Our perspective on foresight
We need to get comfortable with uncertainty. Climate change, population shifts, inequality and geopolitical tensions are all growing.
In our data-dependent, interconnected global economy, disruptive global events are becoming more likely, and tend to have bigger impacts when they happen.
COVID-19 is today’s challenge. But it is likely the first of many such events, rather than a single outlier. Investing now in planning for future uncertainty will help business, government and society become more resilient.
You are the future. As an individual, and as a decision-maker, in a time of turbulent change, it is easy to feel powerless. But we do not need to watch as if we were passive bystanders to the change happening around us.
Foresight done right, and activated, is empowering. It helps focus attention on what can be changed now for a better tomorrow. You create the future - by capitalising on the opportunity to influence changing behaviours and values for the better.
Introduction to our work
The Ipsos MORI Trends and Futures team offers foresight services including scenario planning, horizon scanning, trend spotting and trend framework building, to help today’s governments, businesses and brands take the strategic decisions which fit their organisations for the complex challenges of the future.
Change is not simple. Macro forces act “top down” to affect trends in daily life, while small shifts and new innovations can, over time, act “bottom up” to change norms and values.
Forecasting can help predict how linear trends and changes might play out – but is not so useful to describe the complex, interrelated and emergent outcomes of disruption. Predictions about the future can be thrown off course, and trends from the past only take us so far.
To understand the future and how industries, businesses and governments should plan and respond to them, we turn to foresight.
At Ipsos, we adopt both a top-down and a bottom-up approach to foresight, blending trend analysis with futures thinking. We combine longer-term macro force analysis with observation of medium-term societal shifts and granular, small-scale signals. This nuanced approach captures the interrelationships within the change ecosystem and allows us to develop foresight.
Our work capitalises on Ipsos’ unparalleled knowledge of societal trends. This allows us to contextualise insight and trends in a broader, coherent understanding of the changes which are impacting citizens, consumers and the wider world.
Our foresight work explores the drivers of change impacting governments, brands, consumers and societies, and we learn from history; and from the new signals we see today in the wake of the COVID pandemic.
We apply this learning to help decision-makers plan strategically for their future, align on the things that need to be monitored, and make decisions now which work over the longer term.
Please follow the links below to understand how our services can help to answer your key business questions:
- Trends Plug-In - How can I harness the power of trends in my project in a cost-effective way?
- Tailored Trends Development - What are the key trends specifically tailored to my business challenge?
- Custom Trends Framework Building - How can I create a custom-designed trends framework that my business can get behind?
- Horizon Scanning - How can I understand and plan for the most impactful and certain drivers of future change?
- Crowd-sourced Futures - How can I learn from divergent viewpoints to map the future?
- Scenario Building - How can I create visions of the future that can be activated against our long-term strategic planning?
Underpinning our Trends and Futures services we can also offer Monitoring Frameworks to help your business keep its fingers on the pulse with up to date evidence as to how the future is playing out and Applied Foresight to help decision makers activate foresight within the business.