Future Camp

Future Camp


  • Part Four – Modeling the Future
    Change has its structural properties (thank goodness) and that means we can build models to see how it recruits new varieties of devices, subcultures, lifestyles, and experiments to grow from a murmur in our culture to something that helps transform us. We will build a model that shows how fast culture and slow culture work together, helping to select, funnel and canonize culture, We will use a couple of cases in point: punk, preppies, and the tragic case of steam punk which managed to go from what looked like a transformative mega trend to a Halloween costume in just a few years. Any trend has many futures contained with it. We will figure out how to model and map these futures so that we can place our bets.

    Part Five – Harnessing the Future
    We will look at a variety of trends, the ones that had a brief moment in the sun, the ones that matured to have influence and those that eventually shaped us in lasting ways. This is where we make ourselves especially useful to our clients.

    • Wellness is interesting because we are now detecting wellness fatigue. We will look at the shift from #thatgirl to #partygirl on TikTok as a case in point.
    • Preparedness is interesting too, because all signs point to go, but there are a couple of factors out there that appear to be preventing take off
    • We will look at how Chip and Joanna Gaines (and their media empire Magnolia) overtook Martha Stewart. This is the story of the death of a certain kind of status.
    • What happens to a culture when it is fragmenting, multiplying, breaking into a fantastic variety of pieces, part, genres, subcultures and lifestyles? What happens to the average selfhood? There is a trend here that doesn't have a name yet. Maybe we'll invent one. We are seeing the basic idea of the social group, the social self. What do we call it. Fluidity? Maybe call it fluidity. Liquidity?
    • Pets. Yes, pets. A lot of people seem to think that the big aha here is that they are becoming parts of the family. This is part of the story, but only the beginning. Pets are a transformational cycle that will change them beyond recognition. Us too. (Here's a hint: Pullman.)

    Part Six – A Test Case Study of the Future (HBS style)
    In this last lecture we will apply what we've learned. We will take one or two trends that have surfaced in the course of the day and work on it "case study" style, in a collaborative exercise that I learned to use teaching at the Harvard Business School. Here the Future Camp begins a formidable problem-solving machine, and a demonstrate of one way to master the future.