"Innovative and difficult, yet feasible and ambitious challenges," these are what move people and give birth to major social impact.
As can be seen from trends such as the Moonshot Research and Development Program established by the Government of Japan’s Cabinet Office, and the business application of Speculative Design, there is growing interest in moonshot-like research and development which brings disruptive and discontinuous innovation to society, industry, corporations, and individuals.
The Future Design Lab established by PwC Consulting LLC, will provide advisory services to governments, education and research institutes, and private companies which aim to create and realize a moonshot future. Additionally, the design laboratory itself aims to become part of the ecosystem for the realization of moonshots and to become the driving force behind the acceleration of social change.
How can we continue to create and successfully land on new moons? Herein lies the difficulty of the modern moonshot.
The word "moonshot" originated more than half a century ago when the United States set out to put a man on the moon. While this was certainly an ambitious goal, the moon itself is always in a predictable location. As such, these traditional moonshots were achievable with time, ample funding, massive organizations, and long-term R&D.
However, In the VUCA*1 era of today, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to plan for an ambitious future. This is because, even if we envision a grand future, it is constantly revised due to continual technological progress, rapid changes in social conditions and the global environment, along with other unforeseen factors that occur on a daily basis.
In particular, the announcement of new startups, technologies, patents, and innovative efforts by major corporations that continue to pop-up around the world, can suddenly change a grand future that should have been far ahead us into a realistic and feasible one. This phenomenon can be seen in many of the future creation projects we are undertaking.
Taking this into consideration, we do not believe that the moonshot approach is an antiquated feature of the past. Today, society is at a turning point. With existing paradigms such as "capitalism" and "consumption-oriented society" approaching their limits, there is still no clear answer to the social, economic, corporate, or individual needs of the future. With this in mind, in order to bring about a real breakthrough, we believe it is of utmost importance to establish a method that redefines and reconstructs a modern interpretation of the moonshot which correctly balances the conflicting dynamics of "implementing moonshots in society while simultaneously designing ambitious futures that shoot for the moon."
Through the Future Design Lab, PwC Consulting aims to bring about a prosperous future society by encouraging discontinuous breakthroughs via the aggregation and diffusion of knowledge regarding modern moonshots.
*1 VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity.
The continued tracking of information in this rapidly evolving world is starting to exceed the limits of human awareness. PwC Consulting works with partners*2 to utilize artificial intelligence platforms to aid in designing a future unhindered by this information overload.
Our projects incorporate multiple design-domain approaches, such as Science Fiction (scientific hypothesis). They are structured in PwC's proprietary future-creating methodology of "Speculative Future Design," and can provide comprehensive support for alternative future creation.
One of the major barriers to the realization of a moonshot future is the current state of rules, such as legal systems, regulations, and traditional industry practices. In order to actively realize moonshots, it is necessary to make rules that span industry, government, and academia. PwC Consulting leverages its strengths as a member of the PwC Japan Group, which provides specialized services, such as auditing and legal, to support the development of new rules as well as compliance with existing rules.
*2 We are building partnerships with a variety of resources, including designers, technicians, science fiction writers, legal counsels, lawyers, and consultants.
We provide services focusing on the seven topics defined in the Cabinet Office’s Moonshot Research and Development Program. PwC Consulting also plans to formulate unique topics based on our own future creation insights.
Future Creation & Implementation Assistance
By using PwC Consulting's unique method for future creation, "Speculative Future Design," we realize the creation of a "potential future," which lies beyond the boundaries of existing business. By starting with a potential future and using our back-casting methodology, we will support business and technology development aimed at realizing the ideal future.
Moonshot Ecosystem Design
It is extremely difficult to realize a moonshot future within a single organization and or business entity. Through leveraging the PwC Global network and our worldwide relationships, we support the design and operation of an ecosystem that spans industry, government, and academia.
Organization & Human Resource Development for Future Creation
The Future Design Lab has the expertise to aid clients in acquiring the capabilities needed to drive moonshot future creation and implementation. Even in these fast changing and ever complicated times, we realize self-driven organization and human resource development that continues even after the project is completed.