'foresight tools'에 해당되는 글 1건

  1. 2010.06.08 Foresight Tools of Stanford College


When we look to the future with open eyes, we can begin to see the opportunities that are coming.

Long-range foresight is about understanding the situation today, seeking future opportunities, and intelligently creating innovations.

It echoes what management guru Peter Drucker described as the one trait he found in successful entrepreneurs, namely a commitment to approach innovation as a "systematic practice." Based on our experience in industry and at different universities, we have developed nine Foresight tools as a systematic practice.

With the combination of these tools, we believe you will be able to prepare successfully for the future and answer three fundamental questions:

How do I begin looking for future opportunities?
How can I create a path to these opportunities that anticipates the inevitable changes along the way?
What can I start doing today that will help me get there first?

Our process is designed to help all types of companies and people learn how to apply each method as part of an integrated, repeatable practice. We invite you to delve more into our process and methods, as well as order any workshop material that would be helpful for your own foresight strategy and innovation management efforts.



Our process can be understood as three overlapping phases: Perspectives to Opportunities to Solutions.

Each phase recognizes a distinct set of activities within the broader lifecycle of long-range innovation, although the phases tend to overlap in real life. Often, the start of the process has the highest ambiguity for participants.


Phase I. Perspective

The first phase is to develop historical perspective about an area of interest relevant to the future you want to live in. You must look back first in order to look forward.


What is the bigger context for the topic you are interested in?
What historical events, industry actions, and societal movements can be identified as drivers of today's reality?
When reviewing previous inventions and opportunities, what similarities in timing and adoption exist today?


Phase II. Opportunity

The second phase helps you develop an ability to see growth opportunities that exist today and extend into the future. Today’s opportunities become tomorrow’s innovations.


What themes are emerging that might shape or influence possible opportunities in the future?
Which major changes about people over time, such as population movements and generational shifts, can we identify and understand that affect future changes?
What might you expect from future users and customers?


Phase III. Solution

The third phase seeks to define the questions that exist along different paths to innovation. Innovative solutions are specific to your industry, customers, organization, and individual skills.

How can you determine the multiple paths possible to get from today to tomorrow's future innovation?
Looking at what you've learned, how long does each step take along the various paths?
What are the critical points for change, and which ones are in your control?


Overall, the foresight process begins with exploratory research and abstract representations, moves through to half-formed ideas that begin to take form and gain substance, and ends up with a realizable set of possible solutions. Each phase is progressively more hands-on and concrete, taking you on a gradual journey from open-ended investigation to practical convergence.

Phase I: Perspective

Perspective is critical to establish upfront, and yet, how often do we really see the big picture?

Developing perspective gives us a broader frame of reference; it checks our own assumptions and lets us put others' decisions into a richer context.

The big picture is an abstract concept, encouraging the mind to see an invisible complex web of multiple variables and their relationships. Our foresight tools help you capture the big picture, and when comes down to finding future opportunities, having perspective is the first advantage.

Perspective requires both breadth and depth, theoretical understanding and hands-on experience. We don’t mean to imply that one person will know everything; instead, synthesizing across multiple disciplines and adding real life lessons together contributes to building the big picture. Further, while outside experts may guide efforts, your teams need to be fully integrated and involved in the foresight process from beginning to end.

Three tools allow you to develop perspective:


Context Map

Context Mapping is a mapping technique for capturing emergent conversation themes in complex problems to show integrated context.


Progression Curves

Progression Curves are a graphical representation that explains the progression of changes in terms of technological, social, and related filters.


Janus Cones

Janus Cones is a foresight tool for looking backwards and forwards in time to identify the timing of historical events and how timing affects potential future events.

Phase II: Opportunity


Applying foresight thinking can turn a complex and unclear world into a map of new innovation opportunities and possibilities.

A focus on opportunity further brings the long-term view into focus and supporting the investments and actions required today to begin the path to tomorrow.

Now with perspective, foresight thinking is valuable because it allows you to prepare for tomorrow. Knowing where you are – and how you got there – is essential for making good decisions on where to go or what to do next. This phase is about opportunity search.

Three tools allow you to find opportunity:



Demographics is a research method to identify and track population changes within a specific group over time in order to understand impending changes on the workforce, life stages, future markets, and other variables.


Future Users

Future Users explores the potential future of a chosen demographic through the comparative analysis between similar groups over time.



Futuretelling are short and dramatic performances that illustrate a particular user need as a scene from the future. This is active storytelling at its best.

Phase III: Solution


Our research shows an incredible amount of effort occurs before an innovation idea materializes in its full entirety.

A delicate process of emergence unfolds during the earliest stages, as different sets of individuals and concept threads come together, separate, recombine, fade away, and advance forward ultimately into one innovation solution.

Few people mention that this beginning can be the hardest part of the innovation process. Foresight helps you start the next steps. Foresight gets you to the first solution.

Three tools allow you to prototype possible solutions:


White Spots

White Spots are a strategic tool for studying the future opportunity space defined by two salient issues. Opportunities can be discovered in the ‘white spots’, or empty areas.


Change Paths

Change Paths are a set of data-driven narratives exploring different paths and key decision points toward possible future innovations.


Paper Mockups

Paper mockups in three-dimensions (3D) are an advanced design method to prototype and communicate a new concept using paper and inexpensive materials. A specific iteration is the Dark Horse Prototype.

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