Field report from The Future Game 2050 webinar
The journey begins
I sit in a white room. Watching a black screen. Tapping with my fingertips on the console in front of me. Screen’s still black. Not sure what to expect. Now, faces pop up on the screen. Friendly faces. Frida and Felix. I lean back in my chair. Curious.
The next 90 minutes will be an immerse experience navigating through a think space where we simulate the future in 30 years from now. A future where we will live differently, work differently, feel differently. A simulation we will use to imagine a desirable future, deconstruct decisive determinants that led society there, and identify which strategic actions we can take today in that direction.
Get to know yourself
Each of us players assumes one of thirty roles that exist in this 2050. The world changed a lot from how I knew it back in 2020. We became an interstellar species. We decoded all genes and are capable of altering them. This is what I do for a living, I’m a Genetic Consultant. It’s my job to advise people who seek genetic modification on possibilities and dangers, in context of the ethical framework we, as a society, have given us.
Picture credit: The Future Game 2050
Get to know your peers
Once I got familiar with my role, its skills and motivation, I get to meet my peers. In a separate Zoom breakout room I talk to Luzius, therapist for heart intelligence. In a world where humans interact more often with bots, and machines, it’s hard for people to belong – to connect with themselves and connect with other humans. Luzius help rebuilding emotional capabilities to overcome depression and loneliness. We’re joined by Andrea, a Space Coach who helps individuals to adapt to an interstellar life away from earth. – Pretty colourful mix of people.
Tackling a future problem
Together, we’re working a case study. Froggy is a beverage producer by tradition. They reinvented themselves over and over again, moving with shifting market demands. From 2010 to 2050 they changed from producing real liquids from real ingredients, to selling flavor codes to synthesize any beverage anywhere at anytime. Is that a favourable strategy in 2050? What do you think?
The “Genetic Consultant” (me):
Awesome! We can tailor drinks that are personalized to each individual hormone balance and induce any desired mental state!
“Space Coach” Andrea goes:
Wohow! We can synthesize drinks that taste like home – even if we’re on in space!
Luzius, “Therapist of Heart Intelligence” (sighs):
Guys, think! If you get your drink where you want, when you want, and exactly the way how you want it… What is there left to surprise you? Something unexpected to amaze you?
Hm. Hearty’s got a point…
Connecting future and present
Similar discussions go on, an on. The indeed surprising effect on me: navigating in think space 2050 shifts my focus from “what is achievable?” to “what is desirable?”. What is essentially human, and how can we protect it? Seen not only from a philosophical angle, but also from a business perspective.
Companies that claim to be human-centric develop their business model from their purpose to preserve what grounds us humans, and preserve our social human identity.
We also learned more technical lessons from Froggy. In 2050 they were tremendously successful. Why is that? Because they cannibalized their core business for the sake their future business. They stopped pushing a product out in the market and making consumers buy it; they listened into the market, listened to their consumers, understood, and build a suitable product as a result. Customer obsession, Jeff Bezos would say.
What we have been doing while playing The Future Game 2050:
- imagine a desirable day after tomorrow,
- to identify steps required to go tomorrow,
- which we can initiate today.
Picture credits: The Natural Step Canada
The methodology is called Retropolation or Backcasting. Back in 2020 Frida and Felix, give us more background on what just happen. How the methodology works, why it matters. Impressive.
Playfully, we ran strategic planning processes:
- Develop innovative ideas
- Evaluate current markets
- Identify future markets
- Make strategic decisions
Go beyond your know territory
The key benefit I see: The Future Game 2050 stimulates you to overcome our own mental map.
Go beyond the stuff you know. Free-up your creativity. Go beyond your usual thinking patters.
You don’t simply prescribe your present, which is biased through past experiences anyway, into the future. No. You create the future – and break it down to the present. Operationalize it and make it seem reachable.
“What a great experience”, I think. In the white room again. My room. My home office, actually. Immersing into the game really felt like being somewhere else. Someone else. Made me think differently, too. Bigger. Think beyond the stuff I know.
Sneak preview: there will be more content following on how to leverage Futures Thinking, Retropolation/ Backcasting and further co-creative methods for your presales approach. Soon. Exciting space to explore.