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Jun 27, 2022

How we are using "Futures Thinking" to explore future work

The substantial upheavals in the world of work confront us with major questions: What does future work look like? What do we need to do today to provide employees with an inspiring work environment in the future? The approach of futures thinking brings light into the darkness. Get to know the procedure and find out if it is also suitable for your future work.

Future Thinking aims at setting the right course today through holistic and systematic forecasts for the day after tomorrow. Experts for the procedure: our futurologist Stefanie Angele and Patrick Muchowski. In a 2-hour remote workshop, they explored future work with 30 UID employees.

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Future wheel: the working world of the future

Unlike approaches such as design thinking, futures thinking catapults participants far into the future. Our workshop took us mentally to the year 2033. We started from the "UID Space Base":

As a means of futurology, we first use the future wheel: possible direct and indirect effects of a future situation are thought through, structured and visualized in the team.

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We fired up the "Future Wheel" and used trend maps to consider their direct and indirect effects on future work. This provided us with valuable insights into the world of work of 2033 :

With this knowledge in mind, we designed various scenarios. Dystopias and utopias were formulated to provide a range of possible scenarios. Finally, we condensed our many approaches and designed a magazine cover from the year 2033.

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Making future visions tangible

"By reducing the results to the cover of a newspaper, the world of work in 2033 feels much more understandable and tangible”, participants concluded. Stefanie Angele adds: “Using the methods of futures thinking, we managed to look into different possible futures of our world of work. Fantastic results were developed in a very short time with different approaches. And that is just the beginning: Now further steps can follow, such as backcasting. This allows you to draw conclusions about the present by thinking through the future vision step by step backwards."

Futures thinking: Changed view of the present

Our Futures Thinking workshop opens the door to tomorrow and lets us take a look at the year 2033. With these impressions of possible futures, their people and their needs, the view of the now changes. Results of our workshop could be focused and elaborated on companies and industries. Futures thinking offers approaches for all companies to improve and rethink current products and services in a human-centered way – and thus positively shape part of the future.

In focus at UID: Future work

At UID, we are intensively concerned with world of work of tomorrow – including our own. In the "Future Work at UID" study, we determined the requirements of UID employees according to Corona. The result is a new, value-driven mission statement that supports our transformation of work.

The authors

Stefanie Angele

As Creative Director at UID Stefanie is responsible for the holistic UX development of digital products. She coaches companies in the UCD process and develops innovative products for the world of today and tomorrow, considering technologies and trends.

Talk directly with Stefanie about Futures Thinking – via mail or LinkedIn.

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Marion Gottschling

Whether social media, PR concept, journalist inquiry or trade fair organization - Marion designs UID's communication with the Corporate Communications team. The information designer and PR consultant knows UID on the FF: More than 15 years ago, she was the first employee of Corporate Communications.

Talk directly with Marion about Futures Thinking – via mail or LinkedIn.