People are often bewildered by the wide range of projects we work on at shiftN, and the diversity of our client base. Promoting sports participation, disrupting organised crime, reforming health care systems, supporting open innovation processes, designing compelling product-service concepts, and more: it doesn’t seem to add up. Truth of the matter is that we are generalists at shiftN. Or rather, we are specialists at being generalists. Our core business is to help clients to come to grips with complexity. To bring clarity in complexity: that is our mission.
Having said that a number of focal areas have emerged from the work of the last 20 years.
Health care systems in affluent countries are facing a lot of challenges. Demand for services is soaring due to lifestyle changes, aging and chronification of diseases. At the same time sluggish economic growth and an eroding tax base make it harder to mobilize the financial resources to support these resource-hungry public service systems. shiftN has worked on numerous projects that contribute to a transition towards a more effective, humane and patient-centric health care system.
The future of our global food production and consumption system is subject to grave uncertainties given the impact of a burgeoning population, the rise of a global middle class, constraints in natural resources and the impact of climate change. Over the years we have been involved in a range of visioning and scenario projects that seek to understand the scope of our predicament and possible ways forward. Additionally there is a cross link between the food and the health care area. People’s behavioral patterns have to change in order to minimize adverse long-term effects and maximize benefits of diets on personal health. We have conducted several futures and research projects that seek to advance the state of art in the areas of healthy, personalized nutrition.
Health care and food production are by no means the only areas in which we are looking at novel value creation models. We are in the throes of a transition that involves most of our key infrastructural and institutional systems: transport, energy, materials management, the built environment. Sustainability, resilience and quality of life are the key performance indicators here.
Needless to say that these grand challenges are embedded in a turbulent geopolitical context. We have worked with transnational networks such as the Global Futures Forum and the Global Energy and Environmental Security Ecosystem to provide actionable foresight on matters of international security. Currently shiftN is affiliated with the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity and Columbia University. The focus of that collaboration is the development of an evidence-based systems map that visualizes the interconnected drivers of sustainable peace.
Our work does not only focus on large-scale transitions and contextual developments. On a regular basis we are solicited to help profit and non-profit organizations with the development and streamlining of their own strategy. Also in these assignments we bring to bear our finely honed systems, futures and business modeling skills.