Category Archives: FutureHacking

London Calling

London Calling Braden Kelley

by Braden Kelley

I will be in London attending a reunion soon and have some availability May 15-17, 2024 if anyone would like to book a keynote, workshop, or advisory session while I’m there.

Are you looking to build a continuous innovation infrastructure in your organization?

Would you like to learn more about the Change Planning Toolkit?

Want to learn how to become your own Futurist using the FutureHacking™ suite of tools?

I’m also open to helping promote a get together if someone has a space in central London to offer up for hosting a Human-Centered Change and Innovation community meetup.

Contact me if you have interest in any or all of these!

p.s. Be sure and follow both my personal account and the Human-Centered Change and Innovation community on LinkedIn.

4 Simple Steps to Becoming Your Own Futurist

An Introduction to the FutureHacking™ methodology

FutureHacking Foresight and Futurist Primer

by Braden Kelley

The starting point for becoming your own futurist is of course to first understand what futurology (or a futurist) is. Then we must also understand what strategic and market foresight are as well.

What is Futurology (or a Futurist)?

  • Futures studies, futures research, futurism or futurology is the systematic, interdisciplinary and holistic study of social and technological advancement, and other environmental trends, often for the purpose of exploring how people will live and work in the future. Predictive techniques, such as forecasting, can be applied, but contemporary futures studies scholars emphasize the importance of systematically exploring alternatives.

Source: Wikipedia

What are Strategic and Market Foresight?

  • Strategic Foresight is about combining methods of futures work with those of strategic management. It is about understanding upcoming external changes in relation to internal capabilities and drivers.
  • Market Foresight is about the consideration of possible and probable futures in the organization’s relevant business environment, and about identifying new opportunities in that space.

Source: Aalto University

Now we are ready to look at the four simple, but powerful steps to becoming your own futurist using the FutureHacking™ methodology:

STEP ONE: Picking the Signals That Matter

FutureSignals™ Radar & NowBuilder™ Canvas

  • Identify up to the eight most critical signals to monitor or amplify in order to look back, reach an innovation goal, describe them and capture for each signal what the status quo, small change and big change scenarios might look like – and which scenario is most likely.

STEP TWO: Mapping Signal Evolution

FutureSignals™ Radar Summary & Tracking

  • Summarize the most likely scenarios for up to the eight most critical signals along with their descriptions and whether you plan to monitor or amplify each. Use a tracking sheet to record changes in the signal over time – revisit and re-prioritize as needed.

STEP THREE: Choosing the Possible, Probable and Preferable Future

FutureCanvas™ & Picker (macro view)

  • Leveraging your FutureSignals™ summary, create a headline for an imagined future. Then capture the problems that have been solved, how society has changed, the new problems that may now exist and what we must do to shape the future. Rinse and Repeat.

STEP FOUR: Making Your Preferable Future a Reality

FutureSignals™ & FutureCanvas™ Action Plans (micro)

  • Leveraging your FutureSignals™ summary, create a headline for an imagined future. Then capture the key signals related to this headline, how the customer is changing and how the company must change in response.

These four simple steps to becoming your own futurist are accelerated by adopting the 20 new tools of the Futurehacking™ methodology that I have created.

“FutureHacking™ is the art and science of getting to the future first.”

It’s a methodology I’ve created that contains a suite of simple, but powerful tools at its core that will enable you to be your own futurist.

FutureHacking™ is designed to make foresight and futurology accessible to the average business professional.

Prototyping the Future

FutureHacking™ is a revolutionary approach that empowers cross-functional leadership teams to visually prototype the future and collaboratively create the roadmap and guideposts for manifesting your preferred, possible future.

FutureHacking Tool Collection

Why is Investing in Futures Research (or a Futurist) important?

  • Every stakeholder-responsible organization is compelled to realize its vision, execute its strategy, and achieve its goals – indefinitely. But, the future is uncertain. We cannot extrapolate that what has made an organization successful this year or last year will make it succeed in future years. Responsible organizations must invest in understanding the possible futures and realizing their preferable future. FutureHacking™ makes this investment much easier, cheaper and faster – helping you get to the future first.

