Ten years in ten chapters
The big B.A.M
"The capacity to imagine many different hopeful futures is essential for good policy support."
The initial driving force? Rumour has it that the Directive 96/71/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council played a crucial role. In fact, it all began with a big B.A.M.: Boldness – Ambition – Motivation. Boldness; to start a company, originally a one-man company. Ambition; to contribute to policy making and changes. Motivation; to keep both the zeal and the fun for work elevated.
Our own foresight? Rather unpredictable. Will our work be automated? Will we be working with robots as our new colleagues? Or be part of virtual working teams? No matter what the future, one thing is definite. Spatial Foresight will continue working to strengthen the European idea. We will continue contributing to better policy making. We will carry on generating knowledge. And fostering territorial development at all levels. Because for Spatial Foresight, ‘territory matters’ and so does our work.
Ready, steady... and action! Spatial Foresight lifetime begins!
"A motivated team is the key to conquer the world… or go beyond."
Spatial Foresight started in 2007 as a one-man company in Heisdorf, Luxembourg. Two years later, it started expanding. Since then, the team has steadily grown. In autumn 2009, the office in Paris, France was ready. Only half a year later, the office in Berlin, Germany was a fact. The latter became a subsidiary, Spatial Foresight Germany, in 2012. In the meantime, 2011 was the year the new headquarter offices opened and ever since we’ve continuously been attracting new staff members. Plus, as of 2015 a new node was established in Valencia, Spain.
How far can that go? The key to illustrate how the team will develop over the next decades lies in evidence-based prognosis. By extrapolation, we could expect a team of between 28 and 1,000 in 2037. The result depends on whether you believe in linear or exponential development. But maths calculations can wait for later.
Project with longest foresight horizon, beyond the next millenium, on track
A project a day keeps tedium away
"Big dreams + hard work + continuous evolution can make the greatest things happen."
In 2014 we were active with macro-regional strategies (yes, all of them), EGTCs, performance framework and our first project in China! ESIF Financial Instruments awareness raising shaped 2015. Since 2016 we’ve worked, among others, on gold-plating, territorial futures, transport policy, the bioeconomy and programme evaluations and … and what’s next?
It’s 2038 and the whole of Europe talks about the EU2040+ Strategy – honestly it matches well with our foresight study on ‘European futures post 2030’. But the Spatial Foresight team just came back to the EU from a development aid project on Mars. We’ve also been busy recently, preparing to support the United Kingdom Council Presidency, its first Council Presidency after its re-admission to the EU. The ‘territorial dimension of European citizenship strategy’ will definitely be a talk-of-the-Union.
The Spatial Foresight team is growing!
We’ll always have our publications
"Designing Europe’s next cohesion policy sometimes takes more than a tweet."
Lately, Spatial Foresight launched a series of illustrations, including infographics and maps. Well, a picture is worth a thousand words, right? And who knows what kind of publication the Imagine Europe initiative, launched in 2016, will end up being!
2040 and the 357th e-report for that week is finally a ‘final’. Indeed, ‘e-‘ stands for both ‘electronic’ and ‘eco’. Yes, of course, it will come together with the report capsule. Who prints or saves in clouds nowadays? The capsule helps to digest all the information automatically without much effort. We only use clouds to save our work for future generations. By the way, we dug up that Spatial Foresight time capsule and found that printed report we had saved. That paper smell! We framed it in the office. It looks so vintage, after all.
First non-EU projects: Norway and
Greenland are calling!
In partners we trust
"The whole is so much bigger than the sum of its parts. The secret lies in trustful cooperation."
Not to forget Rome, Barcelona, Dönsby and Hakadal, Geneva, Brussels, Riga, Tallin, Glasgow and of course Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Zhuhai and Datong in China! And many other places. Definitely some of you reading these lines recognise yourselves. So much contributed to all these projects, but most of all an excellent team and exceptional cooperation partners. We simply thank you for this great joint journey. But what road do we take next?
2042 and the 2nd virtual reality meeting of our 750th project is about to start. Experts from 63 territories will soon be available. There is no need to meet physically anymore. Nowadays no one remembers how meetings were before holograms. No more long travel times, and we can easily meet with several experts at the same time, more often. Luckily we still enjoy working together. We will meet with the experts from Mars tomorrow. Well, different universe time zones are still an issue.
New offices for Spatial Foresight are ready
The project makers
"One central secret to success – listen, that way you can understand and answer different clients’ needs."
Clients connecting Greenland to Cyprus, Sweden to Malta and Luxembourg to China! With studies focusing on different territorial development topics.
Our secret? High quality, without question. Both for end-products and people. This creates a high level of trust and confidence. And lust for work. And motivation. And passion. And ambition. And… We are so grateful to have worked with all of you! New ventures are yet to come! Right?
