Foresight & Futures Human Experience

The Design of Futurestorming

With the reservoir of footage collected from the World Future Society conference, the Sparks Grove Futures team had a lot to work with creatively. Aside from asking questions that would evoke thoughtful answers, we also had to decide what to do with all those answers.

For a conference centered around “making the future,” the videos needed to reflect this theme of creating, sculpting and ideating the future. In illustrating the narrative arc of the collection of answers, we took a different visual approach every time. Across all 5 of the videos in the “Futurestorming” series, there is a visual thread of tools of creation (e.g., post-it notes, white boards, conference rooms, projectors, pens, pencils and sketches.)

In the vignette “What Excites You Most about the Future?” we started with a mind-mapped version of the future. Small whiteboard doodles and stats on post-it notes litter the canvas that is revealed in the final frames.

For “What can we do about Future Anxiety?” an upgrade from mind-map to real map is made. As Intel Futurist Brian David Johnson puts it, we need to map our fears and anxieties in order to confront and dissemble them. With a tone of cautious optimism, futurists remind us to look into our fears and anxieties to find solutions.

As a perfect follow-up to anxieties, the next question “How can Collaboration Solve the Future’s Problems?” aims to resolve the previous answers. As a reminder of what a future without collaboration looks like, most of the added footage captures an isolated office in black and white. The cold creative-less world is an exaggerated encouragement to craft a future of teamwork, diversity and cooperation.

Lastly, the question “If the Future Was a Living Thing What Would it Be?” is an attempt to make the future a palpable and relatable image. By illustrating the creative and varied creatures of the future in this vignette, we are able to see the future as tameable and responsive.

We design possible futures with post-its and whiteboards, games and models, interviews and insight.

How are you designing yours?

Contributor: Evan Newsome, Associate

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