the Covid-19 crisis. We developed clear optimistic, neutral and catastrophic futures and developed a set of recovery scenarios spanning different industries. We applied one of our measurement frameworks to enable the client to evaluate and prioritize strategic actions.
What tech trends should we monitor? When do we act?
How can you distinguish between “trend” and “trendy,” and which long-term trends should your business be following? FTI’s rigorous, data-driven method for finding, tracking and monitoring trends is used by hundreds of organizations worldwide. We work with your team to surface relevant trends and develop an escalation system so you know when to take actions on them.
Identification of signals relevant to your industry; a list of trends your organization should track; a method to calculate the trajectory and impact of those trends; a tool to determine when to escalate those trends for action.
Client Case Study
In building its strategy for the future of content, a major media organization needed to identify drivers of change within its industry as well as external drivers influencing the future of news and entertainment media. We developed a map of rich, diverse information that offered micro and macro trends for the client as well as the media and telecommunications industries. We created a tool now used by the company to determine when and what kind of action to take on trends.