Book of the Future is an applied futurism practice. We help people and organisations to succeed in the face of uncertainty.
Applied Futurism is a response to one of the most fundamental conundrums in life: we can’t see the future, but we are sure to fail if we don’t try.
Our solution to this challenge comes in three parts:
We may not have a crystal ball, but we can still give you a picture of the future. One with sufficient resolution to inform you about the broad directions of change. One that will highlight the major threats and opportunities.
We work with clients to research the short-term future of particular markets and sectors. And to extend their vision further out with structured techniques like Scenario Planning and our own Intersections methodology.
On any journey into the future, organisations inevitably need to carry large numbers of stakeholders with them.
We use over a decade of experience in media and communications to help organisations share a message about their future with customers, partners, shareholders and staff. From small-scale workshops, to company conference keynotes, and even national media campaigns.
We firmly believe that change is the only constant, and that the rate of change, driven by technology, continues to accelerate.
In the face of this uncertain environment, organisations and their leaders need to be agile, aware and always innovating. Book of the Future helps leaders to structure their organisations for agility, and introduce agile processes that support innovation. We work with teams to catalyse that innovation, introducing new thinking and cutting-edge insight from around the world.
We break our Applied Futurism practice down into five delivery areas: Consultancy, Content, Media, Live, and Labs. Often one client will access services from multiple delivery areas over the course of an engagement.
Each new engagement starts with a measure of consultancy, and they often end with consultancy too. Under this broad heading we include a variety of insight, innovation and change services that are bespoke to individual clients.
Clients request briefings on the future state of particular markets or technologies. In these typically half-day sessions, we provide insight based on collected third-party research, our own direct experience in sectors, and projections on how these areas are likely to develop. This is typically based on our running our own internal Intersections analysis on these markets or sectors.
Clients requesting briefings have included manufacturers, technology companies, education institutions and advertising agencies. We’ve provided briefings on a wide range of subjects: the Internet of Things, the Future of Travel, the Future of Transport, the Future of Education and the Future of Media.
Workshops are facilitated, interactive sessions where we use a view of the future to provoke original thinking. We run them for individual companies and membership organisations, alternating challenging content with exercises that give the participants a chance to respond.
We’ve run workshops for health managers, charitable organisations, professional bodies, universities and more, across an array of topics: future of health, redesigning local government, and agile organisations.
We help executives to develop a vision for their organisation over the coming years. Framed by our knowledge of the macro environment and other sectors, we conduct research on the market, with customers, and inside the organisation. The output is a guide that helps executives to navigate the often difficult path through uncertain conditions towards a future that leverages coming positive changes in the environment and minimises risks from negative factors.
Beyond a certain scale or past the start-up phase in their lifecycle, organisations often find it hard to innovate. We help to overcome this problem by building start-ups within organisations, using internal talent and external skills to create multi-skilled teams that can rapidly iterate through design options in an agile fashion. Drawing on our multi-sector experience we can help to frame the brief for a new product or service, and introduce the skills to deliver it from our Bootstrap Partner network.
Drawing on the expertise in our Bootstrap Partner network we can help organisations across the public and private sectors to design new services. Combining future forecasting with broad experience and skills in co-creation, user experience design and technology platforms, we can rapidly build and test new solutions.
We have created a templated process for helping large, monolithic organisations break down into more agile collections of functional units. This ‘Stratification’ process defines the key functions inside an organisation, the units that own these functions, their inputs, outputs and key metrics. The result is a faster flow of information through organisations, clearer boundaries of responsibility, and a clearer understanding by management of operations and performance.
Why not add a futurist to your advisory board or strategic planning sessions? We offer clients regular input on market developments, business strategy and technology trends, as well as access to our extensive contact back, through retained relationships.
We produce a range of engaging reports, opinion articles and commentary for clients across the media, commercial, government and third sectors.
The future is always an interesting topic. Who doesn’t want to know about tomorrow and what it will bring? We produce written pieces on the future of a wide range of subjects for both media and commercial clients, valuable in their own right and useful for marketing campaigns and search optimisation.
Whether it’s to inform internal strategy, or inspire change in customers or partners, we can provide in-depth reports on the future of key markets. Combining rich research on current trends with projections based on our own Intersections methodology, our reports offer a deep dive into tomorrow’s world and how it will affect you and your stakeholders.
Planning an event, campaign or even full year strategy? We can apply our broad market knowledge and creative skills to help you shape the message. Build talking points, get ahead on hot topics, be the thought leader.
Book of the Future’s Tom Cheesewright is a regular contributor to TV and radio, appearing 3-4 times per week across the BBC, Channel 4, and a variety of commercial radio stations. If you’re looking for someone to explain the latest big technology trend, or tell your audience what life might be like in the future, Tom’s your man.
We advise TV and radio producers on content about technology and the future, steering topics, providing clarity, and introducing relevant subject matter experts. We specialise in making the complex, simple, and finding ways to bring difficult subjects to life.
When the topic’s the future, we can help you bring the subject to life. Book of the Future’s Tom Cheesewright is an experienced broadcaster who has provided expert comment as a professional futurist to a variety of PR campaigns, promoting everything from films to fridges.
What better way to inspire an audience to think differently than to tell them about tomorrow? Book of the Future’s Tom Cheesewright has delivered keynote talks at conferences across a wide variety of topics, from the future of charities to the future of media, from smart cities to augmented individuals.
Being a futurist requires a broad knowledge of science and technology, media, culture, business and politics. This makes a futurist the ideal chair for panel debates across a wide range of subjects, teasing answers out of individual panellists, provoking debate or helping to draw out a consensus for the audience to take away.
The Book of the Future labs isn’t yet a service we offer to clients but it’s an important part of our research programmes. We like to experiment with technology to prove certain theories.
To that end we have built a home automation system to test ideas about smart homes and smart cities, hacked a toy robot to experiment with humanoid user interfaces, and built our own wearable motion controller for presentations.
Through the labs we also propose and share ideas (for free), and work on technology collaborations with artists and start-ups.
Sex robots & killer robots might be grabbing the headlines but it’s always with an eye on the future. Robots are taking our jobs today.
One of the best pieces of anecdotal evidence for an accelerating commercial world comes from order sizes. In an uncertain world that is changing fast, companies don’t want to gamble on big orders, instead preferring smaller, more frequent deliveries from their suppliers.
Eisenhower’s classic ‘urgent/important’ matrix is a useful way to prioritise your ‘to-do’ list. Except that it’s missing a crucial column: existential threats.
Will there be a singularity? As an applied futurist I’m happy with the answer ‘maybe’. But that doesn’t mean change isn’t accelerating.
Consultants of all varieties, spend all their time thinking about other people’s businesses. What we’ve created is a great set of tools to help them do that.