Facilitating Futures

In this workshop we'll engage you in some of the opportunities and challenges you may encounter when setting up a Futures project, facilitating Futures projects or workshops, and sustaining support and advocacy.

Futures Thinking is an evolving practice that uses design and analysis methods for looking ahead to understand future market conditions so that you can prepare for opportunities or threats. It can be powerful for innovation, strategy, and vision exercises and can be used to create roadmaps toward future products and services. Futures has grown in popularity over the last decade as a tool for designers and business leaders. In the wake of COVID, companies are looking for new ways to become resilient in the face of uncertainty and to future-proof their business. However, starting and running a Futures project isn’t always easy. It’s a brand new process to many, and gaining buy-in, support, and commitment can be tough. Having to convince your clients of a new process where ROI can be a long road is also difficult. How might we get people invested in the importance of long-term thinking? And explain the value of this work on a practical level so that we can benefit from the methodologies in the short and long term.

This workshop will engage you in some challenges you may encounter when setting up a Futures project, facilitating projects or workshops, and sustaining support and advocacy.


August 23-24, 2022


1pm - 5pm CT​


Live Online

Interested in hearing when this workshop will occur next?

Interested in a private cohort for your team?

What to expect

What to Expect

The program will not focus primarily on training you on Futures methodologies but is more designed to highlight the facilitation aspects of working on these types of projects or workshops. We will provide a short overview of Futures Thinking but will not be training deeply on the methodologies. We focus more on the potential challenges for building the Futures Mindset, preparing for the journey of embarking on a vision and strategy exercise, and tips on how to prepare and execute selected methods practically and effectively (e.g. Working with trends, building scenarios, design Futures, and strategic roadmapping)

You’ll learn how to prime your clients early, navigate skepticism and conflicts, identify key needs and values, and how to immerse yourselves in future worlds so you can produce actionable visions.

*Participants must have some knowledge or experience of working on innovation, strategic, vision, or Futures Thinking projects.

What You'll Learn

You’ll gain a deeper understanding of the pitfalls and opportunities when starting and facilitating Futures work. Gain an understanding of where and when to apply certain methodologies. Learn about how to create more robust and diverse narratives. Learn about additional tips & tricks on how to modify key methodologies to fit the context, theme, client goals and personalities you might be working with. Be able to identify challenges early so that you can set up your process and teams for success.

How You'll Learn

This workshop will be a combination of mini-lecture, sharing stories, group conversations, and hands-on activities that stretch across the 2 days. We will discuss key principles and methods and apply our thinking into a simulated exercise. There will be allotted times for sharing work and discussing your strategies.


Priming your Audience

Getting your team, clients, and collaborators ready for innovation, strategy, and Futures work

Facilitating Methods

Tips and tricks for how to prepare and execute selected Strategic Foresight and Futures Design exercises

Futures Design

Creative brainstorming and narrative storytelling for designing future products and services


Developing a strategic roadmap toward future worlds/products

Who Should Attend

Futures Designers

Who are new or currently practicing Futures in their design practice

Design & Innovation Leaders

Who know and recognize the value of Futures Thinking and long-term strategic innovation and visioning and want to begin acquiring and developing more Futures engagements and workshops


Who know and recognize the value of Futures Thinking and want to learn more about its application and how it can lead to innovation

New Futurists

Who have just discovered the field and wondering about the best ways to implement and execute

Key Takeaways

Define what Futures Thinking is and where/how/why to apply it

Practically execute the Futures process in a variety of contexts and tools

Learn tips, tricks, ahas, and gotchas from the field

Assess the culture, environment, and application of the client so they can be successful in facilitation of the process

This event has ended

Interested in hearing when this workshop will occur next?

Phil Balagtas

Phil is a design leader based in San Francisco, CA and has been a practicing designer for over 20 years. He has experience working across a variety of devices and platforms within non-profit, retail, advertising, and enterprise software organizations. He most recently served as a Design Director at GE Aviation and McKinsey & Company working across industries to transform and enhance their digital businesses and strategies. He is also the founder of the Design Futures Initiative which organizes the international Speculative Futures meetups and their annual PRIMER conference. Today he is a part-time design teacher at Tecnológico de Monterey in Mexico City and leads his own consulting practice called HABITAT as principal and executive design director training organizations on Futures Thinking and leading teams on strategic initiatives.
What People Are Saying

"I realized my entire role is facilitation. I have to do a lot of lateral influencing. So I use these skills even if it is not a super-structured workshop. Our product team has micro meetings all the time, and these methods help us get the most of those moments. My team can lean on me to facilitate. You will redesign the way you have conversations. I can’t believe every college student doesn’t have to take a class like this. This is how you collaborate. It is the underpinning of the future of work."

Savannah C.


Apply for a Diversity Scholarship

A key part of our mission is to support diverse facilitators from different methodologies, backgrounds, races, genders, sexual orientations, cultures, and ages. If you are a part of, or serve, a traditionally underrepresented group and feel that this scholarship would allow you to amplify this mission, please apply now.

Photo Disclaimer

Please note that photographs, video & audio recordings will be taken throughout this event. These will be used by Voltage Control for marketing and publicity in our publications, on our website and in social media, or in any third-party publication. Please contact us via email if you have any concerns or if you wish to be exempted from this activity.​

The Books

Bring Your Ideas to Life

Innovation can seem complex or reserved for the exceptional. But we believe innovation is for everyone. We’ve set out to illuminate a path for you to generate bold ideas, visualize and share them, overcome obstacles, and turn them into reality. Our books are equal parts guidebook and stories from years of experience helping companies adopt an innovation mindset and culture. They’re practical & actionable, so you can get started now. We hope they’ll help you on your journey to realizing your biggest, boldest ideas.