Futurists to Take Corporate Leaders on Expedition to Moscow

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Join Social Technologies from September 25 to September 30 for a guided exploration of Moscow--where post-Soviet Russia's future is happening now.

Marketing executives from some of the world's leading consumer products companies will join futurists from the global research and consulting firm Social Technologies for a week-long Futures Expedition to Moscow from September 25-30.

"We chose to visit Moscow because it represents Russia's rich and often turbulent past as well as the main economic, political, commercial, and cultural drivers of its future," explains futurist Natalie Ambrose, leader of Social Technologies' Futures Expedition program, who is leading the group.

As with the two other expeditions that Social Technologies has led to the BRIC nations, participants will explore emerging global and regional trends in consumer life through discussions with experts, observations in the field--and of course by getting to know the Russian people through home visits and shadow shopping.

Ambrose described the week's itinerary:

Day One--(Thursday, September 25)--Russia: Yesterday and today
Thursday will be an overview of and orientation to post-Soviet Russia. Since Moscow is representative of the many social, economic, and cultural changes taking place there, the focus will be on lifestyle, generational, and consumer trends among the Novy Russkie.

Day Two--(Friday, September 26)--The changing retail environment
On this day we will focus on retail trends in modern-day Russia. Through retail visits and meetings with marketing experts and entrepreneurs, we will learn about Russia's responses to globalization and gain a better sense of how business is conducted in Russia, with insight into future prospects and opportunities.

Days Three and Four--(Saturday and Sunday, September 27 and 28)--Russia's growing middle class
The weekend will be spent exploring Russian consumer lifestyles through a series of home visits. Our hosts will represent a cross-section of backgrounds, household incomes, and occupations. In the evening, we will immerse ourselves in the leisure activities and entertainment venues popular with Moscow's middle class.

Day Five--(Monday, September 29)--Russia's challenges and opportunities
Monday will be spent gaining an understanding of the opportunities--and challenges--for the new Russia as we explore issues around urbanization, demographics, and the implications of economic growth in terms of infrastructure, distribution, mobility, and equality. We will learn from local academics, experts, and thought leaders about the future of issues including education, healthcare, the environment, and sustainability.

Day Six--(Tuesday, September 30)--What's next? Possible futures in Russia
Our final day in Moscow will be an opportunity for participants to review, reflect upon, and synthesize what we have seen and learned during the previous five days. Our team of futurists will facilitate a series of discussions to draw out the most important insights and experiences from the week, and lead the team in creating a set of possible scenarios for Russia's future.

Unlike any other experience

Social Technologies' director of development Don Abraham says participation is especially useful for professionals whose roles include foresight, trend and consumer insight analysis, marketing research, brand management, product development, and innovation/ strategy development.

"We have now conducted Futures Expeditions to India and China, and participants consistently tell us that the experience was unlike any other they have had in their careers," Abraham explains. "They say that not only did touring an emerging market help them gain insight into that country--it opened their eyes and imaginations to other ideas that they then shared with their colleagues."

Other Futures Expeditions are in the works

  •     World 0: The Future of Online Virtual Worlds (Bay Area, California in October 2008 - TBA)
  •     Curitiba, Brazil (March 5-10, 2009)
  •     Shanghai, China (October 15-20, 2009)

For more information: To view summary reports from previous Futures Expeditions to Shanghai, China and Hyderabad, India, visit S)T's website at: http://www.socialtechnologies.com/Content.aspx?PageID=29; send an email to: don.abraham@socialtechnologies.com, or call 202 223-2801.

Natalie Ambrose ) Futurist and Leader, Futures Expeditions
Natalie Ambrose is an experienced futurist who leads Social Technologies' Futures Expeditions program. She has worked in foresight and strategic planning for the Council on Foundations and National Research Council in Washington DC, for SkyTel International and then McCann Eriksson in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and at the AT Cross Company in Providence, RI. Natalie holds an MBA in international marketing from Thunderbird Graduate School and a BA in political science and international relations from Duke University.

Don Abraham ) Futurist and Director of Development
Don Abraham is a futurist with expertise in devising and leading creative approaches to innovation. He also manages the marketing and expansion of Social Technologies' custom and multiclient projects. Don also worked as a senior consultant at The Cap Gemini Ernst & Young Center for Business Innovation (CBI) in Cambridge, Mass., managing the Center's research on Connected Innovation and Networked Commerce as well as the CGEY CBI Future Scan, a scan of major emerging business issues. Don serves on the board of directors of the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) and is a certified New Product Development Professional. He received his BA in political science from Franklin & Marshall College.

About ) Social Technologies
Social Technologies is a global research and consulting firm specializing in the integration of foresight, strategy, and innovation. With offices in Washington DC, London, and Shanghai, Social Technologies serves the world's leading companies, government agencies, and nonprofits. A holistic, long-term perspective combined with actionable business solutions helps clients mitigate risk, make the most of opportunities, and enrich decision-making. For information visit http://www.socialtechnologies.com, our blog http://changewaves.socialtechnologies.com, and our newsletter: http://www.socialtechnologies.com/changewaves.

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