June 19, 2018


The SPRING program is a collaboration between RTI Innovation Advisors and the Innovation Research Interchange (IRI) to explore emerging trends and their impact on innovation management. Together, SPRING team members and program participants (you) engage in a structured foresight process to help build confidence and conviction about the steps organizations can take to prepare for the future. This year, SPRING is exploring the future of intelligent systems.

The emergence and proliferation of Intelligent Systems is poised to disrupt nearly every industry.  Is your organization prepared?


The program overview webinar below is a great way to get acquainted with the various elements of the SPRING program.


The Challenge

Business leaders everywhere are wrestling with the question:

How can I ensure that my organization is adequately prepared to capitalize on future opportunities and recognize future threats to my business?


The Solution

By participating in SPRING, you will develop:

  1. A deeper understanding of emerging opportunities and threats related to intelligent systems;
  2. Insights about how others are preparing for the future of intelligent systems;
  3. An opportunity to consider the implications of alternate futures for your organization.


Program Guiding Principles

  • Organizations want confidence and conviction about how to prepare for the future.
  • Using foresight best practices is a key for future exploration.
  • SPRING success requires external insights combined with internal context – we need you!
  • Facilitating impact inside your company requires more than a report.
  • Cross industry perspectives are key for learning.

For more about how our guiding principles have influenced the design of the SPRING program, check out this blog post.


The SPRING Foresight Process

EXPLORE– The first three steps in the foresight process set boundaries for the foresight exercise through explicit framing, orient everyone to the topic to be explored, and scan present signals and trends related to the topic of interest.

ENVISION – Here we move from the past and present to an exploration of possible futures. We use the information gathered during the EXPLORE stage to envision what may unfold.

ACT – Every foresight process must move from insights to company specific implications. While you may be tempted to skip directly to this section, resist! Doing so without a firm grounding in the lessons learned during EXPLORE and ENVISION will reduce the confidence and conviction you are able to generate both personally and among your cross-functional team.


SPRING Program Elements

The SPRING Program consists of 5 different program elements, each designed with our program principles in mind.

  • Curated Content Modules
  • Field Trips
  • Thought Leader Interviews
  • In-person Workshops
  • Two Day Conference


Get Involved

This is all great, how do I get more involved?

  1. Build an internal team to participate as a cross functional group
  2. Register for the SPRINGBOARD Conference in October – Space is limited!
  3. Sign up today to receive SPRING updates and exclusive content.
  4. Attend Thought Leader Webinars
  5. Participate in a Trend Immersion Experience


SPRING was first launched at the 2017 IRI Member Summit. At this summit, RTI Innovation Advisors Jeff Cope and Tom Culver explained the challenges that many organizations face when trying to prepare for the future.  Watch the video:

SPRING is not the first foresight program that IRI has created. Check out the IRI2038 report that explores the future of R&D management. In this report, IRI members contribute to the creation of four future scenarios and describe the implications of each scenario on the future of R&D management. Download the report here:  http://www.iriweb.org/research-2038.

In addition to the IRI2038 report, IRI has produced a number of other reports that are relevant to this year’s theme of intelligent systems: