Many kinds of futures are possible. Sensing, understanding, exploring, and building those possible futures should be in everyone's hands. 

How To Future is a project designed to open up the futuring toolkit to a wider audience. With workshops, and new tools, How to Future teaches ways to build team and institutional capacity to better understand and design preferred futures—whether for innovation, strategy, in education, policy development, or simply to build better skills for making preferred futures happen. We help build more resilient, future-facing organizations.

We are offering workshops for organizations currently, but watch this space for open registration courses in coming months. 


How to Future is an education platform from 


The Best way to learn is to do


How to Future tools and topics are available as applied workshops, running from 1-Day Intro Masterclasses for organizations and teams, 1-day single topic modules (Sensing and Scanning, Sensemaking and Mapping, Scenario Development, and Prototyping & Storytelling)  and 2-Week Studio Courses, described below. These can be offered on-site, as an off-site workshop, or as part of an in-house or ongoing learning program. 

To discuss costs and booking arrangements for a 1 Day Overview, a Single-Topic Module, or to find out more about co-designing Studio Courses, contact Susan Cox-Smith at Changeist.

Past and future workshops and designed courses include the Innovation & Futures Thinking Summer Course for IED Barcelona, Signals of Tomorrow Innovation Lab for FutureEverything Singapore, Experiential Futures in Culture for the Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona (CCCB), upcoming seminars for RITSC Winterschool in Brussels, Exploring a Post-Citizenship Future for the 2017 Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and Future Design and Strategic Foresight courses for the Dubai Future Academy. We have also delivered foundational courses for national government bodies in Europe and the Middle East, for leading financial institutions, venture design teams and a world-leading academic institution. 


1-Day INTRO masterclass

This fast-moving, one-day masterclass is designed to introduce participants to a range of concepts and practices used in strategic foresight as it connects to strategy and design. The masterclass introduces key concepts, tools and practices as a starting point for applied futures.  


1-Day Module

Our new 1-day modules take groups deeper into select tools and methods, and provides more time for specialized focus on a particular topic or market. Single days focus on Sensing and Scanning, Sensemaking and Mapping, Scenario Development, and Prototyping & Storytelling. They can be arranged to deepen team and organizational skills in one particular area, or combined as a multi-day training.


custom studio course

We design customized studio courses running up to 2 continuous weeks, or set up as periodic modules. This structure fits well into existing executive education or in-house training/learning programs, and gives participants a final research project to work towards.

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1-Day Focused Modules

Each 1-day module is structured to provide key vocabulary, an overview of relevant tools and methods, and hands-on exercises to put learning into action. Each concludes with a brief focus on next steps to put this new knowledge into action right away. 

Each highly interactive 1-day module typically takes 6 hours, and can be organized as a standalone workshop, or in conjunction with other modules. Participants receive all instructional material at the end of the session for internal use. 

Module 1: Sensing and Scanning

This 1-day module focuses on research skills and tools for collecting insights about the future. 

Topics covered include:

    • Scoping futures explorations — How to frame questions and choose tools.
    • Scanning and signal collection — Best practices to collect and organize data, evidence and insights as signals of possible futures, including qualitative and quantitative insights, observational research, interviews and more.
    • Trend taxonomies — How to sort, prioritize and understand relationships among trends.

    Module 2: Sensemaking and Mapping

    This 1-day module focuses on different approaches to yield new understandings from possible futures. 

    Topics covered include:

      • Organizing and socializing future insights — Generating trends and drivers, and group sensemaking approaches.
      • Mapping and clustering for pattern recognition — How to make sense of emerging patterns, map uncertainty and identify key strategic themes. This includes roadmapping and timelines.
      • Unpacking implications — Understanding 2nd and 3rd level impacts and implications of change. 

      Module 3: Scenario Development

      This 1-day module focuses on structuring and stress-testing narratives of possible futures. 

