Strategic Foresight and Research Services

We don’t predict the future. We identify and chart a course for your future destination.

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Strategic foresight is the most valuable tool you can adopt to identify and chart a course for future growth and long-term prosperity. Our strategic foresight services employ this future-first approach.

The Future Laboratory’s Strategy department works directly with global brands and businesses to turn our LS:N Global foresight into a strategic decision-making tool that aligns clients’ current business objectives with these future scenarios. 

The aim: to equip clients with the cultural insights, strategic implications and solutions that enable them to navigate change, unlock opportunity and thrive in a world of continuous uncertainty.

Our partnerships harness human and data-driven strategic foresight intelligence and research methodologies to provide future-fit solutions for today’s business challenges.

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Strategic Foresight Sprints

Supercharge your strategy with a fast-track research project

When clients partner with us, they feel more comfortable about the future and have the confidence to act sooner – the mindset needed for change. That’s how we live up to our purpose: Making a better business future happen.

Our market-leading consumer intelligence contextualises the key industry and cultural shifts, category trends and insights set to affect the future, with the strategic implications and principles for how to apply this to your sector today. 


Book a Strategic Clinic

Learn to navigate future change

Our strategic foresight clinics enable our clients to pinpoint priority areas and co-create the approaches that will deliver resilience, unlock key growth opportunities and inform progress, in a world of continuous uncertainty.

Build your framework today – fill in the form to book your 30-minute clinic with our strategy directors and let us help define your future. We have very limited space available.

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Since 2001, The Future Laboratory has placed the future at the heart of strategic planning for FTSE 100, Fortune 500 businesses and progressive brands and disruptors, uncovering and harnessing the key shifts and trends that will affect consumer-facing business in the next 10 years.
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Strategic Reports

Stay ahead of the curve in an uncertain world

Our reports offer thought-leadership and disruptive thinking that build reputation and awareness. We provide brands and businesses with a futures point of view on the impact of the evolving consumer landscape alongside trends on relevant industries, sectors and topics. This enables brands to position themselves uniquely against their competition, while generating interest and demand for their products and services.


Tools of Tomorrow

To determine the key drivers of change affecting the future of our clients’ consumers and their businesses, we start by harnessing the combined human and data power of LS:N Global and our Foresight Research System.

Our strategic research and futures tools frame other key factors beyond the future landscape, enabling clients to prioritise a trend, identify a strategic opportunity and implement insights in ways that drive short-, medium- and long-term growth.

Our tools help harness future thinking, map future behaviour and study those innovations – or early adopter opportunities – that differentiate brand leaders from category followers.


Foresight Frameworks

Our Foresight Frameworks contextualise contemporary culture for businesses. They offer clients a rich point of view on the future, highlighting influences of change, opportunity and challenge.

Framed around a hierarchy of drivers, shifts, trends, signals and implications, they give clients a solid foundation to shape their foresight literacy and align internal focus.

All of our frameworks are designed and created in partnership – this way clients can use them to connect easily, practically and strategically across all departments, stakeholders and partners.

Discover our full Methodology here.

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Strategic Programmes

Our strategic programmes provide future-first strategic solutions for today’s brand or business challenges.

These six programmes are designed to uncover the most commercial and culturally relevant solutions, so our clients can build platforms for growth, identify key innovation opportunities, set a long-term vision and align on the right strategic approach to future decision-making to plan for the future now.



Our Futures Brand Strategy

Enables clients to define their brand parameters today, in order to frame the shifts that will affect them tomorrow, determining a future-fit value proposition, defining a brand strategy and creating a road map for success.

Creative Strategy and Design Toolkit

Enables clients to inspire and direct their design teams and partners, translating consumer macrotrends into practical toolkits relevant for developing new product, service and experience strategies.

Our Strategic Planning Tools

Enable clients to build the short- to mid-term implications of the trends for their businesses and identify growth opportunities by determining what will drive business disruption and competitive advantage in the future.

Creative Placemaking Services

Enable clients to build a community and a future-fit sense of place, translating foresight into a retail and placemaking masterplan that delivers cultural and commercial value in an increasingly complex landscape.

Innovation Consultancy

Enable clients to harness disruption proactively and strategically, capturing and converting opportunities into validated platforms for innovation, product development, creation and execution that are future-fit and culturally relevant.

Far Futures

Enable clients to be more provocative and speculative as they look more long-term. An amalgamation of strategic research tools helps identify scenarios that might become our clients’ future.

Foresight Programme

Our methodology prioritises the trends set to disrupt your category and understand the impact on your business to get ahead of the competition and prepare for tomorrow. 

