Release notes (last updated July 9, 2020)

As part of our continuous effort to better serve our clients and improve our product and services we upgrade Futures Platform on a regular basis. Details on the upcoming and previous releases are published into this site as they come available.

July 2020

The latest feature update brings PowerPoint summary generation to Futures Platform.

 

Export your foresight radar and collaboration results to PowerPoint

Users with access to editing tools can now export their foresight radar and collaboration results from the system. By building a presentation users can continue working with their contents in PowerPoint and thus utilize Office tools to edit and fine-tune their presentation and share their work as an Office document.

The PowerPoint export includes all sectors and content on the foresight radar, as well as collaboration results (voting results, ratings overview, rating results and comments).

 

June 2020

It's now easier than ever to create highly professional foresight radars for your organization.
This release  enables the easiest and fastest way to create professional future radars on any topic in just few minutes. There is also a completely renewed way to add more customized content with small effort to future radars in order to create reports that fit any organization’s specific needs.

 

Pre-filled future radars

Screenshot 2020-06-17 at 16.22.10

The new feature allows you to choose the best matching pre-populated radar to start working with. Just type in keywords and you will immediately get a menu of three alternative radars to choose from. Select one and you can then further refine it to fit your context precisely.

Screenshot 2020-06-17 at 16.24.50
All pre-filled radars are carefully designed and populated by our futurists with the most relevant future trends matching each topic. Play around freely to find the best matching radars for your work.

Add more content to your radar

To make your work even easier, the way you can add more content to your radar has been completely changed. Just open the "Add content" widget and you can easily search for relevant content, and drag items to your radar.

Screenshot 2020-06-17 at 16.27.15

Improvements in the backend

As a continuous effort to optimize the Futures Platform™ system core, we release technical enhancements and product security upgrades as part of every new release.

 

April 2020

You can now use filters and tags  to explore trends and phenomena in the database  and refine what you display on your future radars. We are also extremely proud to announce, that as a unique feature in Futures Platform, you are now able to see the average estimations of experts and organizations across regions and industries about when  (at what point in time) your selected trends and phenomena will be emerging into the mainstream.

 

Content Explorer

’Phenomena’ tab in the top menu is renamed to ‘Content’ which reflects better to the diversity of various content that you are working on. Accordinlgy, the enhanced ’Content Explorer’ is replacing the earlier ’Phenomena’ view.

This is the place to go when you want to explore our database of more than 700 futurist authored descriptions of future phenomena. If your team is active with creating your own descriptions, you can use the same Content Explorer to search in your group’s own content collection.

Improvements in the new Content Explorer view include... 

Search improvements:
  • Filters by Type / Time / Tag added to the filters menu. Type refers to basic phenomena types like Strengthening, Weakening, Wild Card, and Weak Signal
  • Enhanced search field: Typing in the improved search box is easier, and to improve your search results, the system automatically uses other ontologically similar search terms in addition to the keywords you type.
Content Explorer - Search filters

...and an enhanced view of the results:

  • Time-stamps are shown in the result list (both author's estimation and crowdsourced median)
  • Tags are shown in the result list
  • Legend explaining the colors used
  • Possibility to add Tags to content

Content Editor

Simplified and clarified content editor view for those of you, who work on writing phenomena descriptions.

Improvements for setting the required time range:

  • Quick button enabling easy setting of range (e.g. click short-term, mid-term)
  • Start year - end yearvisible, drag and drop for setting the exact range

content editor time range

Rich text content editing for Summary field enabled.

Rich text content editing for Summary field

Time Stamps:

Timestamps set by the author and the crowdsourced median are shown 

  • in phenomenon edit view
  • in phenomena cards when viewed
  • in add new phenomena to radar view
  • in content explorer list view
time stamp phenomena

The crowdsourced median is counted from all locations of phenomena on all radars using year format (excluding text format radars).

All ”FP phenomena” will have FP author's estimation but Your phenomena don't have it included automatically. Editors can add and edit timestamps to their phenomena later, if needed. All phenomena that are located on any radar, have the crowdsourced timestamps visible.

 

Content Tags

"FP tags" and "Group tags" enabled. This means that all phenomena in the system can be tagged in various ways to make it easier to bring up certain phenomena that have been assigned a relevant tag.

By default, there are 30 FP theme tags available and permanently attached to all FP phenomena. The 30 themes are listed here. You can use the 30 FP tags to tag your own phenomena too.  

You also have the option to request special tags for your group to be added by the Futures Platform service team for you (additional service fee may be applied). For instance, you might want to use tags like “opportunity” and “risk” to categorize items that you display on your radars. We are happy to make such tags available for your group.