      Topics covered include:

        • Understanding applications of scenarios  Understanding when and where scenarios make sense to use.
        • Different scenario types  Deductive (2x2), Inductive and Four Futures scenario approaches, and when to use them.
        • Quick scenarios — How to combine patterns and themes into narratives about the future.
        • Deepening and stress testing — Getting beyond surface scenarios, and exploring implications, personas and opportunities. 

        Module 4: Prototyping & Storytelling

        This 1-day module focuses on fabricating and communicating tangible objects and future experiences. 

        Topics covered include:

        • Getting from scenarios to "things" — The role of experiences and objects to communicate future narratives for effective engagement.
        • World-building and rapid prototyping — How to turn narratives into rich stories and artifacts.
        • Communicating through scenarios and speculative prototypes — How to bring others into your possible future to share and debate insights.

        Instructional Team



        Scott smith

        Scott is the founder of Changeist, where he leads strategy, research and design activities. His work is built on over 20 years’ experience tracking social, cultural, technological and economic trends, and combines grounded research with narrative design to explore the unanticipated. Scott has over two decades of experience in the forecasting and futures fields, having worked and led workshops in almost 20 countries. 

        Scott has been deeply involved in foresight and innovation education, first as co-developer, lead instructor and advisor for the Futures Institute at the Duke University TIP program, as programme coordinator and lead lecturer in futures, innovation and design at IED Barcelona, a 2015 visiting lecturer at the School of International Futures (SoIF) in the UK, and now leader of the Future Design programme at the Dubai Future Academy.

        Email    Twitter    LinkedIn    Medium


        SUSAN Cox-Smith

        Susan is a partner and creative strategist at Changeist, and brings over 20 years of combined experience as a designer, art director, producer, writer and editor. She leads Changeist’s design for immersive experiences about the future, and oversees experience design for new futures tools for workshops, education and group collaboration. 

        Susan is also involved in digital education internationally, having worked as a digital producer for university distance learning programs in the US, and also as a moderator for University of Leiden's MOOC programs in the Netherlands. 

        Susan has written for Medium and How We Get to Next.

        Email    Twitter    LinkedIn    Medium

        Madeline-40 (2).jpg

        MAdeline Ashby

        Madeline Ashby is a science fiction writer and futurist living in Toronto. She has worked with organizations like the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, Nesta, Data & Society, the Atlantic Council, Strategic Innovation Lab, and others. She also lectures on science fiction and design thinking at OCAD University in Toronto, where she graduated from the Strategic Foresight & Innovation programme.

        She is also the author of the Machine Dynasty series, and the novel Company Town from Tor Books, which was longlisted for the Canada Reads prize. Her fiction has been translated into Japanese and German. 






        Everyday discourse about the future often focuses on specific events, or, the endpoints of a journey—the amazing breakthrough technologies, sudden shifts in collective social behavior, or radically new economic models. For the general public, there is generally little consideration for how these futures have evolved and unfolded. The true stories of these journeys—which can be messy, sometimes slow, but occasionally rich with startling combinations and evolutions—are actually where the most interesting parts of the future happen.

        Outside of a small circle of professionals, most people lack understanding of the basic futures tools and thinking frameworks commonly used to help develop insights and strategies which lead us toward tomorrow. How to Future, a project from Changeist, is a learning platform for building skills and understanding of these tools and approaches—ways to think about, and do, applied futuring. Tools and approaches are presented in an accessible way, refined through almost 10 years of teaching in workshops and educational environments.

        How to Future provides concrete, usable knowledge and insight about researching, discovering, exploring and building possible futures in a wide range of contexts and environments, from tech, to policy, to social change, to economics, to sustainability. From these future stories come valuable new ways of thinking about, modeling, and forging pathways to possible futures. Participants leave being able to stress-test them, prototype them, and share them with others.

        Alongside this process approach, our workshops discuss ways to think about futures that encourage the reader to step away from recycling tired memes and timeless utopias, and discover rich and informed possible futures through different, diverse lenses.


        Contact Us


        For general inquiries, you can find us at the contact points listed below, or send us a message using the form below.

        EMAIL:     howtofuture@changeist.com

        PHONE:   +31 6 5265 2000

        SKYPE:     changeist


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