• Futuristic city

    What if the future now can be designed?

    Humans have been shaping the future since fire. What’s new is the number of organizations treating the human future as a design space – with good outcomes.

Alex Iby image

What is The Guide Project?

We don’t just talk about the future, we build it. The Guide Project connects the communities of practice designing futures. Figures out what they’ve discovered that works. Creates a pattern language of their findings. Then helps the process scale. It is based at the Design School of Arizona State University, the “most innovative” in the country, according to U.S. News.

Mike Wilson Photograph

What are our aims?

To accelerate novel, audacious ways to imagine – and then create – human futures in which we can thrive. First step: to create The Guidebook: How to Design the Future. It is a “book” – platform agnostic – that symphonizes the rapidly growing wisdom, experience and best practices of these communities to achieve success practically. The Guidebook, however, is just the start. As our colleague Brad Allenby says, “The missing element is teaching ‘Designing Complex Adaptive Systems While Being Part of Them.’ You need someone who is humble enough to know how daunting this is, and yet strong enough to operate outside the boundaries of the usual domains.”

Dmitri Popov photo

How does this work?

Knowledge, narrative and design are the three legs of the Project’s stool.

- The “knowledge” comes from the enterprises that have achieved “designing the future” as their main practice.

- The “narrative” leg is based on story-telling being central to what it means to be human. Story is how humans make sense of the universe. All the great research in the world makes no difference if it is not communicated.

- The third leg of this stool is “design.” As John Maeda puts it: “There are three kinds of design: first, classical design, which is design from the physical world and has been around for centuries, beloved and highly refined. Secondly, we have the world of design thinking which goes beyond making and is defined by systems thinking and processes and improving how organizations innovate. Lastly, there’s computational design, or designing for billions of people in real time.”

Drew Graham photo

So that’s it.

Accelerate “novel, audacious ways to imagine – and then create – a human future in which we can thrive.” In hard-headed, battle-tested, shippable ways. Involving a world-wide conspiracy of like-minded tribes. Plus a few dreams on very large scales.