If anything, this year has taught us that the future is unpredictable. And that makes planning problematic – how can you account for the impact of disruption, whether that is from a world event, extreme weather or technological breakthrough?
One approach to future-scoping is to play. To step away from the issues of today and think laterally, to imagine different scenarios, different lives and consider what would be involved to achieve them.
This was the challenge presented to Agri-TechE members in a creativity workshop facilitated by Method.
The intention was to stimulate a different approach to problem solving, to provide visions of future scenarios and then work back – what change is needed now to achieve a positive outcome in the future?
To help provoke new thinking Method created a number of artefacts from the future – a new type of food, a till receipt that gives the carbon value – and these objects were used to help transport members to the year 2040 and open their minds to look at the opportunities that a drive towards Net Zero offers for goods and services.
The workshop took us to 2040 in a world where:
- Food production is hyper-local to support an increasingly urban population
- Consumers are informed, involved and concerned about food production
- ‘Food waste’ is a thing of the past with circular production fully integrated in the food system
- The role of rural farmland is now ‘carbon farming’ and amenity as many commodities can be produced by other means
- Technologies have expanded to produce food ingredients and to automate food production
The participants in the workshop were presented with a number of briefs and asked to ‘design the solution’.