Future-Telling as Easy as 123

You went to school to learn, [person of any gender] Things you never, never knew before Like "municipal rights" before "state control" except after "legislative preemption" And why 2 plus 2 makes 4 Now, now, now I'm gonna teach you (Teach you, teach you) All about marketing engagement, [person of any gender] (All about marketing engagement) Sit yourself down, take a seat All you gotta do is repeat after me

Although perhaps not as instantly catchy as the Jackson 5's lyrics, I really think I can make a go of this songwriting career after which I've been pining.

At any rate, you're probably acutely aware that the team over here at Apparatus is deeply invested in and knowledgeable about substantive policy issues and approaches, but we're also passionately creative and driven to use every opportunity and medium available to communicate our message in engaging and thought-provoking ways.

As such, when we sat down in early December to design our New Year card, we very quickly found ourselves feeling constrained by Shutterfly templates and drawn to good old fashioned paper and markers. And then we began to feel limited by the flatness of two-dimensions, so out came the scissors and so started the folding.

The standard message wasn't enough to start off a year that, I think we can all agree, is likely to be particularly uncertain. We wanted to remind our friends and collaborators that, even though we can't predict the future, we can work together to shape it.

When we stopped, we had created our New Year Fortune Teller. Remember that feeling that so much of your fate depended on which number you picked or how many letters were in purple when, in reality, what really mattered was whether it was your best friend who'd made it (and every answer was your crush) or your biggest rival (where all answers were a variation of you dying alone)? We wanted to remind you that, as you stare into the uncertainty that is 2017 and seek to predict the future, it will only be as good as the partner you engage in creating it.

In many ways, our approach to sending a New Year's card provides in-depth look into how we approach our work (and yes, I was an English major who is now deconstructing the symbolism of a paper fortune-teller). We take even the smallest opportunities to explore big ideas and create tangible tools for communicating them in engaging ways.

For now, if you missed out on a fortune-teller of your own, you can download one right here (along with folding instructions) and get to work crafting your own vision for 2017. If you get stuck or want to know more about what you landed on, we're here to help. Plus, we need a break from folding these puppies.

systems thinking fortune tellers

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