“FutureHacking™ tools help you facilitate the future.”

Click the image to download a PDF flipbook:

Two Ways to Join the FutureHacking™ Ecosystem

  • Data and trend research partners to create service offerings as an input into the FutureSignals™ component
  • Futurists, consulting partners, and technology providers (interactive whiteboarding, etc.) to get FutureHacking™ certified and profit from the delivery of services to help people leverage the FutureSignals™, NowBuilder™ and FutureCanvas™ tools

One Way to Connect and Succeed

Contact me if you think you have a compelling partnership value proposition and subscribe to my newsletter below to find out when the certification program and facilitated off-site offerings are launched!

Image credit: Pixabay

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Latest Interview with the What’s Next? Podcast

Latest Interview with the What's Next? Podcast

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Shannon Phillips and Tristan Ham of the What’s Next? Podcast, about altering your mindset to become future-focused and the impact this can have on your business.

We had the opportunity to discuss the links between curiosity, imagination and creativity. And how to bring urgency to imagination leveraging among other things – The Nine Innovation Roles.

From there we explore how imagination can atrophy in an organization, how our educational and corporate institutions fail us and how we can bring back imagination and innovation through world building.

Some of the elements of the conversation came from things I have incorporated into a set of tools designed to help anyone be a futurist called FutureHacking™, which is designed to take some of the mystery out of futures research and foresight, and help you get to the future first!

But most importantly, we spoke about how a futurist is not the same as a fortune teller.

I think you’ll enjoy the conversation!

Here is the Spotify version of my visit with the What’s Next? podcast:

If you’d like to sign up to learn more about my new FutureHacking™ methodology and set of tools, go here.


Accelerate your change and transformation success

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What are Strategic and Market Foresight?

What are Strategic and Market Foresight?

by Braden Kelley

In my previous article What’s Next – Through the Looking Glass we explored the notion that time is not linear and this is a key part of the FutureHacking™ mindset.

To paraphrase, we get to the future not in a straight line, but by hopping from lily pad to lily pad and as we do so our landings create ripples outward in all directions and our jump direction choices and the amplitude of the ripples at each waypoint determines the shape of our path choice and our view on the potential future. And ultimately futurology and futurism are the disciplines of exploring potential, possible and preferable futures.

Only from a continuous commitment to this exploration can any organization have any chance of ongoing success. But trying to make sense of the future and to find productive ways to shape it – feels incredibly dauting to most people.

To simplify this complexity, I created the FutureHacking™ methodology and tools to enable us average humans to become our own futurist.

“FutureHacking™ is the art and science of getting to the future first.”

This is our goal. To get better at finding the best possible path and the best ripples to amplify. Doing so optimizes our distance and chosen directions so that we arrive at our preferred future. The FutureHacking™ methodology and tools make this not only possible, but accessible, so that we’ll put in the work – and reap the benefits!

This article is another in a series designed to make foresight and futurology accessible to the average business professional. Below we will look at what Strategic and Market Foresight are and how they drive ongoing business success. First some definitions:

  • Strategic Foresight is about combining methods of futures work with those of strategic management. It is about understanding upcoming external changes in relation to internal capabilities and drivers.
  • Market Foresight is about the consideration of possible and probable futures in the organization’s relevant business environment, and about identifying new opportunities in that space.
  • Source: Aalto University

Strategic Foresight and Market Foresight are two tools in our toolbox as we sharpen our focus on the potential and possible futures as we work to define a preferable future and a path to creating it.

Market Foresight gives us permission to explore how the market we compete in is likely to change as we move forward. This includes looking at how customers may change, how their consumption of existing products and services might change, and how changing customer wants and needs will create the potential for new products, and services, and even markets. Economics, demographics, trends and other factors all have a factor to play here, and we need methods for exploring the impact of each.

Strategic Foresight gives us permission to make shifts in strategy. The magic happens when we productively look both internally and externally to identify the most important changes that we can influence AND that we would monitor. The better we can understand the external changes most likely to occur (or that we want to occur), the more focus we can bring to identifying the internal capabilities that we will need to strengthen and the capabilities that we will need to build OR to buy & integrate.

