Design Management Academy 2017 Hong Kong

Track 5.c Foresight by Design: Dealing with uncertainty in Design Innovation

*Jörn Bühring, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Peter Jones, OCAD, Canada
Sam Bucolo, University Technology Sydney, Australia
* contact:

Foresight by Design: Dealing with uncertainty in Design Innovation (foresight approaches, foresight execution, concepts, case studies, and methods)

Strategic foresight is an essential part of organizational strategy, innovation, learning, navigating disruption, making sense of complexity, and adjusting to uncertain future. Significant drives of change are underpinning this track, and the exchange of insights, strategies, and innovation knowledge:
There is a growing awareness that business organizations, regardless of industry or size, are faced with unprecedented uncertainties over social analyses, globalization, and technology revolutions, as observed by the increasing interest in future studies.

Organizations are required to transform themselves, rethink their business models, innovate, and envisage possible, probable, and preferable futures in order to adapt their approach to business, and indeed the way they engage with vastly empowered internal and external stakeholders.

As design and innovation are becoming increasingly synonymous in both meaning (e.g. Design Thinking) and reach (e.g. products, services, business models, eco-systems, etc.), the priority task of the world’s top management, economic, and educational leaders is to effectively manage knowledge and to generate an innovative (corporate/community/learning) culture.

New business perspectives are needed to prepare for (define, design, prototype, and test) alternative futures that will bring about substantial shifts in the mind of the advanced, very well informed and experienced consumer as he is seeking an active role in the decisions critical to themselves, their children, family, future generations and the environment that surrounds them.

There is a perceived failure in traditional approaches to strategic planning activities, as evidenced by the number of firms who are unable to compete in an uncertain world.

Deploying, testing, and adapting futures theories, approaches, concepts, and methods, this track explores the value of design and foresight to innovation- together improving an organization’s learning to adopt new methods in their innovation practices. To this end, basic and applied research, case studies, will be explored to better understand the role and value that design brings to this field.

Indicative References

Brown, T., & Katz, B. (2011). Change by design. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 28(3), 381–383. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5885.2011.00806.x

Buchanan, R. (2008). Introduction: Design and organizational change. Design Issues, 24(1), 2–9. doi:10.1162/desi.2008.24.1.2

Chan, L., & Daim, T. (2012). Exploring the impact of technology foresight studies on innovation: Case of BRIC countries. Futures, 44(6), 618–630. doi:10.1016/j.futures.2012.03.002

Kelliher, A., & Byrne, D. (2015). Design futures in action: Documenting experiential futures for participatory audiences. Futures, 70, 36–47. doi:10.1016/j.futures.2014.12.004

Rittel, H. W. J., & Webber, M. M. (1973). Dilemmas in a general theory of planning. Policy Sciences, 4(2), 155–169. doi:10.1007/bf01405730