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Uncovering hidden narratives in the company – Our client DB about Causal Layered Analysis

Profilbild Themis Foresight

In a presentation at the third event of the “Critical Futures Research” association, Jörg Blechschmidt, Product Owner Digital Foresight at the rail subsidiary DB Systel, gave insights into a futures project in which they worked together with Themis Foresight.

Thanks to critical futurology for recording and editing the lecture online.


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Causal Layered Analysis – What is the added value? Jörg Blechschmidt in the video of the critical futurology event.

The aim of the project was to identify areas of tension with DB’s current strategy and to develop future impulses for 2035. Themis Foresight supported the digital subsidiary DB Systel in this project with a Causal Layered Analysis (CLA).

The starting point for the project was the basic scenario called “Digital Future 2035”. DB used various resources such as trend studies and external input to create a coherent picture of future digital trends that are specifically tailored to the needs of Deutsche Bahn.

To this end, Jörg Blechschmidt and his team deliberately sought extreme support in order to uncover unconscious narratives and biases. The added value of the CLA lay in particular in the reflection that made it possible to identify implicit assumptions and blind spots within the existing strategies.

By using the CLA, deeper systemic causes and underlying worldviews that shape existing strategic views could be revealed and challenged. This process led to a better understanding of the company’s own assumptions and strategic direction. Ultimately, this approach has enabled the team to make more conscious and informed decisions and improve strategy development within the organization by critically reviewing and broadening their perspectives.

This method not only broadened the perspective of the Foresight team, but also promoted more intensive strategic discussions within DB Systel. Blechschmidt emphasizes the importance of this analysis, as it is crucial for the development of a realistic and adaptable future strategy.

If you would like to find out more about our methods or would like to implement something similar in your company, we would be happy to talk about it. | ©  Themis Foresight GmbH