Tag Archive | Futures Research

We Should All Be Interested in Ethical Questions Related to AI

by Miikka Paakkinen

This post is the second of a two-part blog series on design topics related to artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. Click here to read part one on trust.

Note: I will not go deeper in to explaining the concepts of AI and robotics in this post. For a summary on the technologies and the differences between them, check out this excellent article on Medium.com: https://medium.com/@thersa/what-is-the-difference-between-ai-robotics-d93715b4ba7f


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A modern organisation chart? From Work Up! x HDW: AI and Ethics

 

New artificial intelligence solutions are popping up everywhere, including the public sector. The amount of available data and constantly increasing computing power make it possible for algorithms to take on more and more complex tasks.

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Service Design meets Futures Thinking #4

A research based series of posts discussing the statement “Futures Research supports the Service Design process in multiple ways and throughout the whole process” by Minna Koskelo (LinkedIn) and Anu K. Nousiainen (Linkedin).

Part #4: We are in the Service Innovation business!

Our three (and a half) previous blog entries have been summarizing the purpose of our study initiated in 2012 and the main findings from the study including the synergies between (Service) Design Thinking and Futures Thinking, and our illustration for Futures Research enhanced Service Design process. After some more investigation (selection of 150 books and articles) and integrating the strategic business thinking into the model with Katri Ojasalo (Linkedin), (our Head of Master’s Degree Programme in Service Innovation and Design here at Laurea University of Applied Sciences) we are proud to announce our forthcoming chapter in an international Handbook of Service Innovation (to be published by Springer in early 2014). Indeed, we have came into a realization:

What we’ve done so far is not only about Futures enhanced Service Design – instead, this is the next chapter in building unique, synergistic and dynamic capabilities for Service Innovation.

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Take a novel path to create new business opportunities and new value

 It has been clear from the beginning of our study that Design Thinking and Futures Thinking share a strong synergy in their principles and targets. Now it is crystal clear that by combining their unique approaches in innovation process results in bright and viable business opportunities (see process framework A. below). While Futures Thinking concentrates on driving forces in complex evolving systems and alternative contexts, Design Thinking embraces the viewpoint of system constraints and people oriented solutions. Not only this powerful combination gives you options for decision making in strategic and offering creation level but it tackles the two critical challenges in today’s (and tomorrow’s) business: Uncertainty and timing in creating Value Roadmaps in the interconnected and changing world. Here, Futures Thinking helps to make uncertainty easier to approach through providing alternatives for decision making and therefore improving organization’s readiness to act. Design Thinking improves the organization’s agility to seize the change with emphatic, adaptive and deep research approach and through iterative co-designing with customers to provide desirable, feasible and viable options for solutions.

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Foresight is part of Service Innovations

In today’s organization’s strategic or service development projects you hardly hear a word about foresight or futures research. If you do, you are probably dealing with professionals of the field. Typical scene in developing services or company strategies is that we tend to make our decisions based on current normative knowledge – and perhaps worse, with consensus driven mindset. We use too often “I know/I feel” -tool in critical points where instead we should useresearch material and insights about the topic in question. Organizations seem to lack knowledge on how to use foresight as part of development process. It is a powerful tool when used systematically, and when used efficiently it can give you the possibility to spot and develop new business innovations before competitors.

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Foresight vs. Service Design process

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Cut the corners first – Harness the power of futures thinking

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“Futures are about knowledge. We must be inspired about futures. Futures are also about storytelling. “ explained lecturers Minna Koskelo and Anu K. Nousiainen.

In the course Futures thinking and foresights methodologies we learned how futures thinking is linked to service design and how it can be applied in business. Through hands-on workshops lot of new things were learnt and here are some key learning points.

Decision-making boosted up with futures foresights

Futures foresight methods can help companies to make right decisions to captivate their own blue ocean strategies. When identifying preferable futures and setting trend indicators to follow, companies can improve decision-making. Futures insights offers companies more flexibility to the strategy, support their risk management and produce new business ideas.

There is not just one future, but a whole range of possibilities. Futures foresight is a process of observing current world, finding new curves of change and seeking for opportunities of tomorrow. It is not just about guessing and predicting, but it is systematic approach that combines multiple fields and methods in order to produce proposals of possible, probable and preferable futures, which organizations can use to make right decisions.

Futures research is a combination of intuition and documented information. It is a creative discipline. There are various frameworks of futures foresight process where one can choose the most suitable one and it can be applied in the innovation process together with service design methods.

Trends and signals: hints of new business opportunities

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Service Design meets Futures thinking # 3

A research based series of posts discussing the statement “Futures Research supports the Service Design process in multiple ways and throughout the whole process” by Minna Koskelo and Anu K. Nousiainen.

Part #3: The Process Perspective

Our two previous blog entries have been summarizing the purpose of our study and the main findings including the synergies of service design and futures thinking, thus why it is beneficial for the two disciplines utilize approach and methods from one another and learn from each other. This third post introduces Service Design Process that is enhanced by futures thinking. Additionally we illustrate how service design thinking benefits foresight process.

The big picture: Becoming a human-centric innovative trendsetter

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Service Design meets Futures Thinking #2

A research based series of posts discussing the statement “Futures Research supports the Service Design process in multiple ways and throughout the whole process” by Minna Koskelo and Anu K. Nousiainen.

Part #2: Synergistic Principles of Service Design and Futures Research

We start our second blog post with where we left you in the first opening part of the series:

“Service Design and Futures Research ensure sustainable business, because they provide tools and processes for innovation through effective visual and anticipatory stories by means of co-creative research methods and iterative processes that nurture the unthinkable.”

We identified lots of synergies between the two disciplines as well as many areas where the fields supplement each other. While investigating selected literature and talking with experts, we faced also very similar vocabulary when discussing about the approach, principles, processes and tools of both Service Design and Futures Research. We created a table along the way to record our findings (see below). This blog post starts to unwrap the principles of Service Design and Futures Research which both aim at better futures and better business success. Continue reading

Service Design meets Futures Thinking – IN ACTION

Before our 2nd blog post for the series of Service Design meets Futures Thinking, we have a special news for you !

The first test environment for combining Futures Thinking with Design Thinking takes place in Helsinki in two weeks ! This is an invitation to all design thinkers, futures thinkers, strategic minds and innovative leaders to take part in the day on Friday 9th November at the heart of Helsinki, Finland – The World Design Capital 2012.

LaFutura is here ! Continue reading