Innovation and Future Thinking
Summer and Winter Courses - Barcelona
The Summer Course in Innovation and Future thinking —the Futures Lab—will help students improve their ability to detect signals of change, organize insights into understandable models, synthesize new ways of mapping possible futures, identify the potential barriers and opportunities these futures present, and design innovative products, services or ideas that satisfy emerging needs.
By learning the fundamentals of foresight and futures thinking, and how to tie these to innovation and creation, students will gain a toolset that doesn’t tell them what will happen in the future, but gives them the capability to identify and assess alternative futures presented by the world around them. Whether designing a new business, forward-looking fashion, an smartphone app or the next decade’s car, this course provides the tools for anticipation and action.
- Credits: 5*
- Duration: 2 weeks
- Attendance: Part-time
- Language: English
The objective of the Futures Lab is to provide students and professionals from varied backgrounds a strong baseline understanding of foresight and how it ties to strategy, innovation, and creation. This is done not only by teaching essential data collection and modelling, but narrative development, strategic framing, prototyping and communication.
This course begins by asking the fundamental question: “Why think about the future?” It will explore this through an overview of essential futuring skills—horizon scanning and trends identification and analysis—looking at weak signals, micro- and macro-trends—and how to use these to think about implications and unexpected outcomes. This will include observational analysis, searching Barcelona for indicators about the future, studying behaviors, messages and signs that point to emergent change.
We will visit scenario development, roadmapping, timelines and backcasting, and creative ideation to develop new future narratives as a way of writing stories about the future we can use strategically. We will also have Skype talks from futurists, innovators and designers who employ these techniques in their own work.
From this basis, we will look at innovation practices and processes—traditional top-down, bottomup and open innovation—and how these are being used in both major companies and cutting edge startups. By learning how to tie foresight to innovation, we will look at future-proofing new design and product development.
Lastly, we will look at prototyping using the futures we have created and build toward a final project that presents solutions to the wicked problems we’ve uncovered—creating for the next decade.
The educational planning for all IED Master courses is aligned with the criteria established by the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The IED Master program has adopted a credit structure that follows the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). The IED Master issues private degrees.