Futures Platform News

At the event, Futures Platform will showcase the latest version of the foresight radars featuring a new AI-powered search and eight more customised, industry-specific templates. The new features help users create new foresight radars quickly and easily. All key trends and phenomenon available on the templates are carefully studied and selected by a team of experienced foresight experts, led by Dr. Tuomo Kuosa.

Futures Platform is also going to introduce the new free public radars to this year Slush goers. The free radars will cover three popular themes, i.e. The Futures of Work; Future Cities; and The Futures of Retail.

The foresight radar is a polar grid with the pole-axis represents the future timeline. Each grid (or sector) represents one "sphere of global change" that affects all fields either directly or indirectly. The trends and change factors are colour-coded and distributed into the respective sector and timelines where they are expected to cause the most impact. 

Futures Platform foresight experts have been studied and developed the foresight radar for many years. Its design resembles the polar coordinate used in mathematics, modelling, position and navigation. In the way that pilots use polar coordinate to navigate their aeroplanes, users can use the foresight radars to broaden their scope, identify the most impactful changes, and find the best paths forward for their organisations.  

To learn more about the Futures Platform radars, Sign up to use the free radars or look up our pricing plans here.

About FuturesPlatform.com

FuturesPlatform TM future radar is the most comprehensive foresight tool that helps you identify relevant trends, redefine your strategy, and shape your future for years to come. The company, founded in 2016, closed half a million euro equity round in December 2017.

About Slush

SLUSH is a non-profit event for startups. It is an opportunity for start-ups to meet investors and prospects. It also aims to change attitudes towards entrepreneurship by providing a platform for youths and student volunteers to co-organize and build a worldwide startup community. Held annually in Helsinki, Finland, SLUSH is the most prominent startups' event in the Nordic countries and one of the most influential tech events in the world. In 2017, SLUSH gathered 20,000 attendees, with over 2,600 startups, 1500 investors and 600 journalists coming in from over 130 countries.

More information about SLUSH and its events can be found here

On the first day of the event, Dr. Kuosa will deliver his keynote focusing on two main points:

  • Introduce the concept of strategic foresight to policy makers and public sector professionals.
  • Discuss the role of foresight radars in the planning process

After the keynote, Dr. Kuosa will lead a workshop exploring the steps of building scenario planning. Participants will have an opportunity to use the FuturesPlatform foresight radars during the discussion.

On day 2, Dr. Kuosa will take part in the roundtable discussion on building an ecosystem for public sector innovation.

Dr. Tuomo Kuosa is a respected futurist who specializes in foresight and future research methodology. He is the author of the book “The Evolution of Strategic Foresight.”

About FuturesPlatform.com

FuturesPlatform TM future radar is the most comprehensive foresight tool that helps you identify relevant trends, redefine your strategy, and shape your future for years to come. The company, founded in 2016, closed half a million euro equity round in December 2017. Sign up to use the free radars or look up our pricing plans here.

At the event, FuturesPlatform will showcase the latest features of the foresight radars, including:

  • New AI-powered search: It is now easier than ever to search on the database of more than 500 drivers of future change. Thanks to the new AI, radar’s users can find all relevant content with a simple search. The AI can also suggest related trends based on your search term.
  • Radar Templates: When using FuturesPlatform for your project, now you can use one of the ready-made radar templates to set up a foresight radar quickly. Alongside with some classic frameworks like STEEP or PESTEL, there are three more topic radar templates for selection, namely the Future Cities, Future of Work, and Future of Retail.
  • 3 Free Public Radars: alongside with new features for the premium users, FuturesPlatform also introduces 3 new free future radars for public use. The 3 radars: Future Cities, Future of Work, and Future of Retail provide an overview of the latest trends, opportunities, and threats facing the respective industries. Register to use the free radars here.

About FuturesPlatform.com

FuturesPlatform TM future radar is the most comprehensive foresight tool that helps you identify relevant trends, redefine your strategy, and shape your future for years to come. The company, founded in 2016, closed half a million euro equity round in December 2017. Sign up to use the free radars or look up our pricing plans here.

About Smart City Expo 2018

Smart City Expo World Congress 2018 is a 3-day event held from 13th November to 15th November 2018 at the Gran Via Exhibition Center in Barcelona, Spain. This year, the event will concentrate on 5 main topics responding to the key issues facing cities: Digital Transformation, Urban Environment, Mobility, Governance & Finance, and Inclusive & Sharing Cities. In 2017, there were 18754 visitors, 675 exhibitors and 420 speakers at the event.

The event was organized by the Asia-Pacific Futurists Network with the goal of giving young futurists an opportunity to participate in a real-life workshop environment. It also provides an opportunity for foresight experts to share and learn new methods of conducting workshops. 

During the event, participants took part in a series of 4 parallel workshops conducted by experienced colleagues who have developed new tools and methods to engage people in understanding and learning about the future. 

