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Proactive creative design thinking comes naturally to the design teams in Hitachi Global Research. The Vision Design team in the Global Center for Social Innovation (CSI) have a project to capture Kizashi (subtle signs of what may happen) to help guide Hitachi and our customers. Kizashi is region-specific and is designed to capture subtle signs of change by analyzing political, economic, social and technological factors of emerging trends. It is being used as a customer engagement tool in workshops to help participating organizations to contemplate a changing world and their customers’ future needs in such an environment- to think about an alternative future in terms of what might happen:


Building on the Kizashi activities, CSI-North America (CSI-NA) Design Laboratory (DLab) have created a provocative “future inspiration tool” in the form of Foresight cards, as part of DLab’s mission to use design to improve Hitachi and our customers’ technologies to better cater to people’s needs, encouraging them to think about technologies from the beneficiaries’ perspectives. The Foresight card deck focuses on topics specifically related to the human experience and is the result of analyzing information gathered on emerging trends in economics, society, technology and politics. The “signs” were used to create a set of imaginable paradigm shifts that may occur in the world in about 10 years in the future, visualized across 24 to 25 cards and corresponding to existential themes such as transportation, healthcare, learning, the workforce, social practice, human relationships, finance, emerging community, governance and more. The 2019 version includes three additional “dark cards” reflecting trends that have imminent implications for deeper consideration on societal impact.

As an engagement tool, the Foresight cards help organization step back from the problems they are facing right now so that they can think in terms of what’s ahead, spark innovative conversations to consider intriguing possibilities and bring the powerful forces of human creativity and curiosity to the task of envisioning the future.


For instance, when electric cars were first becoming a viable transportation option 10 years ago, their manufacturers needed to think about what transportation would look like today – and manufacturers today need to envision what the transportation landscape will be like 10 years from now. Will autonomous driving become a truly viable option? How will car usage and ownership change? What would be the infrastructure requirement to accommodate mixed traffic of autonomous and non-autonomous vehicles? What are the connectivity and data-exchange requirement? How will people take advantage of multiple modes of transportation?


Automobile manufacturers can use two or three of the Foresight cards (Transportation, Urban Life & Commerce) most pertinent to the industry to spur ideas about what the future will look like a decade from now. In fact, Hitachi’s Automotive Products Research Laboratory is looking at using the Foresight cards to drive their work with Hitachi Automotive Systems.

Stephanie Monterrosa (Design Research Associate)


Organizations – along with everyone else – are wondering how the human experience will play out in the society of the future. The Foresight cards are not intended to predict the future but are designed to promote conversations on how customers might interact with an organization’s product or services in the future, and how the business may need to respond to changing needs - to help organization develop that vision for themselves.


To learn more about the Foresight cards, please contact Stephanie Monterrosa at