1A – Playground


First stage creating the base to build upon is called Playground: in this we build on the idea of systemic theory called "pace layering" and the way the world works in it. The theory calls that change happens at different speeds at different layers: 1) what's most visible at the surface are the experiments that move fast to learn, but necessarily do not have any impact on the larger scale of things. In your future, what and who are the fast moving, visible experiments? What does latest advertising or a teen craze look like? This is your surface layer.

Next, ask who are emerging players in the scene? Companies, trends and ideas that are past being emergent but not quite established yet? This is the second layer. Below this are the new platform providers and unicorns. Highly successful players and ideas who are well established already. The bottom layer of your world is the new incumbents: who or what are the players, trend and ideas engrained in the market, infrastructure so deep that they can't quite keep up with the pace of change anymore?

Facilitation tip 1

Start with an inspiring and energetic story about what are the three or more futures like.

Facilitation tip 2

Set the stage right: invite your attendees into a journey to the year you are aiming for.

Facilitation tip 3

Pace layering can be explained through architecture: The furniture in a room can be easily shifted and rearranged but it has a very little effect on anything else. Sometimes stylistic arrangement inspires a repaint but that's it. The walls and room order can be changed but it is a larger project by itself already, requiring knowledge of internal structures and materials from a hardware store. The walls can be only shifted to a degree, until the structural integrity of the house itself changes. The house itself can be remodified and -modelled, but this most probably requires interaction with the city officials. Moving or demolishing the building itself is already a major feat, requiring time and money. The building itself lives connected into infrastructure deep underground. This infrastructure is governed by the city and so on.

Playground canvas

Required time and participants

15- minutes
4-6 persons / group

Related information:
Pace layering @ JODS
Gartner: Accelerating Innovation by Adopting a Pace-Layered Application Strategy

Previous method: 1 – Worldbuilding
Next method: 1B – System Actors


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Sami Niemelä

Sami Niemelä Creative Director +358 50 528 9265  

Juhani Haaparanta

Juhani Haaparanta Managing Director +358 50 487 1509