Projects & Observations
We are focused on the social trends that could shape the future and the tech tools that may drive it. Our projects are informed and influenced by our engagement with experts across the research, tech and design spectrums. In this space, we share what we’re learning, what’s inspiring, and what’s next.
BY: John Dalton | February 14, 2023
Humanity-centered design is used to create solutions that benefit the good of humanity, which includes all people in the world, animals, plants, and the environment. We still must design for people, but we must also think about the secondary effects of those human-centered designs. We must look at the impact of what we're designing, not just on the profitability of the company, but instead the profitability of the world.
BY: Kristin Kanders | February 1, 2022
I’d never heard of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – digital proof of ownership enabled by the blockchain – until 2021. Like many, I came to them through mass media, through the likes of Kevin Roose of the New York Times auctioning off his column as an NFT and the artist Beeple selling an NFT of his artwork for $69 million at Christie’s. What was this new phenomenon all about?
FCAT’s Luke Paxton and Kseniya Galper are responsible for the unique artwork accompanying this year’s Priorities Report, created using digital and physical techniques. The results of their collaboration will be included in a set of limited edition NFTs which will serve as prizes for the winners of a Play&Learn game based on the report. Visit the NFT Experiment to learn more!
BY: Una Mc Grath, Design Strategist, FCAT | December 14, 2021
Social distancing due to Covid19 has made us think more about social connection—where, how, and why we connect—in our lives and in our work. As organisations adopt hybrid working, building business resilience for future climate or health crises, how do we best design for social connection in this hybrid, phygital (physical/digital) world? And why does social connection matter so much?
BY: COLLEEN McCRETTON | August 18, 2021
Over the last several years one of the FCAT AI teams - code named “RoboReader” - has been working on processing documents and taking needed information from unstructured text and transforming it into structured data that can be used by the business. In the course of the work, we have noticed parallels in the way we are “teaching” the system and how we read as humans.
By: Una McGrath | July 29, 2021
The Future of Work was brought into sharp focus during the Covid-19 pandemic, as workers worldwide found themselves suddenly in the greatest work-from-home experiment in modern times.
This crisis has shifted values, behaviours, and attitudes across all areas of work and life, in particular about where, when, and how we work.
BY: COLLEEN MCCRETTON | January 28, 2021
Bias in data used by AI algorithms is drawing increasing attention. The internet is full of examples of AI systems bias: recruiting algorithms trained on data that favored male candidates, facial recognition software unable to appropriately identify people of color, medical systems trained with data that is not sufficiently diverse, and many other examples. However, there is another aspect to bias that impacts AI systems and bears some scrutiny as well - the cognitive biases that users bring to the table.
FCAT Design
BY: WILL REED | September 21, 2020
I was struggling to facilitate my first Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) session when it hit me — this was "another growth opportunity." Specifically, it was an opportunity to rethink what it means to be a leader in our hyper-connected, ambiguous, and shape-shifting environment. And it started with 3 simple questions.

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