Designers, Transformers, Futures thinkers, Facilitators
In many projects over a span of 20 years, the Global Foresight Network and Mike McAllum have developed a reputation for:
- Facilitation mastery.
- Seeing the future through narratives; Future Scanning & Scenario Development mastery.
- Organisation and Strategic design.
- Complexity mastery.
Facilitation mastery: GFN have facilitated many futures focused discussions in Boards, senior teams and multi stakeholder groups in both the public and private sectors. This includes governments at the highest levels. Our frameworks for thinking and conversation, encourage people to move beyond conventional wisdom towards what seems to be emerging as a ‘new normal.’ Our focus is on empowering people to design and create better futures and we have developed a number of key training offerings in systems thinking, strategic foresight competence and 21st century leadership skills, as part of our offering.
Seeing the future through narratives; Future Scanning & Scenario Development mastery: We at GFN believe that people make sense of their past and the future through stories and narratives. Our view is that at the present time there are very few coherent narratives that describe and define our 21st century world. GFN has worked actively in this field for many years particularly across Asia and the Pacific and are currently engaged in the creation of future narratives in food, energy and viable local communities. We are working actively with a small group of international practitioners on the development of frameworks, that enable us to build such narratives. One step on the way to such narratives is to begin to anticipate what might be and we do this through scanning and scenarios. GFN has provided quarterly scanning for Brisbane City Council for over 5 years and has just completed major scans on higher education futures for a group of Vice Chancellors. Our scenario work has involved areas as diverse as the future of energy, the future of food, retail scenarios in Asia for a major food group, how new technologies will reshape the delivery of local government and the future of consulting for a time based services company.
Organisation and strategic design mastery: Once the art of strategy was confined mostly to the things that an entity, be it public or private, wanted to change. Now strategic thinking and design needs to involve every aspect of organisations and communities, from where value lies and how it will migrate its business models and the way it can use resources in a sustainable way. This more holistic approach is seeing the discipline of strategy morph into the larger concept of design. GFN is noted for its frameworks which integrate futures thinking, design and strategy at an international level. GFN written extensively about the subject and is involved in the development of this integration with institutes such as Oxford University, the UK based Forum for the Future and the Asia Pacific arm of Shaping Tomorrow.
Transformation Mastery. In a world where previously successful entities are being challenged by radically new business models, many organisations, regions and cities are needing to rethink and reconceive what they do. In other words they need to transform. GE argue that such are the dynamics at play every entity will need to transform before 2020 if they are to survive. Few have appropriate frameworks to do this. GFN draws on powerful and proven frameworks developed and used by the Asian Foresight Institute. It also uses engagement and conversation frameworks developed in its work on the NZ Foresight Project. This Project is used as a benchmarking project by other global entities wanting to rethink the future. In summary successful transformation requires 3 things. Firstly it requires a narrative, secondly it requires focused engagement and narrative and finally it demands a range of synergistic projects that turn rhetoric into reality.
Complexity mastery: The emerging future is likely to be a complex mix of future elements blended with a continuation of current realities. This means that conversation and strategic design inside a transactional model will be insufficient. Successful futures will require the development of new assumptions, constructs, meaning and pathways that is systemic in nature and transformative in practice. No longer is it sufficient to have what we term ‘instant coffee’ solutions. GFN would suggest that its work in an area known as industrial symbiosis (where firms acting together can either at a physical or a service level reduce the level of resources they use radically) provide a useful example of our ability to work with complexity.