In a bid to look into the future we’ve come across a whole host of future vision/scenario planning tools. To get to grips with what we mean by a scenario we’ll quote from J.C Glenn;
“A scenario is a story with plausible cause and effect links that connects a future condition with the present, while illustrating key decisions, events, and consequences throughout the narrative”
As designers, we have a great ability for building cohesive narratives and visualising stories to bring them to life, depicting scenarios should be something we are good at.
Lifting from the foresight paper, they describe scenario planning in a quite militaristic way as,
“…a futures technique used for medium to long-term strategic analysis and planning.
It is used to develop policies and strategies that are robust, resilient, flexible and innovative.
Scenarios are stories (or narratives) set in the future, which describe how the world might look in,
say, 2015 or 2050. They explore how the world would change if certain trends were to strengthen
or diminish, or various events were to occur.”
Going to leave a list of some of many we have been reading/browsing;
Been checking out their toolkit and scenario planning material, led to some interesting links, and trying to figure out where we fit into future planning as designers, as foresight is about informing future policy. They cover three methods with examples, borrowing from the Shell method and International Future Forums work;
• Two axes method
• Branch analysis method
• Cone of plausibility method
Shell’s method use the two axes method and use the strategy to work out a solution that would work for all possible future scenarios regardless of what happens in the future, and do list a clear set of guidelines in their explorer’s guide, which is worth a read.
I think the best step forward is to work out a way of co creatively allowing others to become involved in the process of future scenario planning to help us build plausible solutions for the future, that are based contextually in East Kilbride. We’ll need to access some kind of local history group and to map the local area, looking at key demographics and changes from the past, so our solutions aren’t just ‘made up’ but constructively built from insights gathered.
Futurelabs linked to an interesting game called Vision Mapper, a site which hosts a whole range of tools to question the future of education and in one case, what sort of services should be provided in communities/schools and learning spaces to support pupils, parents and communities. I like how they share the tools, although I did find some difficult to understand how to and what context to use them in, but other than that, great to be able to view and download them.
There are far too many sites and tools to mention that are available online, but I feel the way of conducting this project is really bringing to life a variety of planned visions for the future and visualising them so a mix of East Kilbride residents, service providers, historians, tech experts and town planning experts can come together and using design tools, constructively build ideas based around user needs which we have been researching .
In a tip off from Joe Lockwood, who works in our studio at the Design Innovation attic, he suggested looking into Porter’s five forces and PEST breakdowns to try and move our project along as we’ve found it pretty difficult to move along with first hand research due to restrictions on engaging with users.
Anyway next steps is planning who and how we will move forward with a future vision.