Futurescaper Cybersecurity becomes Elemendar, attends CyberUK 2017

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Futurescaper Cybersecurity becomes Elemendar, attends CyberUK 2017

Futurescaper's new cybersecurity start-up, which joined the new GCHQ Cyber Accelerator, is changing its name to ElemendarThe new name is intended to reflect a distinct identity for cybersecurity applications, as we prepare to graduate from the Accelerator.

Elemendar is also marking its entrance to the cybersecurity world by exhibiting at CyberUK 2017 in Liverpool as part of the Accelerator. We look forward to playing our part in this thriving UK ecosystem.

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Futurescaper selected for GCHQ Cyber accelerator

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Futurescaper selected for GCHQ Cyber accelerator

· Futurescaper's new start-up, focusing on online security issues and threats, is one of seven to join the new GCHQ Cyber Accelerator, powered by Wayra UK

· The accelerator will be part of a world-class Government-funded cyber innovation centre that will help keep the UK secure online

· Each start-up will receive benefits including access to technological and security expertise, networks, office space and mentoring

· Accelerator will help UK take the lead in producing the next generation of cyber security systems, boosting the country’s tech sector

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Futurescaper available on G-Cloud 8 for UK public sector

We are pleased to announce that Futurescaper has been awarded a place as a SaaS supplier in the UK government's G-Cloud 8 framework.

This makes it even easier for organisations across the UK's public sector to use Futurescaper's software and associated consulting services.

We look forward to welcoming new UK public sector users under this framework and helping them achieve the benefits that Defra saw from using Futurescaper.

"Futurescaper provides a powerful analytical tool to help us anticipate and interpret future uncertainties and identify wild cards and weak signals to enhance strategy, policy and delivery" - Konrad Bishop, Defra Head of Horizon Scanning

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Brexit and Futurescaper

The news about the UK referendum for Brexit are just settling, and as Futurescaper is a UK company, we wanted to communicate what this development might mean for our customers in the EU and elsewhere.

In summary, nothing is set to change just yet. Futurescaper is committed to our EU users and we will take all necessary steps to continue making good on that commitment in the future. If you have any concerns or questions, please let us know.

Despite much turbulence and uncertainty, no legal changes have happened. We are monitoring developments and, should there be any legal changes, we have plans in place to establish EU operations outside the UK within days.

Futurescaper is a global company and unlikely to be affected directly in that event:

  • we have users in over 20 countries around the world
  • over the past year, two thirds of our business came from outside the EU, and only 23% from the UK
  • I am an EU citizen myself, and not the only one in Futurescaper
  • our extended team is based in 5 countries, working remotely by default, and representing twice as many nationalities.

Whatever course the UK takes, our global outlook will not change - and that includes continuing to face towards Europe.

We have great plans for the coming years, and are counting on a sustained EU presence - for example, Futurescaper's upcoming public release is currently being tested with €, $ and £. This may well be a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous future; but we'll be on your side to help you navigate it.

Ad astra per aspera.

PS. If your stakeholders are wondering about the strategic implications of Brexit, let's talk - we'd love to bring our tools to such a relevant problem :)

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And then there were 4

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And then there were 4

Towards the end of last year, we celebrated Futurescaper's fourth birthday. As our name goes, however, we're cursed to look to the future rather than the past - so the most significant milestone to celebrate is our upcoming release for Futurescaper 4 to the public this year.

Since the very first version of Futurescaper back in 2011, we've been striving to make the tool more powerful and easier to use. From its origins as an academic project, our software became an internal consulting aid in version 2, and then gradually shared with trained clients as version 3. In this latest version 4, we've come far enough in usability that we're starting to let people use it with Futurescaper providing technical support only. It's early days, but the results from our consulting partners have been promising so far - and we're really excited to make this happen.

Over 2016, we will continue to invest in developing Futurescaper and making it more accessible to more people. We want to get this right, so we will start with a small but gradually expanding beta test group. This beta group will get to use the tool before anyone else and with a substantial discount, as a recognition of their helping Futurescaper develop.

