Futures Platform


Ville Vanhala: Ville is currently the CEO of the company that created the digital foresight tool Futures Platform.Ville has worked with foresight and insights all his professional life. His passion is to help organizations analyze, visualize and enter new opportunity spaces in quickly evolving global markets. He developed deep expertise in market insights solutions after he co-founded a market intelligence company in 1999 and led the development of the firm’s market monitoring services, which by 2014 were being delivered to customers worldwide by 150 intelligence professionals working in offices across Asia, Europe and Americas. Ville started his career at McKinsey & Company.

Shar Shahfari: Shar is the Co-founder and Futurist at Plural Futures Lab, a strategy firm focused on enhancing the influence of human-centered designers and social innovators by bringing the power of strategic foresight to the field. Her work spans across various industries and sectors with a specialization in service, governance and systems design. Most recently she lead a team in collaboration with San Francisco Mayor’s Office to redesign the future-state of the business permitting process. Shar hold an MBA in Strategic Foresight.


Workshop: Synthesizing Trend Aggregation for Design

Experience the power of a digital tool to enhance collaborative foresight work in the context of mapping future change and innovating new concepts. During this workshop, we will explore Futures Platform, a new foresight tool to help with trend aggregation by utilizing it during a short futures workshop to create a scenario or artifact from the future. For this workshop, we will use future of workforce development as an example, however this method can be applied to any topic.

In this workshop participants will work in a team(s) to:

  • Create a holistic picture of change: Work together to build a 360 degree view of trends and emerging issues that will alter the landscape in the near, medium and long term future Engage in a collaborative process to prioritize drivers of change: Prioritize the key future forces to be considered, considering the innovation context we are working with.
  • Use a structured approach to map implications of key trends and phenomena: Choose two key dimensions by which to assess the nature of the key trends (for example, level of impact and time horizon)
  • Collect points of view and suggestions about opportunities, risks, and new innovation possibilities that each of the key trends is creating.
  • Work together to conceive one or several new product or service concepts, that are based on a combination of the key trends/phenomena that together disrupt existing markets and create new needs and opportunity for the novel product of service concept.

As a result of the workshop participants will have an experience of how holistic mapping of change opens up thinking to include a broad view of societal change, and how a structured, collaborative process to assess the key changes can help identify new innovation opportunities. Participants will also experience how a digital foresight tool can aid in the process of strategic foresight and innovation.