Strategic Research and Future Toolkits

We are method-neutral. We use qualitative and quantitative strategic research and futures tools to provide insights that enlighten the business challenge. We focus on identifying and qualifying the knowledge gaps, adding rigour, validation and nuance to enable clients to rethink their business planning based on the consumer, category and context of tomorrow.

: Our Futures 1,000 Panel
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Over the past 15 years we have identified individuals who have, and are making, the future happen because of the way they think and what they do. Our global network of 1,000 academic experts, specialists and thought-leaders – spanning myriad fields and industries – gives our clients the opportunity to gain their primary, highly educated sector insights, gauge their richer perceptions and expectations of the future, and survey their opinions on the proposed future forces set to affect their business challenges.

: Our Consumer Foresight
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We engage with different profiles of consumer, recruited to specific sample briefs – from early adopters to influencers, innovators, b2b professionals and co-creators. A range of qualitative methodologies give clients access to emerging audiences worldwide, with a view to capturing a more visual, nuanced and emotional understanding of consumers in the context of their own lives. These elusive and valuable insights enable clients to anticipate and identify the emerging behaviour, motivations and values that will define tomorrow’s mass-market tastes.

: Our Cultural Navigators 
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These researchers are active in key cities, sectors and edge communities globally, and are able to provide cogent, first-hand insights into the culture within which they live. They test, validate and identify the impact and manifestation of the global drivers, macrotrends and microsignals at a community, market and regional level. Our Navigators enable us to capture nuances and eradicate bias in our research, and provide clients with enriched, relevant and culturally informed insights and opportunities.


Our MRS Accreditation and Shared Responsibility

As a Market Research Society Accredited Company Partner, we are part of a network of over 500 companies operating internationally, at every scale and in every sector. As a Company Partner, The Future Laboratory upholds and adheres to the highest research standards and the MRS Company Partner marque is a trusted sign of our credibility. We have also signed the MRS inclusion pledge, which seeks to uphold diversity, equity & inclusion within the research sector.

The Future Laboratory believes in shared responsibility when it comes to inclusion. This model places the duty for inclusion on all of us. When selecting or prioritising experts, navigators or consumers we ask that our clients too consider the intersection of identities to ensure that we are platforming under represented voices and diverse perspectives.
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Case Studies

Warner Media
The Future Challenge: Developing Future-Now opportunities for WarnerMedia

‘How do we understand cultural trends and their impact on our consumers to future-proof our offerings and experiences?’

OutcomeUsing our proprietary trends system, we developed a trends framework that uncovered opportunities at the intersections of technology and content for us to explore in ethnographic interviews with early adopter consumers. These validated territories created a springboard for a wide range of teams to explore the future now, and enabled the business to put the future consumer at the heart of WarnerMedias core offerings across multiple divisions.

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The Future Challenge: Exploring the future workplace with Nespresso

‘What does the future workplace look like, and how can we become a thought-leader in this space?’

Outcome: We were asked to create a thought-leadership report to help Nespresso understand the future workplace as it prepared to launch its Momento B2B coffee machine. We interviewed experts from our Futures 1,000 panel, and used our desk researchers, visual analysts and LS:N Global insight hubs to produce a sharp, incisive and media-friendly report that identifies and explores the next decade of workplace trends. We hosted an immersive media event to launch the public-facing report, with a short film, visual presentation and panel discussion with industry experts, helping to generate significant coverage in various media outlets.

Google Play
The Future Challenge: Helping Google Play Drive Inclusivity in Mobile Gaming

‘How can we make mobile gaming truly for everyone by celebrating and empowering women as players and creators?’

Outcome: We were selected as Google Play’s lead strategic research partner and tasked to create thought leadership to help it develop a deeper understanding of female game player needs. We carried out a mobile ethnography study across the UK, the US, Japan and Europe, followed by an in-depth in-home study with carefully selected consumers to explore changing attitudes, beliefs, practices and concerns. We then deployed an insight-driven quantitative study to glean data for the ‘change the game’ white paper, which was launched to industry, press and external audiences.

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The Future Challenge: 
Shaping the Future with Spotify

‘How do we understand global change and connect with early adopter consumers to harness culture, and drive brand and artist advocacy in a fluid, on-demand world?’

Outcome: In collaboration with Spotify and GfK we developed a global foresight framework to identify eight key macrotrends that shed light on the future of culture, and their impact on entertainment, music and technology. This work was global in nature, covering 12 key markets across the Western and Eastern hemispheres in order to empower local product, segmentation and communication strategies.

