Future Foresight: Understanding today’s and tomorrow’s driving forces
Our Future Foresight service modules support decision-makers in successfully navigating and proactively shaping the future.
Future Foresight combines a variety of individual but interconnected methodologies to empower your organization in analyzing and understanding today's and tomorrow's driving forces and building future-proof strategies for your organization's individual risks and opportunities.
What is Future Foresight?
Future Foresight is a method that helps your organization navigate through today's volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world (VUCA world). To successfully sail through today's VUCA world, factors that potentially affect the future – so-called drivers - must be identified. This reduces the noise around big buzzwords and helps focus on what really matters while expanding your horizon. To further reduce the noise around big buzzwords, an analysis on a driver-overarching level – also called trends – needs to be performed. Since decision-makers and stakeholders are exposed to this VUCA world, one fact can be derived: Change is the only reliable constant for the future.
Every decision affects the future. Short-time focus in decision-making can have significant negative consequences. Thus, long-term future-proof strategies are required, which enable your organization to capture both arising challenges and opportunities. By using 4 interconnectable modules, we enable your organization to plan your journey ahead strategically.
What are Drivers?
Driving forces, also called drivers, are variables that have the potential to affect the future. Drivers can already be established or emerge over time. Furthermore, drivers can be interlinked and affect each other. They originate from social, technological, ecological, economic, political and legal (STEEPL) categories. However, how do we detect relevant drivers? Our comprehensive 3-level analysis combines disruptive AI-based research with traditional desk research and expert interviews. This methodology enables us to obtain a holistic overview of all relevant drivers.
What are Trends?
While individual drivers can be essential for long-term strategy making, trends represent a driver-overarching analysis level that helps us reduce the complexity even further. Cross-sectoral trends are derived by clustering linked and interconnected drivers.
Future Foresight Modules
Often, traditional business methodologies, such as quantitative forecasting, are ill-equipped to capture today's uncertainty and the existing complexity. Our 4 innovative Future Foresight modules support stakeholders in engaging in long-term thinking at a time where focusing on the short-term can be fatal. All modules are interconnectable in a multitude of ways depending on your organization's individual project goal, scope and focus.
We will develop an individualized holistic landscape of future variables surrounding your organization and document their impact on your ecosystem. This individual map of driving forces and trends helps your organization make strategic planning significantly more forward-looking and future-proof.
Wild Card Futureproofing:
Often, low probability high impact events ("wild cards") cause the biggest turbulences for your organization. Using prevalent Foresight methodologies, we develop a chart of potential wild cards on a predefined general, sector-specific or individual level. Wild Card Futureproofing supports your organization in defining vulnerabilities and risks to significantly increase your resilience to system-changing turbulences.
Future Foresight Factory:
Reactions to future events require an agile and innovative but constructive and thought-through response. The Future Foresight Factory provides a custom-made interactive digital or physical format to engage with the future and the uncertainty around it. Bringing together tried and tested Future Foresight methodologies and innovative tools, we enable stringently and clear out-of-the-box future thinking in a stimulating environment. This way, you can spotlight the most relevant future developments and their implications for your organization to determine strategic pathways.
Future Benchmarking and Roadmapping:
With the myriad of fast-paced future developments, making informed choices on future priorities is difficult. However, the risk of making uncalculated choices is high. Future benchmarking and roadmapping provide a Future Maturity Assessment that gives you concrete insights into where your organization stands in regard to the market and relevant future developments. Being equipped with a future readiness barometer based on key future indicators and a resulting future roadmap, allows your organization to set the direction you want to move in for a successful future.
While all these modules individually help prepare your organization for what is to come, they unfold their full potential when combined. In cooperation with Deloitte's Center for the Long View (CLV), our scenario analysis experts can further support you to develop scenario-based future-proof strategies.
Selected past projects
The following scenarios were performed to evaluate overarching themes of society. In addition, projects can be focused on specific strategic questions of our clients regarding a given subject.
Future of Digital Trust
What drivers and trends are forming the future of digital trust in society and economy until 2035? And how can we make cyber security an enabler for a sustainable and trustworthy digital transformation? Digital Trust plays a vital role in tomorrow’s digital world and is the foundation for a sustainable, coherent digital environment. To answer our two focal questions, we used AI-based research tools to identify 143 relevant drivers, which were clustered into 15 overarching trends. Building on that, we derived eight holistic trend implications supplemented further by more industry-specific impulses from our Deloitte Cyber Team.
European Cyber Defense
What could the cyber security landscape in Europe look like in 2030? The goal of our European Cyber Defense report was to offer a comprehensive overview and analysis of existing national cyber strategies in a first step. Additionally, it compares the European strategies to those of China, Russia and the US. As part of this project, we generated AI-based insights into future driving forces and a holistic list of 102 drivers that were subsequently rated by our Cyber defense experts according to their impact an uncertainty. Based on these outcomes, we developed four possible future scenarios.
Future of Digital Conflicts in Geopolitics
How could future digital conflicts in geopolitics look like in 2035? On behalf of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) we developed four possible scenarios focusing on the role the European Union, China and non-governmental actors. Guided by the focal question we used AI-based insights to create a holistic list of 104 driving forces and asked experts to rate those forces according to their impact and uncertainty.
Future of Germany (FES)
How could society and economy in Germany could look like in 2035? On behalf of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), a study on the future of society and economy in Germany was conducted by developing four scenarios that represent alternative answers to this question. As part of the project, we generated AI-based results on future trends and drivers resulting in a holistic drivers list of 108 factors and asked experts to rate these drivers according to their impact and uncertainty.
Future of Germany
How could the future of the economy and society in Germany could look like in 2035? Utilizing the broad Deloitte network of public and private decision-makers, we developed four potential scenarios on this question. We created a holistic list of 104 driving forces that was generated with the help of AI-based insights as well as an expert-rating of the drivers according to their impact and uncertainty.
Future of Digital Transformation in the EU
What could the future of digital transformation in the EU look like in 2035? In cooperation with a French academic association we developed 4 scenarios which highlight challenges and opportunities for stakeholders and decision-makers who want to drive the European digital transformation. As part of this project, we generated AI-based insights into the key driving forces of digital transformation and incorporated the results into a holistic list of 91 driving forces that were rated by an interdisciplinary group of experts according to their impact and uncertainty.
Future of AI in Society
How will the European society look like in 2035? What are the challenges and opportunities for a successful human-machine partnership? To address these questions we cooperated with a French academic association and developed four possible scenarios on how AI could impact the European society. AI-based insights helped us to create a holistic list of 90 drivers that were subsequently rated by an interdisciplinary group of experts according to their impact and uncertainty.
All listed scenario analysis projects were conducted in cooperation with the Center for the Long View.
The future is not predetermined but evolves dynamically. Our Future Foresight offerings prepare you for future turbulence. Additionally, Deloitte's scenario experts from the CLV can support you to explore a range of plausible and alternative developments and empower you to build future-proof strategies. Please get in touch with us if you would like to learn more about our services.