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 articles about the future:
|No Climate Event in 2,000 Years Compares to What's Happening Now
The Atlantic reports that while parts of the world have warmed or cooled in the past, modern climate change is happening just about everywhere at the same time.
|Water solutions without a grain of salt
EurekaAlert! reports that although seawater desalination and wastewater recycling are two ways to ease the problem of water shortage, conventional approaches are energy-intensive and based on the combustion of fossil fuels. Researchers at Monash University have developed energy-passive technology that's able to deliver clean, potable water to thousands of communities, simply by using photothermal materials and the power of the sun.
|The slides in Sony's latest Investor Relations show it is building image sensors for machines instead of for people.|
Our customers' future includes dealing with changes due to advancing technology. 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). Even those who doubt that climate change is real should agree that consuming less energy and creating less pollution are good things. Using solar power to create freshwater has the benefit of increasing drinking and irrigation water supplies without the environmental impact of fossil fuels. Improved vision in computing systems can help improve the precision of automated assistance with our customers' work. Autodesk stays abreast of these things so we can evolve our products and services to provide the opportunity for better.
The future itself is alive in the lab.