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The Future Challenge: Connecting People and Places with QIC|GRE

‘Which emerging cultural shifts in consumer behaviour do we need to prepare for in order to re-orientate and future-proof our developments?’

Outcome: In collaboration with QIC|GRE, our analysts developed a global foresight framework to identify 10 key macrotrends across retail, placemaking and lifestyle that shed light on the future of consumer behaviour. We interviewed early adopter consumers in Australia and examined trends across lifestyle sectors. This resulted in the creation of a range of digital tools to help teams across the QIC|GRE business use these future opportunities in real time.

The Future Challenge: Helping Future-proof a Leading Premium Vodka Brand

‘How can we future-proof the Absolut product by identifying the next relevant disruptive opportunity areas?’

Outcome: With younger audiences going teetotal and the world at large turning to more mindful drinking habits, Absolut needed to re-evaluate its product to keep up with new consumption behaviour. Using our proprietary trends system, we created a foundation of six innovation territories to explore new product opportunities for Absolut to explore and develop. Our in-depth approach centred on an opportunities matrix along with a pipeline hypothesis that would enable the innovations to thrive throughout the Absolut business.

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The Future Challenge: Reshaping the way we work, live and play over the next decade

 'How can Dell identify and adapt to future opportunities and challenges to continue to thrive to 2035 and beyond?'

Outcome: We created a Bespoke Foresight Report and scenarios to act as a springboard for Dell to consider its place, purpose and viable business offering in a Probable, Possible, Problematic and Promising future. The insights provoke strategic thinking, insight derivation and action mapping for the future that help Dell make the most informed, rounded and innovative strategic decisions today. The insights influence how Dell re-imagines its business and what plans to put in place today for their preferred future.

The Future Challenge: Forging meaningful relationships with consumers in the future

‘In a world transformed by technology, how can Bacardi harness innovation to maintain its leading position in 2030?’

Outcome: Through input from our Futures 1000 Panel, we researched and produced a Strategic Bespoke Foresight Report, videos and marketing collateral aimed internally at senior business leaders. Horizons 2030 paints an emotive yet tangible picture of the technologies that will be commonplace and routine in the lives of consumers in 2030, and their everyday impact on people. The foresights and insights are explored through four speculative day-in-the-life of a 2030 consumer scenarios in key markets such as Germany, India, China and the US, validated and debiased through our network of Cultural Navigators. 


Chris Sanderson (He/Him)

Chris is co-founder of The Future Laboratory where he is responsible for delivering the company’s extensive global roster of conferences, media events and LS:N Global Trend Briefings, which he co-presents with the team globally. Chris presented Channel 4 TV’s five-part series Home of the Future and is a SuperBoard member of The British Fashion Council’s Fashion Trust.

Martin Raymond (He/Him)

Martin is co-founder of The Future Laboratory and editor-in-chief of LS:N Global. Martin is a well-known trend guru, having written several best-selling books on trend forecasting, including The Trend Forecaster’s Handbook and The Tomorrow People. Martin contributes regularly as an expert on trends and business for the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV.

Rachele Simms
director of strategy and planning

Rachele plays a pivotal role in nurturing the Strategy team and developing the quality of our strategic thinking. With nearly 15 years of experience, she combines her creative background and strong commercial acumen to define and realise future strategies for brands such as Shiseido, lululemon, Jameson and The Chalhoub Group.

Louise French (She/Her)
strategy director

Louise is one of the lead strategists at The Future Laboratory. With over 12 years’ experience in brand and innovation strategy, she works closely with clients such as Dell, Sony, Selfridges and Gulfstream to identify inspiring and revolutionary opportunities for change, and to develop practical strategic frameworks that provide the blueprints for putting the future first.

Darian Nugent (She/Her)
senior strategic foresight writer

Darian creates tailored reports and thought-leading content across diverse industries. Unlocking future-facing strategies and new brand directions, Darian has written bespoke foresight reports for Jägermeister, Samsung and UBS. Before joining The Future Laboratory, she forecast fashion and youth lifestyle trends for Stylus.

Rachael Stott (She/Her)
senior futures analyst

Rachael is responsible for leading research to identify and visually communicate global cultural trends across the lifestyle sectors, inspiring our clients to prepare for the future. As our fashion and retail expert, she speaks regularly at our events, and has worked on projects for clients such as Adidas and the British Fashion Council.


Get in touch and a member of our team will contact you

Interested in knowing more?

Book a meeting with our team to find out how we can help you to future-proof your business.


Book Your Strategic Clinic

Struggling to stay ahead in an uncertain world? We can help. 

Get in touch to see how working together can future-proof your business challenges against changing consumer expectations.