If you want to join the existing Futurescaper users who will be offered this opportunity over the coming months, let us know. We'll be delighted to have you join us.

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Futurescaper to provide Horizon Scanning tools for SAMI Consulting and UK’s Defra through 2017

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Futurescaper to provide Horizon Scanning tools for SAMI Consulting and UK’s Defra through 2017

Defra has commissioned SAMI Consulting to undertake horizon scanning, using the Futurescaper platform, for a three year period starting in December 2014.

SAMI Consulting is delivering foresight and insight to help Defra and its Network partners identify potential threats, risks and opportunities – and to act on the findings – in order to achieve strategy, policy and operational goals; and support futures capacity within the Defra Network, helping develop the skills and knowledge required to use horizon scanning and futures techniques and to use the outputs to enhance strategy, policy and delivery.

Futurescaper is providing its enterprise collaboration and foresight platform to enhance the SAMI Consulting and Defra analytical teams’ scanning, analysis, and reporting workflows. The analytical teams are using Futurescaper to enter and store horizon scanning data; analyse, find linkages in, and make sense of scanning data; and facilitate outreach within the Defra Network through crowdsourcing, using Futurescaper Crowd surveys.

Konrad Bishop, Defra head of Horizon Scanning, said: “We are pleased to commission SAMI Consulting, working with Futurescaper, to carry out horizon scanning for Defra and its close partners. The Futurescaper platform stores our horizon scanning data and provides a powerful analytical tool to help us anticipate and interpret future uncertainties and identify wild cards and weak signals to enhance strategy, policy and delivery.”

John Reynolds, Director SAMI Consulting, said: “For this exciting and challenging project with the Defra Partnership, we chose to work with Futurescaper on the scanning database and analysis tools because of its excellent infographics, solid analytical structure, and not least their responsiveness and flexibility”.

Giorgos Georgopoulos, Futurescaper Managing Director, said: “We are excited to provide Futurescaper’s software to SAMI Consulting and Defra for such a long-term and wide-reaching project, which consolidates our offering for public sector foresight tools. In developing Futurescaper, we have been listening to what world-leading foresight experts really need, and are very pleased to see the SAMI Consulting and Defra teams benefiting from this effort”.

Defra is the UK government department responsible for policy and regulations on environmental, food and rural issues. Defra is a ministerial department, supported by 35 agencies and public bodies. For more information, please contact: defra.helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk

SAMI Consulting provides consultancy, research and training to help organisations plan strategy and policy with an eye on the future. For more information, please contact: info@samiconsulting.co.uk

Futurescaper creates online tools for strategic conversations, foresight analysis, and stakeholder engagement. Futurescaper’s cloud-based collective intelligence platform helps organisations crowdsource insights faster, cheaper, and more effectively. For more information, please contact: info@futurescaper.com

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Giving the people a voice

Earlier this month, the United Nations in Albania and in Lao PDR sought to engage citizens in shaping the UN's work in these countries. Using Futurescaper, they crowdsourced people's views on the current situation in each country, in order to to develop a better understanding of the present, and explore opportunities and challenges for the coming years. You can see more about these public exercises (in the local languages) in their Facebook posts below, while the UN Lao PDR exercise is also running in English (using Futurescaper's multilingual features). We're looking forward to seeing the results!

ເຖິງແຟນເພດຈ໌ ທຸກໆທ່ານ ຊ່ວຍສະຫຼະເວລາຂອງທ່ານ ຈັກ 5 ນາທີ ເພື່ອຊ່ວຍ ໃຫ້ຄຳຄິດເຫັນ ໃນແບບສຳຫຼວດ ຂອງອົງການສະຫະປະຊາຊາດ ປະຈຳລາວ: ກ...

Posted by ໂທລະໂຄ່ງ THOLAKHONG on Saturday, July 18, 2015

Si ju duket Shqiperia sot?E keni menduar ndonjehere se si mund te kontribuoni ne percaktimin e fushave prioritare te...

Posted by United Nations Albania on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

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Client spotlight: SAMI Consulting

Futurescaper client SAMI Consulting have been busy using our tools and publishing the results. If you are interested in horizon scanning, futures thinking, and scenario planning, be sure to take a look at their publications below.

