Extraordinary Future 18: An Exploration of Canada’s Thriving Tech Scene

Extraordinary Future 18, held September 19–20 in Vancouver by Cambridge House International, billed itself as a “cornerstone event showcasing Canadian technology.” The event was designed to connect the most cutting-edge businesses with the capital they need to create tangible, lasting change. Indeed, by bringing blockchain entrepreneurs, eSports enthusiasts, cannabis pioneers, and others together under one…

Hyperloop Suburb: Reimagining the Dystopian Community

The suburbs have received an increasingly negative reputation due to their poverty-stricken beginnings in the 1920s, and their continued evolution into cookie-cutter, isolated communities for the middle class American in the 21st century. When we think of these family-dominated communities, we typically feel a sense of dystopian fear, an anxiety that lingers somewhere between an…

Repurposing Purpose

CONNECTING TO AN IMAGE OF THE FUTURE Let’s define purpose as “the reason for which we exist.” As humans, we have the ability to choose our purpose. In my 2011 book Consumershift: How Changing Values Are Reshaping the Consumer Landscape,
 I outlined a few common purposes people have based on the way they orient their…

Let’s Get Physical

Why is e-commerce rebuilding the brick-and-mortar store?  In a time when there is a new disruptive technology almost every week and Oxford Dictionary’s Word
 of the Year is an emoji, some retailers are harking back to old habits and returning to an offline, analog way of selling – the brick-and-mortar store. Major corporations, including Amazon,…

Back to the Future

Will the next game changer be something we already know — and love? Industrial machines. Flight. The internet. These were all big, impactful game changers with a lot of moving parts and a complexity that only the most expert of us could
 fully understand. But what if the next game changer isn’t nearly as complex?…

The Brave New World of Work

There was a time when our futures were predictable. When the economy was stable and employment rates were relatively good, we enjoyed some degree of expectation that this would continue. The past dictated the future and it was the same view of the future our parents, teachers, and business leaders continued to nurture. “Get a…

Arepas, Fufu, and Gado Gado

Immigration and Canada’s Changing Culinary Landscape Last spring, as I was strolling through my local farmer’s market in Kitchener, Ontario, I had a sudden craving for pupusas, Salvadoran grilled corn cakes stuffed with beans and cheese. Glancing around at the food stalls while waiting for my fix, I saw another item on the menu that…

The Future of Truth in Business

“Truths are illusions of which one has forgotten that they are illusions.”  — Friedrich Nietzsche, from “On Truth and Lying in a Non-Moral Sense” “Never tell a lie when you can bullshit your way through.”  — Eric Ambler, from “The Dirty Story”   Ever since the US Presidential election, it has become fashionable to lament that we…

Crowdfunding Futures Thinking

Idea Couture has just launched IMPACT: A Foresight Game on Kickstarter. Much of the strategic foresight work we do at Idea Couture is about helping decision-­makers navigate uncertainty and capitalize on change. “Decision-­makers” in this case usually refers to C-level executives at Fortune 500 companies. For our clients, we function as a kind of strategic radar, identifying the threats and opportunities that aren’t in plain sight. We look beyond the purview of your typical corporate strategic planning cycle, instead speculating on possibilities that sit 7, 10, and 15 years out, or further. Strategic foresight is a process, and…

How Female Consumership is Changing the Future of Cannabis

With increasing access to medical and recreational cannabis across the United States, the face of cannabis users is undergoing a rapid transformation. The notion of the traditional stoner is shrinking; Sean Penn's Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High or Brad Pitt's couch-bound character in True Romance are now only a microcosm of the…