The past year and a half have been a powerful reminder for all organizations across the world that disruptions do occur and future-proofing your strategy is key in ensuring continued success. Juha Mattsson, the new CEO of Futures Platform, talks about new add-on services of Futures Platform to complement the offering, and the future of retail after it was upended by the pandemic.
Mattsson was first acquainted by Futures Platform, his initial thought was
that it’s a great product but relevant only for a very tight niche—people
working in foresight.
had to amend his view.
“It was a
moment of epiphany to me when I realized that actually, anyone running a
business larger than a roadside grill will need foresight.”
says, for small businesses it doesn’t need to be systematic—simply staying on
top of the changes in your industry and adjacent industries might be enough.
Most organizations, however, will need to systematically implement foresight
into their strategy work.
pandemic, few can argue it’s not necessary. At Futures Platform, this
increasing awareness and importance of foresight is showing as growth in
“We’re being contacted by not
just large organizations but also government agencies all across the world,
sometimes with a country-wide agenda,” Mattsson says.
“Although the pandemic’s impact
is waning, people understand more concretely now that the world is changing
faster and becoming more volatile, so if there ever was a time to engage in
foresight, it’s now.”
Since starting as the CEO,
Mattsson and his team have been working on developing add-on services that help
the customers to get the most out of Futures Platform.
“Initially, we focused first on
developing the SaaS platform, which absolutely made sense. Many organizations
will, however, also need help in implementing foresight insights into
decision-making and organizational development, and that’s what we’re looking
into in more depth now.”
Future of retail and quality of phenomena
2020, we interviewed Futures Platform for
an article about
the pandemic’s impact on society as a whole. Looking back at the article now,
the predictions are startlingly accurate: eCommerce will experience a boom, the
outlook for tourism and travel will remain insecure and the digitalization of
the healthcare sector will accelerate, among other things.
insight was available on a free radar called World After COVID-19. Now, Futures
Platform has released a new radar with updated insight, called Exit From the COVID-19 Pandemic. For anyone looking to understand
where we are at right now, including which recent changes will be permanent and
which ones will not, it’s well worth taking a look.
extensive background in retail, with the latest post before Futures Platform as
the CEO of Emmy, a web store and resale service for pre-owned brand apparel.
The retail industry was among the ones most profoundly affected by the
pandemic, which shows clearly on the radar as well.
the eCommerce boom, the pandemic brought us for example new payment methods and
a huge leap in both home delivery services and how products are displayed
online—for example, 3D viewing is becoming more and more popular.”
particularly interested in how the pandemic’s impact may shape the future of
shopping malls. During the lockdowns they have been largely empty. People got
accustomed to buy online, but will things to back to normal?
that we’ll see a development from stores to showrooms in which only a part of
the selection is physically available and the rest can be viewed in 3D.
Although nothing can replace human customer service for the key interactions,
new technology such as robotics and AI will be used to understand individual
customer needs better to instantly suggest store visitors what they might
As next day
delivery services continue to develop, this may mean that a shopper will no
longer leave the shop with a product but receive it to her home on the same
day. It would then make sense to convert a lot of the shopping mall space to
local warehouses that can quickly execute these last-mile deliveries.
is just one industry and one example—by looking at our domain-specific
foresight radars, you can view all relevant phenomena in context and see how
they impact each other.”
Science-based knowledge instead of a crystal ball
highlights that the proven accuracy and quality of Futures Platform’s content
is entirely thanks to the team of futurists who create it.
“I was very
impressed to learn the depth of insight that goes into creating these phenomena
and scenarios. For those unfamiliar with futurist methodology, it may seem like
anyone can take a crystal ball and play around with it—but what we have in the
platform is science-based, expert knowledge, which is something far beyond what
you can get by just reading articles on the internet.”
Takeoff Partners has been
involved in supporting the growth of Futures Platform since 2016, with Markko
Vaarnas currently serving as the Chairman of the Board. Similarly to Mattsson,
he also says we are living in interesting times now that organizations are
moving from short-term focus on cash flow and survival to long-term views on
how to thrive in the post-pandemic world.
“When companies start thinking
what’s next for them, adding foresight to the strategic agenda happens almost
naturally,” he says.
in-depth look at the Exit From the COVID-19 Pandemic, you can access the free
If you are interested in finding out how Futures
Platform can help your organization, please contact Saku Koskinen, firstname.lastname@example.org or start the 15-day free trial of the foresight solution here.