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A New Tool for Future Forecasting

How do you prepare for a world that is increasingly unpredictable? This is a question that I get asked quite frequently. And over the past year, I’ve been exploring new ways to deliver trends and insights that will help organizations become more strategic and avoid future adverse disruption.

One such approach is scenario planning. Used by Fortune 500 companies across the globe, it stimulates future-forward thinking, inspiring new ideas that drive innovation, reach new markets, build communication platforms and form competitive strategies.

And while it can be expensive and intensive, it’s not just for corporate execs. That’s why LPK has partnered with Lion Eyes Consulting to make the approach more accessible and affordable to those outside the C-suite. Glimpse Tomorrow is a series of free emails brought to you by a team of trend forecasters, designers, strategists, startup and corporate folk who have seen firsthand the power of future-forward thinking.

Each Glimpse includes a rich, detailed story describing a disruptive future with unique consumer needs, competitive threats and driving technologies—accompanied by sector implications and provocative thought starters to help contextualize how your work and company could be impacted if the scenario came to be.

Below are some Glimpses from 2015, along with recent articles illustrating how our predictive scenarios are already playing out. Check them out or visit Glimpse Tomorrow to learn more and activate your free subscription.

RESTRICTED ACCESS

Our System Overload scenario described a world influenced by the power of data, restricted access and a high division of wealth:

—Scientists explore issues of algorithmically driven discrimination, a strange set of biases that occur when computers take control.

—Toyota’s online customization platform restricts access based on real-time inventory.

NEVER LEAVE HOME

Our Digital Shut-In scenario described a world where empowered consumers can control their lives from the comfort of their homes:

Virtual reality will be a billion-dollar industry soon, with Disney, Comcast and others at the epicenter.

Fast adoption rates of wearable tech will change the way we work, nearly guaranteeing you won’t have to remember the name of that marketing manager you see in the elevator every morning.

SCARCITY ON THE SHELVES

Our Out of Stock scenario described a world influenced by product scarcity and seamless digital integration:

—Even if you have $400,000 to spend on your next car, Ford will still require that you apply for the new Ford GT.

—Walgreens coaxes shoppers to give up their personal data in exchange for discounts.

POWERFUL AND TALENTED CONSUMERS

Our Driver’s Seat scenario described a world influenced by low government regulation alongside consumer customization of everything:

—Carnegie Mellon empowers amateur do-it-yourselfers with baseline CAD, allowing consumers to “tune” designs up or down based on their preferences.

—Google recently earned a patent that transforms wallpaper into screens using photo-reactive paint.

Interested in learning more about this free forecasting tool that can help guide your organization into the future? Drop me a line at valerie.jacobs@lpk.com, or visit Glimpse Tomorrow to activate your free subscription.

Trends Director Michael Roller contributed to this piece.

LPK Vice President and Managing Creative Director of Trends Valerie Jacobs’ trend work is grounded in a strategic approach that incorporates research, analysis and translation of data into actionable strategies for consumer brands with the nerve to keep up. Follow Val on Twitter at @futureglimmer or email her at valerie.jacobs@lpk.com.

As a Trends Director at LPK, Michael Roller’s commitment to creative work is guided by over 10 years of experience in the industry. An avid homebrewer, Mike uses socio-cultural ideas to narrate his beer recipes and label designs, taking a more holistic approach to create relevancy every day. Talk sub-conscious responses to design with him at @rollermt or send him an email at michael.roller@lpk.com.

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