FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ABOUT THE FUTURE(S)
S0, WHAT IS THE FUTURE?
Any professional futures researcher will tell you – no one knows the future, least of all us.
Anyone can make a prediction, and the odds of those predictions be correct are overwhelmingly on the side of the house. In other words, don’t bet on predictions, or buy them for that matter.
Simply put ‘the future’ doesn’t exist – there are many possible futures, many of which are already influencing your organization, and it is up to you to decide what your preferred future looks like.
Instead of asking a ‘futurist’ what the future holds, ask yourself: What future do you want to be a part of making?
WHY FUTURES WITH AN "S"?
Here at ROROSORO we start with the basic assumption that there is not any singular given future. There are many possible futures, and it is up to ourselves (and our organizations) to understand them so that we may better craft and plan for the futures that we want.
WHAT IS FUTURES STUDIES?
Futures studies is at once an academic field, a professional endeavor, and a practical methodology. We at ROROSORO use our academic training in futures studies as the foundation of our professional practice. We are trained, not only in traditional methods, but also in the art of creating methodological derivatives and new modes of future research. This means our clients get the best of all future studies has to offer.
WHAT ARE IMAGES OF THE FUTURE?
Images of the Future is a conceptual space that individuals and organizations carry with them as they go about their daily behavior. An image of the can be a book, a movie, an advertisement, a speech, even a governing document. Sometimes they have no concrete manifestation at all. What is important to both futures researchers and the people they work with is understanding how they are influencing the present.
While there are billions of images of the future, there are also tropes and archetypes that allow us to parse them, study them, and put them to use. This is at the core of any futures workshop or project.
WHAT'S IT LIKE TO WORK WITH A FUTURIST?
Obviously, once the crystal ball has been unveiled, the hard part is over.
Seriously though, at ROROSORO we aim to provide you with activities and methods that are tailored to each client’s specific needs. We encourage serious play and creativity alongside critical analysis and testing. We know that any given group will exhibit numerous alternative futures – and all those futures are an important part of the larger conversation: how do we build the futures we want?
HOW DO YOU INTEGRATE DESIGN?
We see design as a integral component of any productive futures-oriented work. Design is simultaneously a mode of problem solving and an approach to understanding possible futures for their maximum value. Design as active engagement with an alternative image of the future transforms dissemination into participation – from ideal into function.
We often employ various modes of design in the production of content and assets – artifacts from a workshop that can move futures from the merely conceptual into the visceral. We design interactions between clients and content, between present users and possible personae.
WHAT IS ARTIFACT DESIGN?
ARTIFACTS can take many different forms in an alternative futures exercise. Generally they can be considered a part of the overall puzzles that compose a given alternative future world. An artifact can be a poster, a candy bar, a name badge or ID, a constitution, a speeding ticket, an insect. All of these animate and inanimate objects can be considered the ‘accessories’ any given future wears about. They are designed to overtly speak to many aspects of a future, in sometimes subtle ways.
WHAT IS "NARRATIVE DESIGN"?
An alternative future is an orchestration of all the stories that inhabit the world. Every object, person, organization, and other entity that lives in an alternative future has a tale to tell about its relationship to that world. Narrative design is closely akin to maintaining a universe’s coherence – making sure that as each “thing’s” story unfolds, it maintains an overall harmony with the world. Designing accommodations, rationales, and causal modes – these are just some aspect of narrative craft.
WHAT DOES INTERACTION MEAN TO YOUR ORGANIZATION?
Here at ROROSORO, we understand interaction in the broadest sense of the term, and apply interaction design techniques to all of our productions. Whether those interactions be conducted through a board game, an encounter with an artifact from the future, or as part of one of our augmented reality experiences, we take great care in engineering interactions that help users create useful meaning regarding their possible futures.