Futureconsult has more than 20 years of experience working as a strategic foresight consultancy for governments and profit and non-profit organisations.
We have advised on over forty municipal vision projects and, in particular, support organisations that are confronted with the social and organisational implications of rapid developments. Below is a selection of the projects we completed in recent years.
Economic vision for the new Municipality of Purmerend
From the beginning of 2022, the Municipalities of Beemster and Purmerend will form the new Municipality of Purmerend. They consequently wanted to shape their economic ambitions for the future jointly. Beemster is a truly rural municipality, and Purmerend is a medium-sized town. How do they complement each other, and what will be their new position in the region? Futureconsult helped the municipalities to prepare for the economy of tomorrow. We drew up a joint and ambitious economic vision based on discussions with the think tank, which comprised local entrepreneurs, residents, civil servants, and councillors. The vision was based on three transitions or ‘switches’: the digital switch, the circular switch, and the switch in scale. These would be the key points of the new municipality’s economic policy.
Permanent alert: Rijkswaterstaat
Futureconsult wrote the publication Permanent Alert together with Rijkswaterstaat (Dutch Department of Public Works and Water Management). The ‘strategic explorations’ team of Rijkswaterstaat has been working with the Early Warning method for some time. This publication sets out a methodical framework for the operation of an Early Warning System. How do you identify early warnings? How do you determine the relevance of new developments for your organisation? And what do you do with that knowledge? In short, how do you ensure that your organisation is permanently alert? You can read the entire publication here.
The impact of corona in the Municipality of Amersfoort
The corona crisis has seriously impacted the Netherlands and its municipalities. The Municipality of Amersfoort wondered what that meant for their municipality and its residents. How should we deal with the effects of the crisis in the medium term? There was a lot of uncertainly about the future impact on the community. Futureconsult has developed scenarios, together with the Municipality of Amersfoort, to understand these uncertainties and identify the most important policy options.
Innovation in ambulance services
Healthcare and the working environment in healthcare are changing rapidly. Innovation is therefore urgent and will continue to be necessary. Futureconsult can help you to organise innovation opportunities and prospects properly. Axira is a joint venture between regional ambulance organisations, which aims to realise innovation in their ambulance services jointly. Futureconsult has set up an innovation platform with Axira to develop a method that translates Early Warning Signals into innovations to ensure continuous innovation in ambulance services. Examples include working with ambulance drones and more effective cooperation.
Municipality of Gouda’s future vision
The Municipality of Gouda wanted to determine its future position and long-term direction together with its residents, companies, and organisations. This vision would serve as a basis for future strategic choices and actions. Futureconsult developed future scenarios for the Municipality of Gouda to provide insight into Gouda’s major developments and challenges. Using the scenarios, we entered into a dialogue with the residents, businesses, and organisations in Gouda. Futureconsult subsequently used the outcome of these discussions to draw up a future vision for Gouda that was then adopted by the municipal council.
Digitalisation Week: VolkerWessels
What does digitalisation mean for the future of construction? An answer to this question was sought for the Infrastructure domain during the VolkerWessels Digitalisation Week. Futureconsult was asked to help with this process. This week, scenarios were developed to gain more insight into the digitalisation of the future of construction. We were then asked what the impact of these scenarios would be for VolkerWessels and what early signs we had already identified. This allowed VolkerWessels to better prepare for the future.
In recent years, GGD Haaglanden (Haaglanden Municipal Health Service) had to deal with a number of internal and external developments that showed that their vision was no longer adequate. Tasks and working methods had to be adapted to the new reality. The Netherlands also experiences larger differences in health and life expectancy. GGD Haaglanden asked Futureconsult to assist in formulating a new vision.
The disease burden of patients with cardiovascular disease is high. The Hartstichting (Heart Foundation) aims to reduce this. And more cardiovascular patients will be diagnosed in the coming years. For this reason, the Hartstichting wanted to develop a vision for healthcare innovation together with partners to improve healthcare and the processes within healthcare. Futureconsult was asked to guide this process. With the Hartstichting and partners, Futureconsult performed a trend analysis, formulated future scenarios, and developed a vision for healthcare innovation. This vision should contribute to the Hartstichting’s goal of reducing the burden of care for cardiovascular patients.
Zone College Zwolle
Zone College Zwolle became part of a merged organisation. This created a lack of clarity about their own direction and a strong need for one’s own story. Zone College Zwolle sought to clarify its mission, vision and core values. Futureconsult guided the process. The ambition was to develop a future-oriented, supported mission and vision. Therefore, the process leading to the finished product was as important as the finished product itself. Futureconsult held several working sessions with the team and FutureTops with teachers and pupils to get a lot of input from the school itself. As a result, Zone College Zwolle now has a new future-oriented, supported mission and vision.
Significant changes are taking place within society and the postal sector. PostNL Pakketten (Parcels) therefore wanted a long-term vision: how do we respond to these changes? With special attention to the parcels’ ‘last-mile’. Futureconsult developed scenarios for the ‘last-mile’ together with the core team of PostNL to gain more insight into developments in society and the sector. These scenarios gave PostNL a better understanding of the strategic impact of the changes.
The global food system is changing due to, among other things, globalisation, sustainability, and protein transition. We want to eat more locally and at the same time sample food from all over the world. We want to cook quickly and easily and at the same time more luxuriously. This greatly influences the use of spices. During the General Members Meeting of the Royal Dutch Spice Association, our advisors Marlieke van Schalkwijk and Bart van Beerschoten gave a keynote speech on the future of spices.
Strategic Education Agenda
Education faces significant social challenges. To tackle these complex challenges in cooperation with all partners inside and outside the field of education, a common vision of the future is necessary. The Municipality has asked Futureconsult of Zwolle to help shape a strategic education agenda. The drafting of a strategic education agenda is the starting document that provides inspiration and frameworks for further cooperation within the municipal or regional education ecosystem. Futureconsult helps with bundling input, moderating discussions, and bringing interests together.
Koninklijke Algemeene Vereeniging voor Bloembollencultuur (KAVB)
What does the future of tulip and daffodil cultivation look like? And what impact do the various future scenarios have on the sector? In recent years, the Koninklijke Algemeene Vereeniging voor Bloembollencultuur (Royal General Association for the Cultivation of Flower Bulbs) has been working on these questions. Futureconsult prepared future scenarios, and the members discussed the implications of the scenarios in order to be better prepared for their future.
Construction Supply Network Hibin
In 2019, the Construction Supply Network Hibin drafted a new collective labour agreement. This was also an opportune moment to formulate new goals. Under the guidance of Futureconsult, Hibin drew up scenarios for the collective bargaining negotiations – based on trends and developments within and outside the sector and choices facing the sector. The discussion then turned to the implications of these scenarios for the sector and the negotiations.