Our futures offering lets you imagine and create your future
We use Speculative Design and Science Fiction Prototyping to help companies chart out possible futures and the way to get there through scenario building.
These scenarios are constructed to provide insight into drivers of change, reveal the implications of current trajectories, and illuminate options for action as a forum for thinking creatively about and discussing uncertain futures.
Combining insights from Speculative Design and Science Fiction Prototyping proposes a practice that engages with a social context and a rapidly changing scientific reality, using design as a tool for jumping off from a foundation of facts to creatively speculate. Imagining and exploring possible, alternate futures can lead to wisdom, insight and better decisions today. Our approach opens up space to think differently and take action based on newly gained perspectives. It not only provides possible scenarios but a new way of thinking that we can work with organisations to internalise, to bring the future into the room while making decisions in the present.
Why is it needed?
We base our ideas about the world on our personal experience, and that experience has ingrained the rate of growth of the recent past in our heads as “the way things happen.” We’re also limited by our imagination, which takes our experience and uses it to conjure future predictions—but often, what we know simply doesn’t give us the tools to think accurately, let alone imaginatively about the future in a way that is able to disentangle biases, assumptions and the things that both individuals and organisations take for granted.
Whether it’s the French Army hiring Sci-Fi writers to identify future threats or it’s VISA, PepsiCo & Intel hiring them to predict future trends. Science fiction prototyping combined with speculative design can help companies understand how the science that we know is shaping what the future world might be like and what that means for designing products and services for the future human on a planet that might be radically different from today. What stays the same and what changes and how do we anticipate this? This is especially the case when dealing with the threat of climate inaction and what companies, brands and organisations can do to anticipate, design and transform in light of an uncertain future. The powerful storytelling of Science Fiction Prototyping and the discipline of Speculative Design are powerful tools to help channel creative energy into action.
How it is used by our clients
These are some of the different use-cases where the scenarios are used by our clients:
- Imagine the future as input to setting sustainability/impact strategy
- Understanding society in the future and the future human needs
- Creating exponential solutions/products for the future
- Backcasting and planning towards a preferred future
- Educating and capacity building about the future
- Brand/Marketing purposes
- Tool to visualise and manifest the preferred future
How is it done
01. Gathering signals and data and building a tailored evidence base from a larger scientific foundation that is the core starting point for Planethon's work. Signals gathered are across Social, Political, Economic, Environmental, ecological, technological, artistic, cultural and philoposphical dimensions.
02. These signals are passed through a lens of planet and people centric analysis and synthesised into shared themes and points of tension. Elements of both relative certainty and radical uncertainty are incorporated to frame the boundaries of the scenarios being created.
03. The outlines of the future world(s) are created following an adapted form of Science Fiction Prototyping developed by Planethon's Head of Futures. Vignettes are described and outlined that act as windows into the future world.
04. Creative storytelling techniques from science fiction and creative writing are used to bring the vignettes and the wider scenario to life and create meaning and connection for those who will experience the scenario.
05. A intensive process of iteration will find the right balance between science and storytelling and incorporating client feedback and inspiration.
06. During this process, different assets for creating immersion and engagement are developed including concept art, audio narration, experiential design, creation of artefacts that are tailored to the purpose of the unique futures experience being crafted.
07. All of these steps can be co-created to a greater or lesser degree with clients, from only gathering signals & data from the client and feeding those into the creation of the scenario to multi step workshops to engage employees in being a key part in creating the scenarios together and everything in between.