The workshop “Use a digital tool to discover disruptions: The Futures Platform in action”  by Dr. Tuomo Kuosa delivered three main points:

  • Give participants a hands-on experience to use the Futures Platform ™ radars.
  • Use the dedicated horizon scanning tool to identify an organizational problem and the best alternative disruptions.
  • Give the final assessment of the selected disruptors, and the best course of actions.

 The Asia-Pacific Futurists Network Meeting 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand is the 4th Asia-Pacific futurists' network meeting. Previous events focused on the use of foresight in transforming the region and the difference in futures study across areas. The Seoul conference also explored new stories and futures for Asia, looking beyond the Factory and the rule of big men.

About FuturesPlatform.com

FuturesPlatform TM future radar is the most comprehensive foresight tool that helps you identify relevant trends, redefine your strategy, and shape your future for years to come. The company, founded in 2016, closed half a million euro equity round in December 2017. Sign up to use the free radars or look up our pricing plans here.

“Our customers have discovered Futures Platform as a valuable addition to their strategy work”, says Ville Vanhala, CEO of Futures Platform. “We now have more than 40 customers that visualize their strategic assumptions about the future with the help of our tool. We have found the right product-market fit. Our customer base is equally split between consulting companies, public organizations, and large corporations. Public references include Fiskars, Kemira, Telia, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes), and the Finnish National Agency for Education. The need for our product is universal, so we are well positioned to offer Futures Platform for customers internationally”, Vanhala continues.

”It’s great to see that investors have confidence in the Futures Platform product and team”, says Markko Vaarnas, Chairman of the Board of the company. “It only took us six weeks to complete this equity round, which says a lot about the company’s track record so far and about the momentum it has on the market of future foresight. It’s also a delight to see both current shareholders and new ones committing to invest in the company”, Vaarnas says.

“Futures Platform is an interesting company particularly because its tool makes navigating the future opportunities and threats easy, visual, and interactive. It genuinely helps organizations to prepare for the future. Also, the B2B SaaS business model of Futures Platform makes it internationally scalable, and they have a strong and experienced team”, explains London-based digital entrepreneur Juha Koski the reasoning for his investment decision.

The group of investors participating in this equity round include Juha Koski, Antti Kemppainen, Ilves Invest, Matti Lapinleimu, Gorilla Ventures, Winterbackwoods Oy, Lennu Keinänen, Tero Sarkkinen, Netprofile Growth+, Pasi Tolmunen, Accio Oy, and Timo Hiltunen.

Try out Futures Platform for free and assess its value for your own organization here.

 

Additional information:

Ville Vanhala, CEO

Tel. +358-(0) 40 764 8511

 

About Futures Platform™

Futures Platform™, www.futuresplatform.com, is a web-based tool that helps organizations build a holistic view of their own future and make winning choices in a changing world. Subscription to the tool provides access to a trends map with inspirational articles and videos curated by future foresight experts. Users can blend in their own insights, assess future changes together with their team, and make educated decisions to seize opportunities and mitigate risks. With Futures Platform™, organizations will have their future radar constantly switched on.

  rapid adoption of Futures Platform in organizations of many kinds. Corporations are using it, e.g. in financial services, energy, telecoms, industrial manufacturing and trade, to name a few sectors, and so are public sector organizations, teams dealing with city planning or regional development strategies being some of the most active users.  Our consulting partners are also a key user group, and very good at bringing out the maximum value of Futures Platform when helping organizations integrate future foresight into strategic planning, new business creation, customer experience development, R&D and other planning processes.
 
We have added to our web site some new interesting examples of how Futures Platform has been used. You can read about how a group of CEOs used Futures Platform together when they, representing member companies of The Association of Finnish Technical Traders, worked together with their industry association’s leadership to renew the association’s strategy. You can also read about how Futures Platform is being used as a tool in a regional development program in which the region’s companies are working together to create new business concepts for growth.
 
If you have not yet tried Futures Platform, you can check it out with the free trial  

Monitor latest developments of your selected future phenomena

We have launched daily news updates. In the end of June, you can already find a continuously updated news feed as part of the phenomenon description in the 100 most viewed future phenomena (have a look for example in 3D Printing, Future Without Work, Blockchain Revolution… You will always find the Latest News section in the end of the phenomenon description). During the summer, Latest News will become available for all of the phenomena. It will now be easy for you to stay informed. And you can pick up interesting developments to discuss with your team.

 

Display your top priority phenomena visually in a matrix

We have built a new rating tool to enable advanced impact assessments and the new tool will be online very soon. The familiar voting tool remains in place, and you can, as always, prioritize the most important phenomena on your foresight radar in a simple way. What’s new is that you can (then) choose to do a more advanced evaluation of selected phenomena. You can use a two dimensional rating, in which each phenomenon is assessed on two scales (the x and y axis), which you can define yourself.

For example, you could name your X axis as “Impact on our organization” and your Y axis as “Our organizational readiness” and do a rating of various strengthening phenomena or wild cards such as “Circular Economy”, “Robot coworkers” , “Digital Crime” and others, to assess which ones are the ones with highest impact but perhaps needing more actions to prepare for.

