Tag: #foresight thinking

Fashion, Enterprise, and New Futures

Can new thinking and new choices in fashion change the world?

Recently I was invited to speak at a business event:  Storytelling and Emotion,  hosted by the Centre for Fashion Enterprise (CFE).  CFE is the enterprise development arm of the London College of Fashion. I visited with them a week before the event to get a feel for the business of fashion. These guys, who are actually an awesome entrepreneurial service led and run by 10 gals, are doing some way-out pioneering business incubation stuff. Over the last 11 years they’ve helped launch the careers of designers such as Basso & Brooke, Peter Pilotto and Holly Fulton amongst others.

The line-up of speakers was world class.  I knew that between them they would do more than justice to the topic at hand. So what had I to give? What value would I deliver? I decided to do what I do best: take neuroscience research out of the lab and highfalutin journals and apply it to everyday life and business, to evoke change that leads to better futures all round.

My presentation was about accessing neuroplasticity to craft new-futures for fashion enterprise. After an awe-inspiring evening of presentations, panel discussion and questions from a leading-edge audience, I feel inspired to share an excerpt from my journal notes regarding the event:

1st July 2017:

FashTech and the whole of the Fashion Industry is not so unlike the emerging domain and discipline of Neuroscience and Neuroplasticity. Both have enormous responsibility in co-crafting better and new sustainable worlds of geography, business, capitals development, management , and evolution. Especially the interaction and engagement between human and technology capitals. To access, engage and exercise neuroplasticity in new-futures thinking for fashion and sustainability in the same breath, we must look to:

  • Developing not just multidisciplinary think tanks and leadership, but ensure a good balance  of multiple intelligences * within multidisciplinary teams to ensure holistic thinking and leadership. A mixed-minds approach, so to speak.
  • Building an infrastructure for Future Fashion or a Foresight Lab and community around it – including governments, Fortune 500 companies, philanthropists, futurologists, etc.. Herein lies the power of unconventional co-crafting of new futures by mind-set and innovation.
  • Partnering across sectors (the “strength in numbers” concept has immense value here) in order to cultivate connection and connectivity with those who are to come after us. To raise understanding that we are as yet a young species and to stop living as if evolution of the human species ended with us.
  • Developing community so we are not daunted by the problems we face (in fashion or neuroscience).
  • Cultivating a sense of our value in the larger system called Life and Futures.
  • Never under-estimating what one person or a small group of co-conspirators can do!

Each of the above points probably constitute a book on its own, or at least a chapter in one. I get that this is big-ideas thinking. But each idea now needs to go through several processes of futures thinking – by breaking them apart to arrive at their component parts. This is followed by further processes of adding, deleting, questioning, debating, challenging – in other words, using our gorgeous, malleable, plastic brains.

This is how we make a better world. One thought at a time.

∗ Theory of multiple intelligences by Howard Gardner 

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