The World Building Framework for future forecasters and creatives

After over a decade of advising leading organisations as a Fashion Futurist, teaching professionals and creatives and advocating for social and climate justice, I created the World Building Framework.

It examines all stages of foresight and supports Trend Atelier's mission:

Question how futures are made and help visionaries author new worlds

This is a 4 pillar framework unique and powerful in how it supports future forecasters and futuring creatives in their work, development and mission.

Discover the following:

  • the goals
  • the mission
  • the 4 pillars
  • and how you can get your step-by-step guide to apply this to your personal and professional development as a foresight professional and futuring creative

The goals

  • Equip future forecasters and creatives with a clear framework with 4 clear pillars they can develop for their work and mission
  • Provide sustained support to foresight professionals and creatives seeking to transform the systems we live in
  • Help elevate foresight methods to author a regenerative future
  • Create a breeding ground for new approaches and metrics to evaluating future trends that index for planetary and environmental priorities
  • Support forecasters and futuring creatives in the day to day challenges of their work
  • Support the United Nations SDGs as Trend Atelier is a member of the UN's partnerships Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network

The mission

The field of future foresight is at the center of influencing culture, design, media, marketing, policy, innovation all the way to services. Most people don’t realise this because our work is so niche. But… Everyone has ‘the future of’ at the tip of their tongue.

All too often, for us foresight professionals and futuring creatives who are on the inside, we feel a lack of access to peers to grow with, ongoing education and resources that empowers our development, success and vision for a sustainable world. The intersectionality of our challenges, both professional and ethical mean our work can feel all consuming.

The lack of support for our specific needs can cost us years, especially when trying to figure things out on our own and without peers to exchange with from the ethics of what we do to the way we promote our work. NOT ONLY THAT. We are passionate about our work and know it is important in guiding decisions! And we have a sense of responsible guardianship over our planet's future.

With all of these things considered, it’s simple to see learning and perfecting future forecasting methods and principles has never been so vital for creatives and foresight professionals, given the complexity of our world, our challenges and what is at stake for future generations.

The mission of World Building:

  • To empower the role of foresight professionals and futuring creatives through safe spaces, dialog, education, community, mindful approaches and actionable tools.
  • To help them prepare for what we believe is the next era of future foresight: embedding regeneration at its core and shedding extractive practices and methods that are not indexing for important planetary and environmental metrics.

In a newsletter I published I shared candidly how I felt. It's titled ‘The fire inside me’. I think we talk about sustainability, regenerative systems and most of us mean well. And we have for years. But we are still using the same principles and methods that have gotten us into the climate crisis and we must build a new era for future foresight methods and mindsets.

The 4 pillars

The 4 Pillars of the World Building Framework

The following 4 pillars bring a structure for the community and where members may want to zero in on areas of their personal and professional growth:

  • Mission Vision
  • Methods Principles
  • Inside Out Sustainability
  • Expression Influence

Pillar 1: Mission Vision

Without a mission, a foresight professional or futuring creative cannot be clear about their personal and professional development and have a clear Vision for the future.

When you are a purpose led future forecaster or futuring creative, you want to make a difference in the world. That's your nature. You see the scale of the problems we face and you realise that through future foresight you can help drive change to create a preferable future.

Creatives who go on for years without a clear mission easily run into problems down the line in many ways. This pillar will bring you empowering clarity. Before we go any further in the World Building Framework, it is key for you to define your mission and vision statements.

Pillar 2: Methods Principles

Regenerative foresight can be applied with clear methods that guide you step by step and allow you to measure your work and evaluate the validity of trends in a whole new light. You must also have overarching principles that guide your strategies.

The Methods Principles is about:

  • methodologies to perfect your craft as a forecaster and futuring creative.
  • learning a mix of existing and emergent methods and approaches
  • principles which are a set of values to apply to your work so you can help build better futures. You are a world builder!

Pillar 3: Inside Out Sustainability

What this pillar really aims to tackle is: How are you committing to sustainability for yourself, not just for the planet?

This is often overlooked. We want sustainability for the world, yet we fail to treat ourselves sustainably and mindfully. This is the pillar where you will learn about ethics, wellbeing, creativity, nature as tools to breed sustainable and regenerative practices both for yourself and the world. This is grounded in wellbeing and self value, and informed by years of working with forecasters and designers in the Trend Atelier and listening to shared struggles.

Make no mistake, this is part of a broader societal issue involving the future of work. There is cognitive dissonance when we aim to give sustainable directions to clients, yet fail to treat ourselves as individuals sustainably.

British economist Kate Raworth is not alone in arguing that:

An economy can only fulfil its function once we recognise that it is ‘nested’ within society and that human society is nested within the wider natural world. Disease in your heart affects the overall health of the individual. In a social setting, poor ‘health’ of a neighbourhood through poverty has bad effects for the socio-economic and environmental flourishing of the broader region.

Embrace that working towards a sustainable future involves how you treat yourself as well. How you treat your heart.

Pillar 4: Expression Influence

This pillar focuses on answering this: How will you inspire actionthrough your future foresight?

In our work we are expected to formulate and present future concepts. We have the eyes and ears of decision makers therefore we can harness the tools to present ideas effectively in order to gain adoption. We often have to educate our clients to think long term. We have to engage with key stakeholders and convince them, inspire them, unlock ideas for services and products for them.

The deeper purpose of this pillar is to make an impact.

So how do you find your voice? How do you speak to people so they want to listen? How do you weave a story? How do you present a forecast in a variety of mediums? How do you Prototype future scenarios? How do you write as well?

Ultimately we are cultural brokers and we have to express our ideas about the future in a way that creates an impact, unlocks ideas for other people or organisations. So that we can help steer industries towards design, products and services that serve our planet and our people.

When you're ready, there are 3 ways myself and Trend Atelier can help you:

  1. --> Complete our World Building Quiz here. Answer 1 question to receive your free step by step mini-course
  2. --> Join the Trend Atelier Community to benefit from life changing and ongoing guidance in your future insights, methods and approaches.
  3. --> Join our waitlist for our online mastercourse

Are you ready to join Trend Atelier?

Trend Atelier is a school and community for purpose led professionals and beginners looking to expand their methods and vision, while making a difference in the world via futures research, methodologies, and foresight.

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