As another example of using the tool, you could define your one rating dimension to be “Threat vs Opportunity” and the other dimension to be “Short Term vs Longer Term Impact” in order for your rating exercise results to display which are the best near term opportunities to seize while making sure you start to prepare for certain threats further in the future.

 

Summarize your notes and discussions around selected topics

Futures Platform’s new advanced summary report will allow you to get all your user insights easily into a report format. As always, you and other users can add comments and points of view regarding any future phenomena on the radar. It is easy to get all the comments compiled into a report, which now, in its new format, allows you to choose whether you also want to include short summaries of each phenomena and in which sorting order you want the phenomena (with user comments) to be included in the report.

 

Send your future view to stakeholders

Sharing tools make it truly convenient to send a summary of future foresight to colleagues. The summary report described above can be easily shared as a PDF document with colleagues. Also, the matrix view from the advanced rating tool (described above) can be converted into a PDF file and shared to communicate your findings and conclusions regarding future trends and disruptive forces.

 

For creating a clear picture of what the future holds, Futures Platform is the tool. In case you are not a subscriber, you can check out the free trial at www.futuresplatform.com/product. Please feel free to get in touch with us any time and let us know what developments to Futures Platform would add additional value to your work.

Publish your own trend observations onto your radar screen to assess with colleagues

It is now easy for users to add new trends onto their organizations’ own foresight radar view within Futures Platform. Users find that blending their own trend observations with the tool’s existing trend descriptions becomes a uniquely rich collection of foresight. Also, as another option, users can utilize the tool’s available trends information as raw material. It is possible to edit the existing material to include the user’s own points of view. This can make the trend descriptions even more relevant for their organization.

Futures Platform offers further value by providing the voting and discussion tools for team members to cast their votes on which developments are most important and also to add comments on what the developments really mean for their business. Team members can thus effectively work together on the platform to align views and formulate new insights and strategies.

Futures Platform enables new ways to invite colleagues to assess future opportunities and threats

Looking into the future and making sense of the opportunities and threats is typically team work. Hence we have developed Futures Platform into the direction of smooth collaboration. Features that we’ve been working on recently include include tools for team members to send messages to each other directly from Futures Platform. They will soon also be able to attach “snapshots” of selected trends they wish their colleagues to pay attention to. This is an easy way to kick start a discussion with colleagues about a critical new development on the horizon.

Foresight as a continuous activity

All our recent development work serves to help the users of Futures Platform make it a continuous activity to discover new opportunities and avoid potential threats together, working as a team with a shared view of the future. Get your free trial of Futures Platform here!

To start off, we heard the participants’ own experiences from the challenges that the future brings along. The topics that were raised covered a wide range: From the impact of digitalization on everyone’s business to understanding the complexity of modern networks, where the same players may be competitors on one front and partners on another. Startups were also mentioned in the context of them typically being indicators of a change coming; startups are the first ones to spot an unsatisfied market need.

Taking ownership of one’s future

Future foresight work as a discipline was also briefly discussed. The starting point here is ownership of the activity; While foresight work may be assisted by external consultants, every company needs to maintain the ownership of the actual work in-house to control its own destiny. Another key thing is continuity: Change is faster than ever and occasional one-off future studies hardly help the company to maintain an accurate and evolving picture of its future.

Cases Martela and Kemppi: Beyond product business with the help of future foresight

Panu Muhonen, Offering Director of the workplace furniture specialist Martela Oyj told the audience that the company actually no longer describes itself as a ”furniture manufacturer” but instead a partner for companies in developing better work environments. This is a direct result from looking systematically into the future, analyzing trends and drivers and making decisions on what business the company wants to be in in the future. The work hasn’t gone unnoticed: Muhonen mentioned that customers increasingly describe Martela as their partner for developing the entire working environment. And on the cooperation front they nowadays get contacted by parties that would never have approached a mere furniture manufacturer.

Teresa Kemppi-Vasama, Chairman of the Board of the pioneering company in welding Kemppi Oy, described one of the purposes of their future foresight work by saying that the leaders of their customer organizations are typically not overly interested in discussing – welding. Instead, they appreciate the welding vendor’s ability to discuss the future of materials, technologies, strategic things that matter to them. Without staying constantly on top of where the customer industries and technology trends are headed, it’s impossible to lead such discussion and form a strategic relationship with the customers. Naturally understanding the future trends is also important for Kemppi internally. How will for instance the development of 3D printing impact the need for welding?

How to make connections between trends?

Towards the end of the breakfast event, we saw a brief demo of the Futures Platform tool. A question was raised from the audience as to how to best ”connect the dots”, i.e. find relationships and perhaps causalities between different trends and phenomena. In Futures Platform, trends are contextual to begin with, in that each phenomenon belongs under a megatrend and potentially a trends group in between. This alone helps bring structure to the otherwise messy picture of the organization’s future. On top of this natural hierarchy in the tool, the users may consider forming clusters of interrelated phenomena and analyzing them together from the own business’ perspective. And of course since future is uncertain by definition, it makes sense to look for the forces that may have gone unnoticed previously: Do we spot something on the map that may impact our business but we just haven’t realized it yet?