The most successful organizations do a good job of matching their timeline for strategic and capability changes to the pace of market changes that are occurring. And while not explicitly mentioned, the pacing and branching of technology is a big consideration in both Strategic Foresight and Market Foresight.

Good Market Foresight will give you a better view to where the lily pads will be, and good Strategic Foresight (and investments) will help strengthen your jumping legs and propel you through a more optimal path – increasing your chances of getting to the future first!

Public resources for those that want to learn more about Strategic Foresight:

To learn more about Market Foresight, increase your knowledge of:

  • Market Research methods
  • Trendwatching/Trendhunting
  • Innovation frameworks

FutureHacking™ is Within Our Grasp

I’ve created a collection of 20+ FutureHacking™ tools to help you be your own futurist.

These tools will be available to license soon, and I’ll be holding virtual, and possibly in-person, workshops to explain how to use these simple tools to identify a range of potential futures, to select a preferred future, and activities to help influence its realization.

I think you’ll really like them, but in the meantime, I invite you to share your thoughts on how you look at and plan for the future in the comments below.

Finally, make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter to get our weekly collection of articles, along with updates on the forthcoming FutureHacking™ set of tools.

Keep innovating!


Accelerate your change and transformation success

Image credit: Pixabay

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What’s Next – Through the Looking Glass

What's Next - Through the Looking Glass

by Braden Kelley

Humanity is obsessed with the future, and we always want to know what’s next for us.

Sometimes we want to know the future so badly that we stress ourselves out about imagined futures that won’t ever come to pass instead of dealing with what is right in front of us.

Time is Not Linear

Most people think of time in a linear fashion, but this is the wrong way of thinking about it.

It is more helpful instead to think of time as a wave (or as a pulse) emanating from a central point in an outward direction, representing all of the possible futures. Then as the next point in one of those possible futures becomes fixed, then another wave emanates from this new point representing all of the new possible futures. The math of what the future MIGHT look like gets really big, really fast – as you might imagine.

This is what makes predicting the future so difficult.

The number of inputs influencing the next step in your future journey is massive, and the number of potential next steps that are outputs of your next best action is equally massive.

So, while it is important to plan for the future and to develop a point of view on the future you would like to be the result of your actions, it is still just a guess. Making it more important and impactful to look at the near future more often than not.

Recently I came across a video from CableLabs that looks at one potential near future:

We Are Already Living in a Virtual Reality

The first choice the creators faced was augmented reality versus virtual reality, and you’ll see that they chose to highlight augmented reality instead of virtual reality. I think this is the right choice as many people would say we are living in a virtual reality already.

Our eyes and other sensory organs do their best to provide inputs to our brain about the physical reality we live in, but the information is often inaccurate and incomplete. Our brain tries to fill in the gaps, but there is some much we don’t understand about how the reality we live in operates.

The world we live in is already amazing, and there is more value in augmenting our experience of the reality we live within, than there is escaping into another reality that is more clumsy, awkward and lower fidelity than our experience of the virtual reality we live in now.

Our world is changing so fast that it is important for organizations and individuals to not just plan for the next month or the next quarter, but to plan for what we would like the near future to look like and think about the ways in which we would like to, and realistically can, influence it.

FutureHacking™ is Within Our Grasp

But the concepts of futurology and the role of the futurist seem pretty nebulous at best. It is because of this that I’ve begun creating a collection of FutureHacking™ tools to help you.

These tools will be available to license soon, and I’ll be holding virtual, and possibly in-person, workshops to explain how to use these simple tools to identify a range of potential futures, to select a preferred future, and activities to help influence its realization.

I think you’ll really like them, but in the meantime, I invite you to check out the embedded YouTube video and to share your thoughts on how you look at and plan for the future in the comments below.

Finally, make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter to get our weekly collection of articles, along with updates on the forthcoming FutureHacking™ set of tools.

Keep innovating!

To read more about what scientists say we get wrong about time, check out this BBC article

Image Credit: Pixabay

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