Technology Cards : a design game for navigating in a future of digital technologies

Nymark Ernstsen, Sidsel K. and Thuesen, Christian and Mossing, Christian H. and Brinck, Stig and Maier, Anja (2023) Technology Cards : a design game for navigating in a future of digital technologies. International Journal of Design, 17 (1). pp. 37-53. ISSN 1991-3761 (

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Digitalisation has had a game-changing effect on society—but how will future changes unfold? In this paper, we introduce the Technology Cards—a novel dialogue-based design game that enables users to explore the impact of multiple technologies on their future business. We review 14 card-based design games that focus on emerging technologies or futures thinking and identify an unmet need for design games that will help business managers navigate in a digital future. We describe the iterative development of the Technology Cards, including their testing in 17 Tech Session workshops with 257 participants from 40 private and public sector organisations. The findings reveal that the Technology Cards are “instruments of inquiry” that aid users in a) framing current challenges, b) imagining how multiple technologies affect the future, c) identifying synergies between technologies, and d) facilitating constructive dialogue. We discuss the importance of involving non-technology-savvy stakeholders in envisioning digital futures and creating design tools to help stakeholders grasp the implications of technology. The paper contributes to practice through a detailed description of the design game development process and lessons learned in this process through its use in industrial practice, as well as agenda-setting impacts on the business strategies of the participating organisations. The paper contributes to research by demonstrating how a design game helps stakeholders anticipate the impacts of new technologies on the future of their business.