Future Trends

2-40 people

This tool is designed to assist groups of all sizes in identifying significant transformative trends that will emerge in the coming years. It enables them to examine the implications of these trends and explore ways to leverage them for business opportunities. At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will have compiled a list of the most pertinent trends and developed detailed plans for addressing the three most critical ones. This tool is available in both online and in-person formats.

Workshop steps


Start by presenting the workshop's objective, which is to delve into upcoming transformative trends and examine how our organization(s) can adapt to these changes. Kick off with a 20-minute Stinky Fish activity, allowing the group to comfortably express their apprehensions and concerns about future challenges. This aims to make uncertainty about the future a normal topic of discussion. For the Stinky Fish exercise, consider using the following context: "Mention one concern or fear about the digital future and its potential personal or professional impact on you."


The group will now work together to identify the most significant trends impacting their industry over the next 3 years. Keep in mind that a "trend" refers to powerful societal forces with long-lasting effects, not just temporary fads. This activity consists of four 5-minute rounds, focusing on the following categories: Business, User Behavior, Talent Demands, and Technology. Your goal is to brainstorm as many relevant trends in each category as possible. For face-to-face sessions: Provide participants with post-it notes and markers. Ask them to write one trend per post-it, say it out loud, and then place it on a wall under the appropriate category label. For online sessions: Utilize a digital whiteboard like Miro to create boards and sticky notes for participants to work with. If needed, you can kickstart the brainstorming process by providing a few examples for each category (draw inspiration from Changes of Tomorrow or come up with your own). Allocate 5 minutes for each category, totaling 20 minutes for the entire activity.


After completing the four rounds, applaud the group's efforts. Inform them that the following step involves swiftly determining which trends will have the most significant impact, taking approximately 5 minutes. For in-person meetings, utilize the Dotmocracy tool, which is ideal for assisting large groups in making quick prioritizations. Provide each participant with 8 dots (votes) using markers, which they can allocate to the trends they've identified. Participants should vote based on the trends they believe will have the most significant impact on their business in the next 3 years. For online meetings, allocate 8 "digital dots" to each participant, which they can distribute among the trends they've identified. Participants should vote based on the trends they believe will have the most significant impact on their business in the next 3 years. To minimize group bias, encourage participants to mentally choose their votes before placing their dots. After all votes have been cast, ask the group to identify the top three trends with the most votes to examine further in the subsequent step.


In this step, your goal is for the teams to work together to identify key trends and brainstorm potential business opportunities they may create. Follow these simple steps: 1. Divide the participants into smaller teams of 2-4 members. 2. Assign one trend to each team, and ask them to discuss its opportunities, consequences, risks, and envision how the company would look in three years if they fully capitalize on this trend. Also, have them think about the actions needed to start moving in that direction. 3. Provide each team with a trend template and allocate 15-20 minutes to complete it. Remind them that this is a brainstorming activity, so they should rely on their knowledge, intuition, and feelings to quickly fill out the template. 4. Once the templates are completed, have each team briefly present their findings to the others. 5. For online sessions, use breakout rooms and share a digital trend template for each team to work on.


Conduct a brief check-out session to establish a sense of completion. Discuss concisely the accomplishments of the day. Encourage each attendee to share one valuable insight from the day that leaves them optimistic about the future. Clarify the upcoming steps for the group. Discuss how you plan to utilize the trends and insights, and how they will be incorporated into individual and company efforts.

Need help with this workshop?

Anna Lundqvist portrait
Anna Lundqvist
UX Designer and AI Ethics Strategist guiding innovative product development and educational workshops
Eddy Salzmann portrait
Eddy Salzmann
Design lead and team culture enthusiast driving products and design processes
Ola Möller portrait
Ola Möller
Founder of MethodKit who has a passion for organisations and seeing the big picture
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