Working up from signals

How to use FIBRES for your bottom-up trend and technology scouting.

What is the bottom-up way of working with foresight?

Bottom-up refers to a way of working where you start with individual observations and work toward the bigger picture.

This approach is best suited for trend and technology scouting, horizon scanning, and identifying emerging topics.

How to do bottom-up foresight in FIBRES

In the bottom-up model, you don't necessarily know what kind of insights you'll eventually end up with. You start by collecting all kinds of observations about the topic you are working on.

FIBRES can be easily applied to this type of working. In the following, we explain how to best use the FIBRES data model and features for this type of workflow.

Which model should we use?

There is no right or wrong when it comes to creating your own foresight process. The top-down model is a linear simplification of one way of doing foresight,  but not the only way.

Most likely, your foresight process will be a combination of several parallel models or ways of working. See also our article for the top-down model for more inspiration.

1.  Start by collecting Signals into FIBRES

In FIBRES, the data collection phase is most naturally done with Signals. In the FIBRES data model, Signals are the "smallest" of findings. Use the web clipper to create Signals from news articles.

2. Search FIBRESEED for your topic of interest

If you've subscribed to FIBRESEED, make use of the Sources section and saved searches. Search with relevant keywords and scroll the feed for any interesting new inputs.

For FIBRESEED subscribers, AI picks also surfaces related new Signals, so keep an eye out in the AI picks section of Signals you've already saved.

3. Link your Signals with a top-level finding

When you collect enough inputs, a picture starts to form. For your conclusions, it's best to create a top-level finding where you link all of the Signal mass you've collected.

In the Findings view, select all of the relevant Signals, select Link in the action bar, and then Link with a new finding. Proceed to create a Signal cluster or a Trend.

Tip: Find similar

If you already have a lot of findings in your FIBRES account collected by you or your team, you might find interesting Signals within your account. Select a finding in the Findings view, and click Find similar.

Tip: Linking

In FIBRES, creating linkages is the way to connect your individual observations to the bigger topics they are about.

3. Draw conclusions in a top-level finding

Your new top-level finding is the place for your sensemaking. What is the story that your Signals are telling? Write it out in the description.

Now that you know more about your topic, it's time to assess it. You can use classifications for this purpose.

4. Position your new top-level finding on a radar

You now have a new trend at hand. If you're using the Radar view to summarize the most important changes in your operating environment, you could position this finding on one of your radars.

5. Create summaries of your findings

For further conclusions that the Radar view is not an ideal fit, make use of summaries. They are a great tool for context-specific summaries, futures narratives, and project-based futures data. Remember to link your findings with the summary to see the connections you've made on the Network.

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