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Future Scouting®—Designing Future Products

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Learn to research and design values-driven products of the future

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About the course

Future Scouting®—Designing Future Products is an online, mobile-friendly learning experience combining product design, life-centred design, and science fiction world-building techniques to get you saving the future and back to the present well before the next pandemic!

The course introduces the basics of speculative design and guides you step-by-step to create a future values-driven product, with resources for further learning.


  • Level: Beginner
  • Online and at your own pace
  • 15 lessons
  • 9 design tools
  • 5 digital card decks
  • Additional resources/links
  • Sharing forum
  • 6 mths access
  • Certificate
  • Free Future Scouting® Membership

Suitable for:

  • Product, UX, UI, and service designers
  • Product owners
  • Innovators
  • Anyone wanting to design future value-driven products

What you will learn

Futures literacy

  • Recognise future types and potentials
  • Ground futures thinking with values
  • Identify signals of emerging change
  • Ground speculation in realism
  • Synthesise signal research into a product
  • Brainstorm future scenarios and stories
  • Create future personas
  • Articulate possible futures

View course outline

Futures tools

  • The Futures Cone
  • The Future Scouting® Dashboard
  • Signal Tracing
  • Research Map
  • Invention Blueprint
  • The Futures Wheel
  • Scenario Futures Wheel
  • Future Persona
  • Story Futures Wheel
  • Future Location Snapshot

Example future design tools you’ll use

The project

Future Scouting®—Designing future products is based on the Future Scouting® book—used to develop The Maya Lenz concept for the sci-fi novel The Lenz—and the Future Scouting® design game, which has been played around the world and was a recipient of a Notable Design Education Initiative Award in the Core 77 Design Awards 2021.

Using the Future Scouting® method, and guided by your core values, you’ll create:

  • An Invention Blueprint
  • A Future Persona
  • A Future Location snapshot
  • A prototype of your future invention that you’ll be able to share in various ways, including stocking your invention in the ALT-FUTRS store

Projects by Future Scouts

Values-driven design

Speculative design took form in the early 1990s as designers questioned their role in consumerism’s impact on the planet. They began to consider how to align design with core values. To maintain the spirit of speculative design’s origins, Future Scouting® enables the designer to infuse their protopian future visions—not perfect, but always improving—with their values to foster the type of future they believe in.

Course Outline


  • Introduction

About speculative design

  • Lesson 1—About speculative design
  • Lesson 2—Speculative Design Examples
  • Lesson 3: The Future Scouting method

Step 1. Prepare to time-travel

  • Lesson 4: The Futures Cone
  • Lesson 5: The Future Scouting® Dashboard

Step 2. Catch a signal

  • Lesson 6: Signals of the futures
  • Lesson 7: Signal Tracing

Step 3. Hunt an invention

  • Lesson 8: Research Map
  • Lesson 9: Invention Blueprint

Step 4. Release your invention

  • Lesson 10: The Futures Wheel
  • Lesson 11: Scenario Futures Wheel

Step 5. Hero and future world

  • Lesson 12: Future Persona
  • Lesson 13: Story Futures Wheel
  • Lesson 14: Future Location Snapshot

Step 6. Prototype and share

  • Lesson 15: Prototype and share

Summary and reflection

  • Welcome back to your Now
  • Further learning

Ready to design for the future?

If you’ve ever imagined a better version of your favourite device, products that consider the environment and social justice, or innovating ways to improve the lives of others, let Future Scouting® show you how to design the values-aligned technology products of tomorrow.

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