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Trendspotting and Future Thinking

Rapid advancements in technology, together with increasing socio-political unrest and the challenges of climate change, generate increasingly dynamic, complex and uncertain competitive environments.
Entrepreneur or not, it is an advantage to understand where tomorrow is headed and how we can impact the future. This course seeks to introduce the students to the concept trends, trendspotting and future thinking, building a critical perspective of what we can do “now” to impact “tomorrows”. By understanding how different trends build interdependencies in a bigger system, student’s will be prompted to shift perspective from hindsight to foresight.

Intended learning outcomes

After this course the student should perceive trendspotting and future thinking as a clear, understandable and approachable tool in new business creation and personal practice. They will be able to:

  • Explain the concepts of trends, trendspotting and future thinking
  • Investigate the human fascination with the concept of the future and outline pitfalls in future thinking
  • Investigate and further develop the different ways in which future thinking can be mastered
  • Explore and discuss different types of trends from macro and megatrends to fashionable fads and microtrends
  • Reveal and further develop reliable sources for trendspotting

Content

What unites different disciplines is the concept of speculating about the future. Thinking about the future and what potential clues can divulge about how it will reveal itself unites people across disciplines and professional purposes. It is an area that is not owned by any one discipline. This course seeks to introduce the students to the concept managing uncertainty by the exploration of these trends, trendspotting and future thinking. Furthermore, the course will introduce the students to the tools needed to understand trends and their role in society and how to best foresee and work with them in new business creation and development.

Each lecture will focus on a theoretical exposition, together with a practical application of a tool from the future forecasters’ toolbox, and will be organized around the insights gathered by the students. These tools include, but are not limited to: interdisciplinary thinking, future thinking, scenario planning, and uncertainty management.

Teaching and learning activities

The course will mix and match lectures with debates, discussions and workshops by thought leaders in the field.

Grades and form of assessment

There are three assignments in the course, introduced by the respective teacher in context to a specific lecture:

Assignment 1: Future Scenario

Assignment 2: Trends in Practice

Assignment 3:
Component 1 – Reflecting on and communicating a possible future (video).
Component 2 – Synopsis, combining the two prior assignments.
Component 3 – Workshop participation.

Attendance

Attendance is compulsory.

Additional information

The course language is English.
The course is offered within the framework of the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship.
Responsible institution: University College of Arts, Crafts and Design (Konstfack)

Literature and teaching aids
Literature will be announced in connection to the start and communicated to enrolled students.

Dates

2019-10-29 - 2019-12-12

Course type

MSc

Structure

The course runs after 5 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays in 2-3 hour sessions

Course Number

KTH: ME2829, SSE: 8070, KI: 2XX046, KFK: SSES30, SU: FE6608

Worth

7.5 ECTS-credits

Taught At

Konstfack

Swedish Course Name

Trendanalys och framtidstänkande

NB

Fall 2018