in Innovation

Foresight Cards: a Macro/Contextual Analysis Tool

The Dutch Instituut voor Toekomstontwikkeling (IVTO, Institute for Development of the Future) kindly sent me a set of their Foresight Cards for review. The IVTO considers this edition a macro/contextual analysis tool.

The Foresight Cards

The Foresight Cards

The core of this multilingual (English, Dutch, German and Spanish) box set contains 125 cards with “external forces” from the larger environment. These forces are divided into five different categories:

  • Social, with cards like: crime(rate), family formation and conscious consumer
  • Technology, with cards like: logistics, space technology and
  • Economic, with cards like: competetition, wages and unemployment
  • Environment, with cards like: water quality, wind and nature
  • Politic, with cards like: influence government, political stability and culture

Each of these cards is well designed with a good-looking photo, the cateogory as a color and the force in four languages.

The pack also contains a few pointers on how to use the cards for different analysis activities. Each of these have a QR code pointing to a website with a nice mobile theme. This enables you to quickly find pointers on how to use the cards for things like: Awareness, Business models, Energizers, Porter, Scenario planning, Storytelling, SWOT or System thinking. I am assuming the list of activities and how they’ve been written will get larger and improve over time.

To test out the cards I brought together a group of five people in the field of learning technology and let them “play” with the cards in an exercize to find the driving forces and key uncertainties for the future of corporate. We only took an hour but still managed to discuss quite a few macro-development that might have an impact on that topic in the future.

Impact and Uncertainty

Impact and Uncertainty

These cards seem to be a very nice addition for most strategy work trying to look at the external environment. I would have loved to have these cards around when we did the Learning Scenarios work last year. You can order them here.

If you are interested in these kind of tools and speak Dutch, you could also check out their Handboek Scenarioplanning (I haven’t done that yet).