2019 ADIM Conference

Buehring, J. H. (Panel Chair)

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganizer / committee member


Global changes in the 21st century appear intractable as social, technological and environmental trends force the contemporary organization to address these uncertainties in vision and strategic direction (Vecchiato, 2012). Enterprises across nearly all sectors of the globalized economy must adapt competitive strategies to anticipate specific political, resource, and market uncertainties that could impact expected growth and broader social benefits (Wilkinson, Mayer, & Ringler, 2014). Yet the inclusion of strategic foresight within product and service design projects has yet to reach its potential in business enterprises. Given the uncertainties these often-cited global trends impose, why are decision makers not relying on strategic foresight to inform design decisions and service development? The most popular business design processes continue to be decidedly short-term reasoning practices: Agile, Lean, and Design Thinking are at least three problematic methodologies that might repel or constrain the uptake of serious futures anticipation. Business foresight practices are commonly relegated to strategy development, thereby informing business models and competitive strategy, but not necessarily the productive design capacity of the enterprise. While design often addresses complex business problems for today’s world and the immediate future, strategic foresight develops alternative scenarios for the futures in which these solutions will exist. Scholars and educators in these core fields are devoting increased attention to the question the most effective organizational process or fit for successful, actionable long-horizon strategies (Bishop, Hines, & Collins, 2007; Heskett, 2009; Rohrbeck, Battistella, & Huizingh, 2015; Slaughter, 2002). The track invites research that explores design practice cases presenting significant integration or effective processes of strategic foresight in product/service design. Foresight practices might range from the inclusion of horizon scans and long-term trend mapping to build product roadmaps, to scenario and narrative construction to inform service and systems, to speculative design fiction to influence design proposals. We encourage design researchers to demonstrate how “Design with Foresight” addresses complex design decision making and future design strategy (Buehring & Liedtka, 2018; Hines & Zindato, 2016). Specifically, we will seek advanced cases and emerging practices demonstrating futures thinking and strategic foresight in design, especially where deeper or longer-term anticipation has proven effective in radical or unexpected strategic design decision-making. This track (A) seeks to address, but is not limited to the following questions: • What role can strategic foresight play in enhancing design decision-making? • Does strategic foresight in design boost innovation performance? And under which conditions? • What are successful cases of strategic foresight in the design process? • How to counteract cognitive barriers and enhance foresight capacities? • Can foresight yield the early discovery of radical innovations with future impact?
PeriodAug 2018Jun 2019
Event typeConference
LocationLondon, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational