Think, Work and Play like a futurist is our foundation course in trend management. You will be introduced to the mindset of a futurist, and be guided through the practical skills, methodology and toolkit that will enable you to navigate the future and make future insights work for you
+ course material (optional)
What you will learn
A futurist mindset is known to lead to informed strategies, greater innovation capacity, and a better bottom-line, but also the ability to work and lead with more purpose. While the course is structured to suit self-study at your pace, we support you through the modules in inspiring bite-sized podcasts, videos and other engaging course material. You will be able to test your learning in exercises and in conversation with other futurists at the Academy.
In 3 core modules of Think, Work and Play we explore
- Why cultivating whole-brain thinking is key in the future
- What trend forecasting is and where it originates
- How to master the essential futurist toolkit
Think, Work and Play like a Futurist is designed to inspire open dialogue, creativity, positive change and innovation culture for teams, regardless of role or level, as well as individuals interested developing their futurist skills.
You will learn inspiring futurist concepts and how to
- Unleash the power of foresight and hone your future awareness
- Apply trend management in your professional life or for self-development
- Discover a gateway that will allow you to anticipate future developments
- Boost individual and organisational resilience and manage change
Who is the course for?
The course is suitable for entire teams and for individuals looking to:
- Develop, cultivate and activate futurist skills
- Identify opportunities and challenges ahead
- Boost innovation capacity and manage change
- Become active change-makers and visionaries
You will leave this course with
- Future awareness and tools to cultivate the habits and skills essential to Think like a futurist
- Key principles and applications of trend management essential to Work like a futurist
- Practical understanding of key tools and processes essential to Play like a futurist
- Understanding of the 4P business leadership model – a value proposition essential to your next steps.
Recommended pre-study reading: The Trend Management Toolkit – A Practical Guide to the Future, Anne Lise Kjaer – Palgrave MacMillan (2014)
To take your learning one step further – take specialist masterclasses, book a workshop or a one-to-one consultation with a Kjaer Global futurist. Contact us to find out more and discuss your futurist ambition.
The courses give you access to
24/7 online resources
QUIZ – Test your learning style
People learn in different ways and not everyone has the same needs or time available. For this reason, we have structured the course for you to choose between different learning modes and preferences.
- Need to Know: Learn the core principles from our bite-sized lessons or podcasts
- Nice to Know: Need to know + read the full texts and engage in the exercises for a medium proficiency level.
- Deep Learning: Nice to know + read and view recommended material, engage in all exercises and connect with fellow futurists for discussion topical discussion forums.
QUIZ: What is your learning style? take the test
Choosing the Deep Learning track can lead to Kjaer Academy futurist certification or a Kjaer Global goodwill ambassador programme. Contact us to find out more or to discuss your particular needs and wants.
This course in practical trend management is delivered in 3 modules: Think, Work and Play.
THINK: To fully be able to use the practical methods and tool of the futurist you will first have to get into the mindset of the futurist. The first module covers the skills and habits that enable a futurist to work with the future in a consistent, credible and inspiring way. This is what we call the futurist mindset. You will explore the What and How and not least Why it will be essential to develop basic futurist skill in the future.
WORK: What does it mean to work as a futurist and where did the idea of thinking about the future originate? The second module Work, introduces you to the various methods of future forecasting and some key inspirational futurists and thinkers. You will learn how looking to the past help us understand the future. We will introduce you to whole-brain thinking and detail why it will help you see the Big Picture, while using intelligent reduction to extract the meaningful from the complex. This module is your insight into the Work of a futurist.
PLAY: The Play module of the course is where we get practical and play around with the trend management toolkit. You will learn how we manage the processes and where to apply core tools of our sense-making toolkit. You will understand why we use an iterative process based on design thinking and the best way to assess the impact of a trend. These are some of the concrete and practical lesson and exercises you will explore when you learn how to Play like a futurist.
Course Syllabus MODULE 1 > THINK > Habits, skills and how to think like a futurist
0.0 INTRO – Welcome
The more future aware a person is today, the better equipped they are to influence and shape the future.
- Welcome to the ‘Think Like a Futurist’ course!
- Introducing trend management
- The future is not somewhere you go…
- Trend management is a method and a mindset (or philosophy)
- Meet your instructor
1.0 BACKGROUND – The value of reflection
For your first lesson, we highlight the importance of taking time out to think and why it is key to creativity, innovation and the future of leadership
- The value of time to think
- Corporate culture and busy as the hallmark of success
- Lessons from leaders who take time to think
- From short-termism to long-term rewards
2.0 MINDSET – Shaping a futurist mindset
In this lesson we discuss what it means to have the mindset of a futurist, the benefits of planning for the future and why this matters
- What does it mean to have the mindset of a futurist?
- Planning for the future
- Why does it matter?
