Director of Foresight

Fiona Harkin

Fiona Harkin

Fiona joined The Future Laboratory in 2022, having spent 20 years working in leading forecasting and insight agencies as a content director and a journalist, delivering strategic foresight and creative content to forward-thinking businesses. Fiona brings considerable cross-sector expertise to her role leading the LS:N Global site, ranging from the digital commerce and tech sectors to the fashion and media industries. 

What drew you to the world of trends and foresight?

I never set out to work in this industry which was still developing when I graduated but I did set out to follow what truly interested me. By way of a BA in art history from The Courtauld Institute and an MA in fashion journalism from Central Saint Martins, I found myself working with words, trends and tech. 

I’ve written on so many different topics, from the latest tech trends to future-gazing consumer predictions, and the future of retail to the latest cultural, design and arts insights. I’ve even dabbled in science fiction too. What I love most is the constant learning, the need for endless curiosity and the pattern-spotting – and then translating all this into really useful business information and seeing clients work successfully with it.

The very best bit? It’s a role that has taken me around the world, from São Paulo, Singapore and Moscow to Miami, Austin, Tel Aviv and Las Vegas. Unofficially, this involved dancing to Boney M’s Rasputin on a table in a Moscow nightclub; being given a virtual makeover in the online world Second Life while fending off indecent digital proposals; trying to cut it in a Boys Own world of chinos, Swiss Army backpacks and check shirts at various North American tech conferences before Women In Tech became a thing; being covered in fake tan for The Mirror; queueing until 3:00am in Texas rain nursing a pulled pork sandwich and a coronarita just to see my ultimate film crush unveil his latest arthouse flick; being allowed into one of Rio’s largest favelas to meet the talented women making the most beautiful clothing; getting lost photographing a cemetery in Buenos Aires; standing in an art installation of misty, rainbow-coloured rain in a fishing shed on a remote Japanese island; and having milk poured on my cornflakes by an immaculately turned-out waiter at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Paris.

I think it’s the best job in the world.

What makes LS:N Global unique?

It’s the pairing of truly solutions-focused insight with strong, creative inspiration – backed up by The Future Laboratory’s wider and highly regarded expertise in foresight and strategy.

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