All tags can be added to all phenomena through the Content explorer.

 

Legend filters added to radar view


It’s now possibile to filter the radar view by phenomena Type and Tag. radar filter

 

Significant backend improvements

Several technical enhancements and optimization work has been made on the background and into the system core. Also the security of the services is constantly updated.

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February 2020

With the customizable trend radar users are able to construct their own 360-degree view of what the future holds for their organization. Now this essential tool for all future planning has become even more customizable for users with Editor or Coordinator access rights.

 

Modifying the number of time ranges in the radar

Instead of three time ranges (such as short, medium and long term future) feel free to add a 4th and 5th range, or reduce to just one or two ranges.

It is also possible to change year labels to text labels.  

 

Using text labels as the borders between time ranges

Instead of current options 2020 / 2023 / 2029 you can simply describe time ranges with text, for instance NEAR FUTURE, MEDIUM TERM FUTURE, DISTANT FUTURE, as you prefer.

 

Switching the core idea in chosen radar(s) 

Instead of distance from radar centre being the time dimension you can use the radar for something else. For example, you could label the time range closest to the radar centre as “critical disruptions” and the next range “trends with moderate impact”. Or you could implement three ranges in your radar and call them ACT /  PREPARE / EXPLORE.

You can easily use the upgraded editor to adjust this key dimension in the radar.

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September 2019

 

The HUB

A wealth of material, including release notes and instruction videos, is made available online to provide quick assistance with any questions about how to use Futures Platform.

 

Inviting teams to work together on Futures Platform

In User Management (visible for Coordinator users), there are now two easy ways for Coordinators to invite people to work together with Futures Platform’s foresight radars. In both ways of inviting users, it is now possible to include a customized message to the recipients. For instance, to tell them why they are invited to join the collaborative work on a foresight radar and provide instructions on what they can do once they access the radar.

 

Invite User or Editor:

  • This is the best way to invite people to work with you on future-oriented planning in a continuous fashion.
  • The colleagues you invite in this way will have a full personal user account. It means they can move around in Futures Platform across different radars they have access to.
  • They can also explore the Phenomena database. They will be able to search and discover trends related to any topic they decide to use as a search term.
  • They can also adjust their Personal Alert Settings to choose which topics they prefer to be informed of in the monthly Disruptor Alert by e-mail.

Invite Visitor:

  • This way is the best approach for temporarily engaging a group of people to work together on a selected foresight radar. An expiry date can be set after which the access to the visitors will no longer be available.
  • The invited people will only receive a personal URL. They can click the link directly to access the radar you want them to view, no password needed. You can ask them to vote to prioritise trends on the radar, do the rating of trends on two dimensions (e.g. urgency and impact) and participate in discussions on the radar.
  • The visitor users only have access to the selected radar, i.e. they cannot go to any other radars on your organisation’s Futures Platform. They also do not have access to personal alert settings and cannot go to the Phenomena database to explore future trends beyond the one radar you invited them to work on.

Another convenient feature in User Management is that it’s now possible to invite multiple users at one (separated by commas) or import a longer list of users from a CSV file (e.g. convert an Excel file with users into a CSV file and upload it).

 

Radar updates in real-time

For radar Editors, it is useful to know that as a result of enhanced technology, all changes on the radar now show up in real-time (no need to refresh your browser screen to see changes made to the radar by other editors). You will see in real-time if other team members add new phenomena to the radar, remove something, or drag and drop to move phenomena around.

 

Fast creation of a new future radar on any topic

For Coordinators, it’s useful to know that creating a new radar is now very fast. Just choose a name for your new radar, select basic settings, click next and it only takes a few seconds to generate the radar.

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June 2019

 

Futures Platform Lounge is open

We have launched a new front page, Lounge, as the starting point for your journeys into the future (see screen image below). It summarizes the latest signals, offers instructional videos and tips from us, displays your group’s radars, and notifies you about the latest content updates in the phenomena database.

 

The latest signals about disruptive change

The latest headlines from the monthly Disruptor Alert newsletter will now also be displayed in the top section of the Futures Platform Lounge. If you have personally chosen the topics you are interested in (by setting your alert settings in the personal account profile) you will see the disruptor headlines connected to your topics of interest.

 

Keeping you informed of what’s new

A wish from users of Futures Platform has been to be informed of what new phenomena have been added to our collection. You can now see the New Phenomena notification list always updated in the Lounge.

We feel confident that the new look of Futures Platform and the increasingly dynamic display of the latest information about future developments will be inspiring for you and your team and will help you with monitoring of change.