Sail forward!

Our Ship of the Future project was standing still for a while, as the different team could not agree on specific directions it should take (or those indecisive pirates!) We had to organise yet another session to agree on the next steps, and these next steps happened to be – a full-scale innovation workshop!

Together with our partners from Jacobs and Kars we have prepared a wide range of inspiration to feed the workshop (including a set of the videos from the future). As always, these materials were not only (and even not so much) about the ‘future ships’ (though we did learn quite a lot about the extravagant worlds of ‘Tall Ships’ or ‘Super Yachts’)

We then fed all these multiple streams to a multi-partner teams, who then started to produce their own ideas and concepts. To say mildly, it was very intensive!

The best ideas were immediately visualised and already presented to a jury of some kind, a group of experienced (and still fresh and innovative) ship builders and maritime designers.

Transforming the Future: An Interesting Day 2016 by the Dutch Future Society

An Interesting Day, an annual gathering of the Dutch Future Society, will be held this year in AmsterdamConnected on November 25th.  The theme of this year is “Transforming the Future” and the event is for (and by) the members of the DFS, but my previous experience says that both the theoretical presentations and practical workshops run during this day can be very valuable for broader audiences.

Summ( )n team will be presenting a demo-version of our Future Probing method during one of the parallel sessions. More information about the program and practicalities can be found here: Interesting Day 2016: Transforming the Future.

Ship of the Future, or What’s next?

Everything related to ‘ships’ – boats, yachts, sailing, rowing etc. – should be relatively alien to Summ( )n. It just happens to be that all the founders had been born in the territory farthest from any sea, the very middle of Central Asia. My personal tiny bridge with the sea-world is that I used to climb a lot in my youth and still know a thing or two about roping.

And yet we’ve been invited, with the help of our partners, Jacobs Kars Design Strategy, to help with a project called The Ship of the Future! We agreed, not without some hesitations, and also because we usually know something about the F-part of this title, the future.

However, in reality, the project was not about the ‘future’ per se, or at least not immediately about the future(s). To start with, this project didn’t have one client, but instead was coined by a complex network of stakeholders from multiple industries. This included ship-building and yard operations, but also 3D printing, supply and logistics networks, engineers, entrepreneurs, and ecologists.  Together they wanted to create not only a ‘vessel’ but an entirely new way of creating the vessels, which would also include the ways to build it differently, and to operate it on different principles.

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On business, design, and futures

Last week we managed to get to a very interesting conference that was situated right on the intersection of our main interests:  futures, design, and business. It was also situated in the newly opened Design Museum in Kerkrade that we visited not so long ago.

The program of the conference is still online and you can read more about its purposes (and the lineup of speakers) – the official title of the event was Business Meets Design.  Below I will share just a few random impressions about different presentations we’ve seen.

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Templates of the future

When someone opens a new Flickr account, but hasn’t uploaded any pictures yet, the service unobtrusively hints on what pictures there are expected from this someone. Such is our future, open and emerging but within an already developed template. Life becomes a coloring book for adults.

 

 

Future of Innovation in Energy: Eneco’s Take

I was invited to an info-session organized in Brainport office by Eneco, one of the largest energy company in the Netherlands. Eneco is traditionally operating in the north of the country (they are based in Rotterdam), but wants to increase its presence in the south (i.e., in Brabant) too, and specifically tap into innovation network centered around Eindhoven.

The team has presented their current vision (they want to move from service to platform provider) and also the actions they are already undertaking. They also invited the participant to brainstorm about possible entry-points to the innovation ecosystem of the region. Interesting.

e-Beer ? Think strategically!

We’ve got a request for proposal from, perhaps, the most distant place were were getting the rfp so far – Chile! And what a request! To help one of the largest brewery to think on their digital strategy (more specifically, prepare their people to think about such a thing properly).

 

The future of beer? Hmm…

We’ve got a very interesting request, a bit far from our usual circle of clients (and a bit far from our personal interests). On the other hand, the project of this sort can be quite revelational. More specifically, a company would like to know more about the future of… beer, and not any beer, but draft beer, the kind of beer that became very popular lately.  It’s not a projects yet, we only submitted a short proposal, more in the area of expression of interest. Let’s see how it will turn out.