At Autodesk, our team focuses on strategic foresight. Strategic foresight is a practice of looking systematically at the future, understanding fragmented indicators that suggest possible futures, and developing a point of view about how to respond. We use imagination to envision how our customers will work in a future world (typically about ten years out) and backcasting to move from the future world to the present. As an alternative to backcasting, we can look at the state of the practice today and forecast how our customers' work will evolve over the next decade. Our team's focus is squarely on the future.
Darren Brooker is a story strategist at Autodesk. Storytelling is related to strategic foresight in that storytelling helps frame Autodesk's future direction. By co-developing strategic narratives, Darren and other members of our team help ensure that our employees are equipped to engage with our customers in a dialog that further develops a shared view of the future. The best way to reach a common understanding is to tell a story that both customers and employees can relate to. Stories provide the waypoints as our technology evolves. Many of you regularly see Darren's work as part of Autodesk University keynote presentations.
As part of pondering the future, Darren recently shared three stories with implications for our future:
|Google's New Gesture Controls Aren't Just for the Pixel
WIRED reports that So Google, in building its next phone — the Pixel 4, wants to introduce a way to control the screen like an orchestra conductor brandishing an invisible baton. Google's gesture technology is merely a glimpse of a touchless future.
|Robots and firms
VOX reports that manufacturing companies that were early to deploy robots have added jobs and expanded their scale of operations, while those that didn't adopt robots have contracted.
|AI Adoption Fuels Demand for Data-Labeling Services
The Wall Street Journal reports that as technology eliminates some jobs, new ones are already being created. For example, data labeling is becoming big business.
Our customers' future includes dealing with changes due to new user interfaces and new types of jobs. Our team considers how these changes will apply to designing and making. What are your thoughts on these topics? Feel free to respond to [email protected] or post a comment.
Autodesk has always been an automation company. Today, more than ever, that means helping our customers automate their design and make processes. We help them embrace the future of making, where they can do more (e.g., efficiency, performance, quality), with less (e.g., energy, raw materials, timeframes, waste of human potential), and realize the opportunity for better (e.g., innovation, user experience, return on investment). In the tradition of moving from the command line to the mouse to the touch screen, we will be ready for gesture-based design and making when the time is right. As jobs of the future change, we are committed to helping our customers upskill their abilities to meet new challenges as we have research projects for the future of learning and the future of work. Autodesk stays abreast of these topics so we can evolve our products and services to provide the opportunity for better.
The future itself is alive in the lab.