Well done, this is our third project on Saturn for 2044. The team seems excited. It’s about new innovation strategies, their opportunities and challenges. It includes 53 case studies in 4-months, covering European, Chinese, African and Latin American regions, plus focus groups and two universal conferences. We expressed our doubts about time planning here, but Saturnians seem to be tough negotiators. The customer is always right, they used to say. May the force be with us!
Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome Spatial Foresight Germany!
Spatial Foresight on the road again
Moderation is also part of that story, such as ESPON seminars, like the one in Jürmala in 2015, or sessions at the ‘European Week of Regions and Cities’ also known as ‘Open Days’. And of course the 2015-2016 event tour on ESIF financial instrument awareness raising for the EIB. The organisation and in most cases moderation of more than 30 events in more that 20 EU member states in one year was a challenge. A challenge that we mastered.
2050 and finally we can use our brand-new 3D presentation tool. Sure, everyone knows how to use it nowadays. You just link the data and it automatically creates 3D live pictures, shows interactive diagrams, enables voting apps and directly links to different sources, opening live in new spaces. Participants seem thrilled. True, we still have to travel when presenting. Oh, yes, we still enjoy that! Especially now, with the new space van, we can travel the world in no time and its absolutely eco-friendly. You think things have changed? Well, we still keep high quality; of the content and the presenters. And that matters.
Spatial Foresight and t33 join forces at annual summer meeting!
“It’s not the journey that counts it’s meeting friends, colleagues and clients at the destination to share experience and that makes Europe greater than ever before.”
Rare – all colleagues in one place
"Collaborating over distance with colleagues is a day-to-day (virtual) reality for us. The physical team meetings are our biannual highlight!”
Favourite topic? Obviously the future. A standard topic of a foresight company is its future development. Or the future of different European policies, or of territorial cooperation, or even the future of Europe itself has been discussed at our oval table. Hard to squeeze all that into two days. But when there’s a will, there’s a way! Among the highlights? The team bonding activities. Be it communication games, joint dinners or pastry courses on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées – oh yes, been there, munched that! Next stop?
2051, 07:55 and our Virtual Reality (VR) team meeting is about to start in five minutes. The company’s avatar is set and we all have our VR glasses in place. It’s our second VR meeting, hence some minor connection problems. What’s the background setting this time? Somewhere in Micronesia, in the middle of the ocean. Correct, this meeting’s focus is the future of climate change and how to transfer good EU practices – if any. Environmental issues seem never to be a challenge of the present!
Congratulations, your turnover reached EUR 1,000,000!
One day in a consultants’ life
"Our common vision and the contribution to the European idea is what keeps us motivated every day at work."
It’s 19:45 and ‘you’ve got mail’. Should be read on Monday; it’s Friday after all and time to go home. It is a high priority one. Ok, just a quick check and then off. Great, the report is now published and we are invited for a presentation. That’s an accomplishment for the end of the week! The presentation needs to be ready by Monday cob. Seems like another long weekend coming up. Fun!
Best news in 2025, so far we gathered around 2 373 signatures. Yet we still need progress. That petition we launched to increase the number of day hours is not really going to work. It seems we’ll have to deal with 24 hours a day. Too much (great) work, too little time.
Spatial Foresight on tour with some 50 events in 19 countries!
For more glances of the future, check the next page
And the counter shows 100 projects!
Scenario 2 – Maritime Foresight. After revocation of COP 21 and an extreme increase in fossil fuel consumption as of 2018, sea levels rose and large parts of the world were swallowed by the oceans. In 2048, major European cities like London, Stockholm and Lisbon are at the bottom of the sea. Due to technological progress and human adaptability, these submarine cities have, however, been renewed and still exist. A considerable share of the European population lives here. They even have submarine ministries, for whom we work nowadays on maritime development. Traveling in submarines to reach these cities is so much more eco-friendly than flying was back in 2017.
“Scenario Processes Allow To Incite, Analyse & Learn From Others. Reflecting & Exchanging Spontaneous Insights Generates
"Consultancy in a troubled world requires stable values and a firm commitment to personal fulfillment through our work."
Spatial Foresight France, welcome to the world!
Scenario 5 – Social Media Starlets (#smombies). 2050: The #Internet is where we live. #socialmedia is what we do. #daybyday It’s the #future. Our wonderful future. And present. We are doing a #greatjob. Our reports are the best reports in the #World. It’s true. Absolutely fantastic. They don’t even need more than 140 characters. Longer reports are #fakereports. A total disaster. Based on facts. We have #alternativefacts. From this day forward, it is going to be only #SpatialForesightFirst. We will Make Europe Great Again! #MEGA #consumeresponsibly