Our Approach

Emerging Futures, and the discovery and validation work that preceded it, was conducted for Education New Zealand by Fabriko, Christchurch.

When we design, we ensure everyone is part of the process. Using the principles of Human-Centred Design, projects grow from the collective ideas, talents and energy of all involved. We specialise in projects that engage in active citizenship and public consultation.

We conduct research through authentic channels of communication. We use technology to get closer to people and allows them to get closer to each other. We use design, rapid prototyping, virtuality and the internet of things to provide channels to engage, inspire and collect data.


Setting the ground work


The Emerging Futures Summit was an outcome of preliminary research and validation from a two-day workshop in January 2018 with 20 academics from Otago University, University of Canterbury and Lincoln University. The purpose of this workshop was to devise new approaches to engage the international market, using the marketplace canvas shown above.

Concepts designed within this workshop were further tested with student cohorts, who added further validation to the potential of an online global challenge based initiative.

The results of both these workshops and focus groups have been compiled into two separate reports.


Human Centred Design

Adaptive Research Methodology

The Emerging Futures Summit project was designed to engage students through a naturalistic process, rather than surveying or seeking preferences for choices. By creating a two-way learning environment, we could engage in genuine conversations about their needs and more importantly observe their interaction with each other.

The methodology for the Emerging Futures initiative was to create a minimal viable product (MVP) in the form of a global summit. The primary aim of the MVP was to evoke conversations about future global needs and to understand intrinsic motivations.

The prototype-test-review cycles we’re continuous throughout the initiative, which opened the process up for the unpredictable, where we could find the most insightful information about our participants.


Human Centred Design

Practising Transferrable Skills

While we were utilising human-centred design (HCD) as part of our process, the participants we also being taken through a HCD process as part of the collaborative, peer-to-peer learning experience.

Other than HCD, there was no formal curriculum, however skills for 21st Century learning were baked in so students could practice and gain from the experience of utilising Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking and Creativity. Techniques for practising these skills are well documented and freely available at Open Ideo’s DesignKit.


Human Centred Design

User Experience Stories

The adaptive research approach established a safe environment for the participants to share personal stories and local insights. All insight from the Summit were qualitative. Findings are a result of clustering themes across multiple user stories as they participated within this naturalistic experience. The user stories included all interactions and engagements as the participants worked towards developing their responses to the Global Challenges.

Existing platforms

Creating an open, online workshop environment

Another core part of the project was to explore the use of existing digital collaborative platforms, all of which are utilised extensively in industry, rather than a Learning Management System.

The majority of the platforms were free to use, or low-cost. Within two weeks a full registration process, information and resource base, marketing communication platform and collaborative environment was established.

As part of the adaptive research process, these tools enabled us to explore the dynamics of trans-disciplinary and cross-cultural collaboration, rather than get bogged down with technical spec wish lists and software development.


insight gathering

Understanding the needs of the future learner

As mentioned, the key drive for the Summit was to engage in a two-way learning experience. We offered a platform for participants to be active global citizens, while in return we had the opportunity to ask questions and understand what their personal and local motivations to learn and connect were.

The engagement process resulted in many insights from a range of interactions outline to the right, all of which have been clustered and analysed, with primary conclusions outlined in the online report.