scenarios + foresight

orecast and trend research provides an outside-in view of an entire field, and can provoke and inform strategic discussions in organizations of all shapes and sizes.

Scenarios are one popular tool used widely in business and government for thinking about the future in a structured way. They push us beyond our present knowledge, comfort zone, and control. Scenarios force us to confront changes, and think through the ripple effects.

Scenarios are not blueprints to be copied as-is. They’re designed as thinking, planning, and discussion tools to help you anticipate future possibilities and danger zones.

In our practice, we focus on developing scenarios that shed light on how people, businesses, and governments in cities may put emerging technologies to use. We look at what the technology could mean in the short term and then explore key uncertainties and how they might interact to shape the future.

This discipline helps us map the larger, longer-term shifts this can drive in urban society, local economies, and the built environment–the stuff of concern to policymakers and planners.

recent work

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Forecast of R&D Paths. In 2015, we undertook a global scan of urban science, including big questions, projected funding, and key epistemological dilemmas.

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Global Forecast Map. Focused on 10 ‘solution templates’  this graphic guide to the future of urban data highlighted strategies for using big data to uplift the poor.

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Transportation SketchesCombining fact-inspired fictional narrative and schematic sketches of possible products, services, and urban forms, these alternative futures scenarios mapped a world of rapid technological, economic and social change.

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