Since the start of the year, SAMI have been using Futurescaper for a three-year Horizon Scanning project for Defra and its partners, titled “Strategic Evidence of Future Change”. They have already published the first two quarterly reports, which include extensive descriptions of SAMI's methodology for using Futurescaper. You can read the latest below:

SAMI Consulting also blog regularly on foresight, forecasting, and futures thinking. Most recently, Wendy Schultz (who is also a Futurescaper consulting partner) wrote about new tools for futures thinking, including the below review of Futurescaper:

Do you want to engage a large number of people online in crowdsourcing emerging change and its impacts? Futurescaper (futurescaper.com ) offers support both for survey-based crowdsourcing of emerging changes, and also of their impacts and interconnections. A Futurescaper survey asks online participants linked questions that the software then displays as influence maps and impact cascades. It can also be used as a scanning database, with similar graphic display capabilities.

SAMI Consulting have been some of our platform's most active users, putting it to novel uses and giving us plenty of ideas on where to develop Futurescaper's functionality for foresight applications. Keep an eye out to see what more they might do with Futurescaper in the years to come!

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For science!

Last week, I was invited to give a talk on Futurescaper's use as a collaboration tool for research teams by the kind folks at Overleaf, who have built a great system for collaborative writing and publishing. The theme was the future of scientific publishing; you can read more about the whole event here, and about Futurescaper specifically below.

Photo courtesy of @DrHammersley

Photo courtesy of @DrHammersley

Scientific collaboration needs collaborators to have a common understanding of the literature they’re working from. Futurescaper is a tool that connects people’s thinking on complex issues, and is being used to help coordinate teams of researchers working on long-term, multi-author projects. We’ll show an example of how a team of analysts used Futurescaper to make sense of 300+ citations, collected over 3 months by 24 environmental researchers, in just a day.

So, check out the below short video showing the visualisation analytics of Futurescaper itself in action, and a report and executive brief that build on the analysis done from Futurescaper by this particular team of analysts (which also cover the methodology in a bit more detail).

It was a full house, and a few people had plenty to say about the demo:

All in all a great evening, and if that inspired any thoughts let us know!

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On diversity

Shortly before our new website went live, we received the below - rather upset - email:

We felt that there was a point in responding - because diversity is an issue that matters to us, because that perception was factually incorrect (albeit justified from our old website!), and because our team also includes a gender specialist. We also feel that our response (slightly edited for clarity and privacy) is worth sharing here, as an expression of our values and sign of our commitment.

Thank you for your interest, and for taking the time to explain your concerns - we are always keen to hear how we can improve. 

Your are quite right to call out the lack of diversity in the Futurescaper team as presented in our current website. As a small company (...), our leadership team is unfortunately constrained to its current non-diverse form, until we can grow enough to expand beyond that. 

However, you might like to know that the largest part of our extended team, our consulting partners, are a much more diverse and gender-balanced group. Although currently missing from our website, fully half of them are not male. We have been making an effort to expand that team since late last year, and will be refreshing our website to give a more accurate picture of their diversity in the coming weeks. 

At Futurescaper, we take diversity seriously - despite the constraints of our size, we recognise that it's the only way we can effectively serve our diverse clients and live our values. So thank you again for reminding us how important this effort is. If you would like to continue this conversation, may I introduce you to Desiree (cc'd) - she is our lead consultant for international development, with experience of working with UN projects, and significant background in gender issues (as well as an AWID member). 

Finally, you may want to speak with (...) UNDP Sudan on using Futurescaper in areas with limited literacy and online access - we recently had a successful engagement in Sudan, which faced many of the same issues, and I'm sure we could apply the lessons from that (...)

As it turns out, that was the right thing to do:

As a closing note: there has been much written about diversity in tech recently, which is encouraging. While gender is often the focus of such discussions (as it was for this email exchange), it's also important to remember it is not the only dimension that matters. Age, sexuality, race, and physical ability matter as well - especially when they intersect with other dimensions. We are proud to be working on improving this however we can, and building a truly global team on the way there.

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