Advancing the Value of Ethnography

The Future of Business in a Post-COVID Landscape


Events of the 18 months have upended questions of the future and, for business, cast a new light on how it might better contemplate and plan for uncertainties. COVID has also opened up a new sense of potential when it comes to re-inventing or designing better or new futures for ourselves, providing a sense of agency and fluidity that had, until recently, seemed less tangible. This panel will engage in this dialogue with the future, particularly as it relates to the future of business and the ways in which business could contemplate, confront and shape the future.


panelist headshots

Marc LaFleur believes that at the heart of every business challenge lies a question of human experience. While he has practiced in many industries, Marc has spent much of his career working in the fields of health and life sciences. There, Marc has worked to create impactful solutions that transform health experiences and outcomes. An engagement with questions around the future has animated Marc’s career and thinking about how design, strategy and social sciences can evolve together to inform and help rethink questions of experience, sustainability, purpose and care. Marc holds a PhD in Anthropology for York University and currently leads the Experience Design team at ZS Associates.

Jacques Barcia is an award-winning journalist, author and futurist. His core interests are in the futures of narratives and the narratives about the futures. He holds a Masters in Design and is one of the co-founders of Futuring Today, a network that blends foresight, design, and science fiction to prototype the futures. Jacques is a research fellow at the Institute for the Future (IFTF), where he researches the futures of climate change, governance and technology, and co-leads the Design Futures training. His fiction has been featured in Shine: An Anthology of Optimistic Science Fiction and The Apex Book of World Science Fiction; and has appeared in magazines such as Clarkesworld and Electric Velocipede. Jacques is also a research fellow at the Center for Postnormal Policy and Futures Studies (CPPFS) network.

Jorge Camacho is a strategic designer, foresight strategist, researcher, and lecturer. He works as a Research Affiliate at Institute for the Future and is a co-founder of Diagonal: a research, design, and futures studio based in Mexico City. In those roles, he consults for public and private organizations in the US, Latin America and Europe in projects aimed at anticipating challenges and opportunities for the coming decades. He studied an MA in Cybernetic Culture and a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies at the University of East London. As a researcher and lecturer, Dr. Camacho is interested in design practices that aim to drive social change such as design futures, systemic design, and transition design. He currently teaches systems and futures thinking at the MA Design Studies and the Design of Tomorrow program at CENTRO and the MA Strategic Design and Innovation at IBERO Ciudad de México. He’s lectured at Academia Mexicana de Creatividad, EGADE Business School, ISDI, and h2i institute (Madrid).

Jennifer Lee Fuqua is an experienced design leader of global design teams. She is passionate in the crossroad of user-centered design and business strategy, to help client create experiences where logic meets magic. Jennifer has 15+ years of experience in the design & innovation field, with deep expertise in design strategy, program management, design research, and workshop facilitation. Prior to joining , Jennifer was heading the Fjord Hong Kong studio, where she is responsible for overall design quality and client delivery. Prior to Fjord, Jennifer worked at frog design, a global design and innovation consultancy, where she led cross-functional teams to solve complex business problems with design. Jennifer is a certified Change Management professional and have practiced human-centric design to help organizations build innovation capabilities and transform cultures.

Devon Powers is Associate Professor in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations, Temple University. Her research explores historical and contemporary consumer culture and the dynamics of cultural intermediation, circulation, and promotion. She is the author of On Trend: The Business of Forecasting the Future; Writing the Record: The Village Voice and the Birth of Rock Criticism; and co-editor of Blowing Up the Brand: Critical Perspectives on Promotional Culture. Her work has appeared in Journal of Consumer Culture, New Media & Society, Creative Industries Journal and Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, among other venues. Follow her work on Twitter @devjpow.