The Foresight & Innovation team at Arup, the fascinating engineering, planning, and designing collective out of Europe best known for the Sydney Opera House, has developed a 50 card deck of cards that highlights leading trends that will drive the future.

According to Mark Vanderbeeken at the Putting People First blog, "The drivers are arranged and presented within societal, technical, economic, environmental and political domains, with each two-sided card depicting one driver. As well as vibrant visual record of research, these cards can be used as a tool for discussion groups, as personal prompts for workshop events or as a 'thought for the week'."

I like cards as an educational tool. I was first introduced to them by Rem Koolhass who presented at Davos about four years ago. No power point. Just a deck of cards for each of the 30 people present. It was very powerful.

The IDEO Method Cards, of course, are a great example of the power of cards to teach. Each card has a photo on one side that is provocative and a short discussion of a key issue on the back. For each, I am looking at one card now--Be Your Customer. It says How: Ask the client to describe or enact their typical customer's experience. Then Why : This is a helpful way to reveal client's perceptions, etc.

I haven't been able to see the Arup cards but I expect they are very powerful tools as well.

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