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Futures Design Thinking: Speculative Design, Strategic Foresight and Other Ways to Respond to the Future

By Phil Balagtas

Session type

Deep Dive Talk


Fri, 25 Oct 2019


Main stage

About this session

As the craft of design continues to evolve and require more strategic thinking, we need new tools to address today’s greatest political, social, environmental, and cultural challenges. Speculative Designers and Strategic Foresight practitioners are banding together to bring these tools into the new landscape of design so that we can better assess the challenges of emerging technologies, climate change, and the implications we face with dynamically shifting political structures.

Phil will walk through a number of these examples spanning the history of Critical Design, Design Fiction, and trend analysis tools providing a platform for us to begin shaping these conversations for the business and governments that are defining our future.

He will also speak about the Design Futures Initiative, a not-for-profit organization he founded in 2015, the global community that has formed around these issues and the programs they are developing to address social challenges for youth.

About Phil

Phil Balagtas

Phil Balagtas

Founder at The Design Futures Initiative

Phil has been a practicing visual & interaction designer since 2001 and has experience designing across a variety of devices and platforms within non-profit, retail, advertising, and enterprise software organizations. He is currently an Experience Design Director at McKinsey & Company working with a variety of industries to transform and enhance their digital businesses and strategies.

He is also the founder and organizer of the Design Futures Initiative which organizes the international Speculative Futures meetups and the PRIMER conference in the US and Europe. An educator and futurist, his events bring together designers and futurists from all over the world to teach and share strategies for designing for the future and the ethical challenges around emerging technologies.