Futures Playbook - Aurecon

Navigate Uncertainty. Anticipate. Act.

So what? Now what?

so-what-now-whatThe So what? Now what? play helps connect the insights gained from other plays to create an actionable plan towards your preferred future.

This play helps you to identify which insights about the future are the most important, compare it to the current state and understand what it means for how you operate now.

By including the action step of asking “Now what?”, it prompts your group to think about what they might need to do about the difference between the present and the future.

The So what? Now what? play is best used in combination with other plays. Its purpose is to help connect the insights generated from running any of the Future Plays with action in the present.

You can use it as a companion to, and at the conclusion of, any of the Futures Plays. It is best undertaken as a subsequent activity.

Strategy

Why run this play?

This is a Strategy + Action play that helps to identify the choices and actions you need to take to respond to your future.

This play can help you:

  • Identify what you might need to do next
  • Rapidly prototype a strategy
  • Summarise and debrief the findings from a workshop

How do I run this play?

Play Overview

6–8 15–30 minutes Easy

The activity can be broken down by focusing on three questions:

So what?

As a group, identify and share the key insights and takeaways from the other plays you have completed. These insights can be your most impactful, the most surprising, the most exciting or the most controversial. Discuss your findings and, as a group, select your top four.

Now what?

For each of the top four insights, as a group, ask yourselves ‘what does this mean for us now?’

Using the So what? Now what? canvas and Post-It notes, identify and record how the insights about the future contrast with what today looks like.

Additionally, ask yourselves ‘how big is the difference between this future state and today?’ and place these ideas on the canvas.

Then what?

Based on the difference between your insights on the future and what your current landscape looks like, identify the steps you might need to bridge the gap.

For example, some key steps might be to:

  • Set up a monitoring process to identify if the high uncertainty aspects change over time
  • Set up processes to unpack and test any assumptions you identified through this process
  • Identify where a strategy needs to be developed

The Play: in action

The ability to respond to change is a two-step process, which begins with identifying what needs to be changed, how and to what extent, followed by taking immediate action to generate the required changes in the present.

At Aurecon, we use this play at the end of a workshop to summarise and identify what teams need to start doing differently, or what new information they might need.

This has helped the teams bridge the gap between discussions at a strategic level and what they need to start doing in their day-to-day work.

Ready to find your future?

While this page gives you everything you need to run the Play yourself, you might prefer to work with the people who know the frameworks and theories best. Aurecon can help guide you through your Futures Playbook experience and help you navigate your digital future.

Noriko Wynn

Noriko Wynn

Futures Research & Strategic Foresight Lead
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