About This Project

Futures Framework – Government Office for Science

We are an approved suplier on the UK Government (GO-Science) Futures Framework which is open to all UK Government bodies and agencies.

Please contact Ben Lee at Shared Intelligence if you want to know more about our work under the GO Science Futures Framework or to discuss a specific project.

Shared Intelligence and our partner agency Kairos Future are able to provide a complete service that meets the needs of a wide range of requirements for futures and scenarios-based research and support.

Shared Intelligence (SI) are a highly respected public policy consultancy that has worked with many public sector clients at all levels of government. Their national clients include: MHCLG, Department of Education, Department of Health, Arts Council England, Public Health England, and the Local Government Association. They have extensive experience working with regional and local bodies including local economic partnerships, devolved regions, local authorities, and community-based organisations across the UK. They are skilled in futures methodologies as well as strategy and evaluation, improvement support, peer learning, and partnership-building. Their team have delivered high-profile horizon scanning assignments for national clients, including the MK2050 commission for Milton Keynes, the future of public libraries for Arts Council England, the future of local government for CLG, and several of the most recent local industrial strategies.

Kairos Future (Kairos) has more than 25 years of experience in helping their clients to develop strategy based on deep analysis of future trends and scenarios. They have offices in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö, and Shanghai. They are widely acknowledged as one of the foremost international experts on foresighting techniques, and have worked for such multinational companies as: Ericsson, Volvo, IKEA, AstraZeneca, IBM, Skanska, Kraft Foods, Tetra Pak, Nissan, and E-on, as well as a large number of other private and public sector clients, including many municipal, city, regional and state governments across Northern Europe and Latin America.

In summary, our team will be particularly suited to:

  • Horizon-scanning and scenarios development which contributes to internal staff capacity building and skills development for the client (in terms of foresight and scenarios methods).
  • Assignments requiring detailed knowledge of current public and social policy issues in particular – local public services, health and social care, work and skills, arts and culture, education and youth services, transport and mobility.
  • Issues at the intersection between global industrial trends, local labour markets, and (national and local) state intervention around education and skills.
  • Challenges where high-level analysis needs to be tested and validated against community and public attitudes research.
  • Challenges involving multiple stakeholders where action requires a common understandings or mental model, and where stakeholders are seeking to develop theories of change.

ICFS foresight training programme

SI and Kairos, in partnership with three other European firms, have developed the International Certified Future Strategist (ICFS) course with the backing of the EU’s Leonardo Lifelong Learning Programme. The ICFS course is a comprehensive foresighting methods and strategy training course aimed at senior managers and practitioners from the public and private sectors across Europe. As such, SI and Kairos are experts in developing capacity within organisations to embed horizon scanning in the normal operating processes of an institution.

Proprietary Tools

Kairos has developed their Dcipher and Co:tunity tools which allows them to be flexible in meeting the changing needs of our clients, helping them with their preparations and horizon scanning:

  • Co:tunity can be used to easily gather, share and develop trends and ideas, analyse for patterns and report in the same digital platform. It combines trend spotting and foresight with idea creation and innovation management, allowing for collaborative trendspotting and innovation.
  • Dcipher is a big data analytics tool to keep on-going surveillance and analysis of what is being talked about on the internet and open sources. The tool enables the identification of trends and patterns in a huge amount of data, autonomously. Dcipher is able to work with data in any language and finds the most relevant patterns and trends without pre-assumptions.

Our teams experience:

Shared Intelligence

Ben Lee is one of the three company directors and an experienced public-policy advisor, facilitator and researcher.  He has specialisms in organisational and peer learning, arts and culture, and place-based community-led action. He leads our work within the consortium (a partnership with Kairos Future) which in 2013 launched an EU-wide executive skills programme teaching practical methods for horizon-scanning, trends analysis, and scenarios.  His role includes teaching on the programme which has run four times and has 50 alumni. He also leads our work supporting organisations to build better evidence frameworks and better data into their decision-making and actions.

Ben Sulch is a consultant at Shared Intelligence. He has specific skills in analysis and forecasting. In this capacity he has supported the development of a number of evidence base documents, including for two Local Industrial Strategies, which have then been used in stakeholder discussions and engagement. His degree specialised in Further Econometrics, Data Analysis and Advanced Economic Analysis.

Kairos Future

Ulf Boman is senior advisor at Kairos Future with emphasis on leadership, organizational change and the future workplace; local and regional development; as well as energy and environment. He has broad international experience. He is also a frequent speaker on various future relevant topics. He also leads for Kairos on the work for the consortium.

His specialism lies with future oriented processes for regions (e.g. Region Halland, Region Värmland, Stockholm region, Åland (Finland)), with the purpose of enhancing the regional development plans with scenarios, visions and strategies, as well as describing the needs and values of citizens.

Ulf has also carried out research and reports on trends affecting future cities, for example: “From Urban Sprawl to Green density – on the future city”, also included in talks for conferences and TEDx.

He has worked on new development plans and new strategies for growth and prosperity. Examples from numerous Swedish cities, such as Halmstad, Skellefteå, Eskilstuna, Karlstad, Kungsbacka, etc. with guiding cities and local authorities.

Edvin Johannesson has specific skills focusing primarily on assisting the public sector, international organizations and civil society to understand and shape their futures.

Edvin has an intersectoral background from the Swedish Red Cross, several years from consumer sales in the retail sector and as a polling officer at the Australian Embassy in Stockholm. He will contribute insights relating to future-driven social development from a macro as well as a community perspective.

Case studies of futures work with public sector clients

Milton Keynes 2050 Commission

Shared Intelligence was commissioned to support the production of the Commission’s main report and summary. This was an iterative process reflecting a changing structure and emerging narrative around the importance of inclusive growth and how the six big projects provided an integrated pathway from the present day to a prosperous future.

Si’s core values around collaborative working were put into practice with the production of the Commission’s report, with iterative drafts developed collectively with colleagues in the Council and the Commissioners. These conversations evolved into a clear focus on inclusive growth that, in turn, led to six big interlinked transformational projects which taken together could secure a very prosperous future for the city and its citizens.

Si was also commissioned to produce seven of the Milton Keynes Commission’s working papers that helped inform the overarching strategy. We worked closely with officers of the Council, as well as the commissioners, to ensure that they reflected international, national and future trends. The working papers covered the economy, housing, infrastructure, transport, education, low carbon and the sub-region. They reflected the best available knowledge of future trends as well as setting out an analysis of options for the future development of the city.

Development of an economic growth partnership across adjacent city-regions using a futures-based approach.

Kairos were commissioned by the municipalities of Båstad, Falkenberg, Halmstad, Hylte, Laholm and Ljungby together with the University of Halmstad.

Financed partly by the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (Tillväxtverket), this long-term collaboration between Kairos and a group of regional agencies has been working towards a long-term vision for a regional growth engine. The vision has to be connected to plans for concrete action in the near future, set within guiding principles of flexibility, and a clear future-focus.

Kairos Future has been the lead facilitator for the project. Kairos have introduced foresight and futures expertise and methods, as well as directly conducting research and analysis. They have worked closely with the client-side project manager to ensure the buy-in to the process and the results. The new strategic framework developed through this work enables flexible action in the short and medium terms, which can quickly be adapted to changing conditions.

The work is now entering its third year, and remains evidence driven. With the strategic framework now in place Kairos now focus on producing annual thematic ‘deep dives’, e.g., on the influence of technology, digitalisation and automation on the regional economy.

Improvement and Support, Learning and Development, Visions Policies and Strategies

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