HOW WE DO
We develop new tools that enable you to look at the same landscape with fresh eyes and an open mind.
LIKE A ANTHROPOLOGIST, EXPLORING UNCHARTED TERRITORY
It is a famous saying that for someone with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Hence, new times also require new approaches, new perspectives, and new tools. We develop this new mindset, skillset & toolset in a bottom-up way. This is based on the Grounded Theory approach used by anthropologists for example. This kind of research strategy prevents us from looking at new developments via old metaphors blurring our vision on change, threats, and new opportunities. Is sustainability truly about being less evil? And is the blockchain indeed comparable to a 'digital general ledger'? We don't think so. Old metaphors and mental models prevent us from understanding the meaning of change. We need to challenge ourselves to think, see and act differently.
Another advantage of embracing a new perspective and stepping right into the 'action' is that we continuously have to learn y doing, to develop 'our own way' and our own tools. We have scouted the uncharted territory for you and created over 200 tools that are truly helpful to understanding and guiding change. In these transitions, it is not about getting things done, but moreover to get the right things done. So, all of these tools have their own power moment in the change process, where they can be of real use.
To help you navigate the toolbox we have created the 21-ready framework. Mind you, tools are no forms to complete. In our educational vision tools are obstacles that nudge us to take another perspective, trigger new insights, and a better understanding of possible alternatives in this particular setting.
Trying to understand these complex, ambiguous, uncertain, and volatile times is something we can't do alone. It requires intensive experience, experimentation, dialogue, and a very transdisciplinary team. We are extremely grateful that we have been able to conduct over 150 interviews with change-leaders, (which we like to call our Board of inspiration), to work with an amazing Research and Educational team of young inquisitive minds ánd to be continuously provoked and inspired by our visiting faculty.
THE POWER OF QUESTIONS
WHAT IS YOUR RESEARCH QUESTION?
For us, any project, and thus also our own Futures Academy, starts with formulating a generative research question. We believe that a question is more guiding and engaging than a bold mission statement or so. A research question continuously challenges us to better understand, learn in everything we do, and to share what we have learned so far.
One of the first questions we started with was 'How much freedom do you need to make a real fundamental change?' Every program and session (often pressure cookers) were designed around this question. Keeping us as much on our toes as we make our participants do.
A more recent research question was a bit more abstract 'How do people create meaning?'. Interestingly everybody starts explaining as if it is easy, yet in our experience, nobody can really explain this everyday process. This research question truly helped us in understanding how to engage communities, to work with organizations on impact but also to understand how new generations deal with new technologies and social events for example.
What is your research question?
OUR BOARD OF INSPIRATION
INTERVIEWS WITH GLOBAL THOUGHT LEADERS
Part of our research was to interview well over 150 leaders on future business models. change, design, sustainability, leadership, emerging technology, systems thinking and transformation. The people we interviewed are a very wide variety of engineers, designers, philosophers, psychologist, sociologist,a activist, business leaders, political leaders, professors and entrepreneurs. It is via this kind of diversity we can start to see bigger patterns by approaching 21st challenges more systemic and above all very transdisciplinary. The interviews are fully indexed and transcribed and are part of all our courses.