3.0 LEARNING – Lifelong learning
We explore why lifelong learning is the new norm and how it can make you future resilient. We introduce you to the concepts of a beginner’s mind and visioning, and discuss how to harness the power of change
- Foster a love of learning
- Empathy and the beginner’s mind
- The power of vision
- A beginner’s guide to visioning
- Harnessing change (a positive outlook)
4.0 HABITS – The futurist habits
Now we know what kind of mindset we are trying to develop for ourselves, and in this lesson we look at some of the habits we need to cultivate to get there
- Habits of a futurist
- The importance of intuition
- Informed intuition
- Critical thinking
- Intelligent reduction
5.0 METHODOLOGY – Whole-brain Thinking
Learn what we mean by whole-brain thinking, where it comes from and why it is so important to trend management
- Rethinking human decision-making
- A multidimensional model
6.0 MEANING – Connecting the dots
How we can make knowledge meaningful? This lesson explains how the power of intuition and intelligent reduction are two routes to connecting the dots and extracting meaningful insights from complexity
- Sensemaking, knowledge and experience
- Creativity and how to cultivate it
- A model of reasoning and Occam’s razor
Module outro: Now that you are familiar with the THINK module – tapping into the habits, skills and thinking of a futurist – and also your own thinking style – it’s time to move on the WORK module.
Course Syllabus MODULE 2 > WORK > How to understand the future – and the work of a futurist
7.0 HISTORY – The origins of futurology
Concern and interest in the future is nothing new, but its praxis is constantly evolving. In this lesson we will look at the origins of futurology, highlighting some notable thinkers through time, also introducing you to the most dominant methods of future thinking in use today
- The origins of foresight
- Futurology, a recent practice
- Scientific forecasting
- Social forecasting
- Intuitive forecasting
- Wild Card forecasting
- Key forecasting methods in brief
- Multidimensional forecasting – a holistic system
- Key Thinkers overview
8.0 RATIONALE – How society has evolved – the Maslow lens
In this lesson we explore how we can look to the past and present to make sense of the future. We explain how we use Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as a lens to view the progress of society and consumption, and discuss why the future is full of contradiction and paradox
- History – an uneven curve of progress
- The evolution of society and consumption – a model
- Maslow – Hierarchy of Needs model
- Contradiction and paradox as norm
9.0 FRAMEWORK – The Importance of a framework
We present you with the case for the importance of a proper system for navigating the future. You will learn why there is a growing need for trend management and sense-making platforms. We also discuss how to ask the right questions in a fast-forward society defined by accelerating change and complexity
- Data, fake news and the interconnected society
- Balancing tangible and intangible insights
- ‘What if?’ as the driver of fresh thinking
- Sense-making in a fast-forward society
- Accelerating change and complexity
- Systems thinking and asking the right questions
Module outro: In this module we have learned that the crucial key to understanding the future is to first make sense of the past and present, and then connect the dots in a whole new way. In the last module we will get to PLAY with the futurist toolkit and get practical with the trend management system.
Course Syllabus MODULE 3 > PLAY > The Futurist Toolkit
10.0 DEFINITION & METHODOLOGY – Anatomy of a Trend
To kick-off the third module PLAY we introduce you to the various types of trends and definitions that we work with in the trend management process
- Definition of a trend
- The Kjaer Global Lens
- Structural driver
- Macro trends
- Micro trends
- Black Swans and Wild Cards
- Stylistic trends and fads
11.0 VALUE PROPOSITION – The 4P leadership Model – a new value proposition
In this lesson you will learn about the unique Kjaer Global 4P leadership model, how it originated, why we need a new model for business and society, and how the architecture of the model works
- Heart-led decision making
- A global shift in values and priorities
- Why you should care
- What drives the need for new models?
- A battle for truth
- Don’t miss out on meaningful dialogue
- ‘I participate therefore I am’
- Meaningful connections; values over value
- The architecture of the 4P Model
- A 4P leadership focus
12.0 PROCESS – The trend management process and design thinking
In this lesson we will outline our trend management process and the rationale behind it, also considering why design thinking matters
- Non-linear approaches inspired by design thinking
- A process to reflect our methodology
- Breaking down the steps of a typical working process
- > Imagine
- > Explore
- > Reflect
- > Define
- > Refine
- > Activate > repeat
- The Trend management process plan and diagram
13.0 MODELS – From 2D to 4D – multidimensional thinking
In this lesson we talk about multidimensional thinking and how it helps us apply a holistic lens to trend management.
- Addressing a shortfall in traditional planning and strategising
- The multidimensional platform
- A holistic lens
In our next and final lesson we will see how the multidimensional platform acts as foundation for the Trend Atlas.
14.0 TOOLS – Your essential trend toolkit
In this lesson you will prepare for practical work and exercises. We will introduce you to our core tools: the Trend Atlas, Trend Cards, the Trend Compass & Index and, not least, the Trend SWOT
- The Trend Atlas – two types: Generic and Tailor-made
- How to use a Trend Atlas
- The architecture of the Trend Atlas
- Exploring the dimensions of the Trend Atlas
- The Scientific Dimension
- The Social Dimension
- The Emotional Dimension
- The Spiritual Dimension
- Introduction to Trend Cards
- The Trend Compass
- How to make a Trend Index
- Performing a Trend SWOT
COURSE WORK/PLAY BOOK > How to Exercises
- Identify a Trend – trend scan globally and catalogue them in dimensions
- Make a Trend Atlas – use a generic Trend Atlas and your own trends
- Create a Trend Compass – using your Atlas, map your core macro/micro drivers
- Perform a Trend SWOT – using the SWOT analyse macro trends one by one
- Using a Trend Index – use your Trend Compass and score trend impact in your context
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Ask us anything about the future, our courses or your project
Drop us a line anytime with your questions or request, and we will get back to you within 48 hours