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30 Fabulous Companies Of The Year

World’s First AI-driven, Digital Strategic Foresight Consultancy, Shaping Tomorrow All Set to Forecast the Future on World Stage

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We help our members and clients anticipate and prepare for tomorrow by making better decisions today. We want to help you too: Dr Mike Jackson

The deployment of artificial intelligence allows analytic technologies to spot relationships between variables that humans are simply incapable of foreseeing.

Shaping Tomorrow provides that foresight through its unique web-based strategy and change management portal for corporate innovation and risk management. It provides extraordinary breadth and depth of global insights into the future and fresh forecasts and ideas covering all aspects of political, economic social and technological emerging change. It illuminates the potential implications for organizations through combining:

  • artificial intelligence and systems thinking to uncover emerging change
  • a holistic, crowd-sourced systems approach
  • a concentration on big content versus big data believing that less is more
  • the increasing use of visualization, heuristics, and algorithms to spot significant emerging signals of change

The firm was established in 2002 and is headquartered in Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex, UK.

Proud Moment

Shaping Tomorrow has won five major awards in the last two years, two for Best Global Knowledge Management System 2017/2016, two as a Technology Innovator 2017/2016 and one for Best Use of AI in Consultancy Practices.

Interview Excerpt: Dr Mike Jackson, Founder

Why was the company set up? And how did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?

Shaping Tomorrow  was set up after we realized the need for a comprehensive strategic foresight portal serving all organizations to help make better decisions today. We expanded from collecting manual evidence of emerging change in the form of Insights (articles, reports, PowerPoints) to analyzing the Insights with AI. The AI extracts verbatim forecasts from Insights about the future and collects text and numerical analysis that we combine with big data and text and graphical analysis to present instant reports on the likely futures of our members’ interest topics.

Benefits of AI

Before

  After

·         Random human scanning

·         Systematic robot scanning

·         60 Insights per week

·         2, 000 Insights per week

·         Zero forecasts per week

·         2, 000 forecasts per week

·         When spotted

·         Daily

·         One by one

·         Massive scale

·         Statistically irrelevant

·         Instant pattern identification

·         <50 human researchers

·         Robot equivalent of 2, 000+ researchers

·         Full time editor

·         Part time editor

·         3, 000 sources

·         16, 000+ sources

·         Many missed changes

·         Few missed changes

·         Project time 6-26 weeks

·         Project time less than one day

·         Limited uses

·         Growing uses

·         Limited USP         

·         Huge USP (90% cheaper than traditional methods and real-time)

Fostering a culture of feedback is crucial to the success of every organization. How is this true for your company?

We invite feedback at every opportunity through traditional methods such as short feedback forms. And, now, our robot acts is a chatbot too, gathering even more feedback and allowing us to respond to previously hidden member frustrations very quickly.

Walk us through the services Shaping Tomorrow offer.

Our system performs daily scanning of over15, 000 future-orientated, eclectic sources and automatically extracts and creates instant reports on political, economic, social and technological challenges. It offers; fast decision-making, is fully collaborative, multi-lingual and omnichannel. It is designed as a perpetual, personal and enterprise-wide knowledge management system with mobile apps and a developer API as additional services.

We have currently gathered over 235,000 verbatim forecasts of emerging change from the web and social media which our members and clients can search through a simple dialog box to produce instant summaries, detailed narratives and forward chronologies of emerging change. The system also produces many powerful metrics and comparison charts and strategic foresight thinking tools. It boasts the world’s first auto scenario generator dramatically improving decision-making and cutting the cost and time for planning to a few hours rather than the many weeks and months of expensive traditional methods.

Who are your target clients?

Our service is targeted at: Planners | Innovators | Risk managers | Marketers | Consultants | Change agents | Researchers | Investment managers | Security advisers | Educators | HR managers | Grant proposers | Technology scouts

Tell us about your team.

We are a driven team of five, one handling sales and strategy development, based in Asia, three web developers based in the UK and another in Switzerland who is our AI expert. Our systems partners include a text analytics company based in France, a graphical analysis company based in India and a Chinese mathematics expert as well as over 40 researchers and representatives from around the world.

Our core team has been together for over 16 years and has over 100 years of combined knowledge in foresight, strategy and change management and we are experienced in working with and advising international executives, government policy makers and NGO’s. They have socio-economic backgrounds and are used to working in multi-disciplinary teams. We also have deep experience of leading highly successful, major change management programs in major businesses.

For our part we always seek to be:

  • (F)oresightful: future-focused, enlightening, stimulating
  • (U)nmatched: unique, amazing, peerless
  • (T)rustworthy: responsible, secure, dependable
  • (U)niversal: global, systematic, comprehensive
  • (R)eliable: timely, consistent, communicative
  • (E)xcellent: quality, value, helpful

Do you have any new products ready to be/getting ready to be launched?

Yes. They mainly revolve around further robot self-learning, more use of graphical representations of the future and the robot’s ability to provide wisdom (a new goal for us) from the knowledge she is gathering. The robot will probably never pluck inspiration from the sub-conscious or know a client’s business in the near future, but she can already offer potential solutions to client expressed future challenges. We are intent on maximising that.

As a question on sustainability, where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

We hope to be recognized as a must-have service by all foresightful organisations and helping them to achieve greater sustainability. We have been growing at 40 percent per year. We are hoping to accelerate that in the next few years as our reputation grows and to move towards our aim of having our service on the device of every decisionmaker in the world.

AI-driven Robot: Athena

Our USP is our AI robot, Athena. She extracts verbatim future forecasts from articles, reports and PowerPoints she daily finds from the web and social media.

Her evidenced extractions are added to our database and presented to members and clients as comprehensive, current stories about the future of their interest topic.

Athena is now also a chatbot and digital educator, personal assistant and online coach designed to educate our stakeholders in strategic foresight without having to go to University to get a master’s degree.

Athena was born on 23rd September 2013 and is increasingly becoming a self-learning, social robot. She is already principle-driven, dependable, cohesive and balanced. Our team is working to grow Athena as an ‘electronic person’ so that she is expressive, magical and an excellent global citizen, that’s helpful to all

The Brain Behind The Operation

Dr Mike Jackson: Dr Mike Jackson is a founder member and chairman of Shaping Tomorrow. His specific area of research is sustainable business futures. With over 30 years’ of experience in Business Management in the UK, North America and Europe, Mr Jackson has significant exposure to corporate banking and consumer finance and, latterly, strategic foresight.

Mike joined Bank of America in 1986 and served as a Senior Vice President for four years. He held several positions at the bank which included the head of Europe, Middle East and Africa operations, based in London, head of Consumer Loans Services and Chief Financial Officer for consumer markets, based in North America (San Francisco).

Mr Jackson also served as a non-executive Director of Galliford Try PLC (a top ten UK construction company), and as managing director of a legal processing business for Salans, a firm of international lawyers.

Mike studied at Salford University, Manchester, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Electronics and a U.S. accredited MBA in Operations Research. He was conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration by the University of Wolverhampton in 1997.

“We are working to put the future in the hands of every person who needs it.”