Excerpts from the Near Future

This hypothetical daily European tabloid called 'Today' is an exemplar of the way we use research, narrative and design to create an engaging perspective on a provocative yet plausible near future world that need not result in either. Unlike a PowerPoint deck or corporate white paper, the mundane form of a disposable daily newspaper puts into the hands of everybody a possible day in the future when data, both large and small, alters some aspects of a cultural touchpoint like sports. Here is a sample of the implications of the intensifying relationship between football and data that the newspaper highlights:

Big Data Becomes Big Investor in Football

Big Data Becomes Big Investor in Football

Digital Smarts Against Old School Nous

Data-driven managers

Contact and Non-Contact Injury Prevention

Contact and non-contact injury prevention

New Measures of Player and Team Performances

New measures of player and team performances

The Molecular Football™ Algorithm Automatically Produces Snapshots of Systems and Micro-Tactics

The Molecular Football™ algorithm automatically produces snapshots of systems and micro-tactics such as: The Born Again Christmas Tree, The Spinal Trap, Perpetual Motion, or Zugzwang

Data Manipulation as a Form of Doping

Data manipulation as a form of doping

Vision, Leadership and Personality Against Metrics

Vision, leadership and personality vs. data

Sensor and Communication Infrastructures Hacking

Infrastructures (sensors, images) hacking

Trench Battles Over Data Rights

Trench battles over data rights

DNA Analysis

Widespread DNA analysis

High Frequency Betting

High frequency betting

Enhanced Data Services (TV and Games)

Enhanced data services (TV and games)

Winning Formula is exhibited
at the National Football Museum in Manchester as part of the Future Everything Festival, at CCCB in Barcelona and at Fundacion Telefonica in Madrid as part of the Big Bang Data exhibition

Press Material
Winning Formula was launched at the National Football Museum in Manchester on March 28, 2014 as part of the Future Everything festival. That day a sample of stories were inserted into 130,000 copies of the Manchester Evening News

Press release


Winning Formula is an international, transdisciplinary effort stretching from Europe, South America to the US. It was conceived and directed by Fabien Girardin of Near Future Laboratory in tight collaboration with futurists Scott Smith (Changeist) and Philippe Gargov (Seeklup). It was designed with Bestiario (Andrés Ortiz, Julian Jaramillo and Paola Avellaneda).

Julian Bleecker

Near Future Laboratory

Fabien Girardin is a researcher, engineer, co-founder of the Near Future Laboratory a thinking, making, design, development and research organization speculating on the near future possibilities for digital worlds. He is active in the domains of user experience and data science. Inspired by his youth as sport journalist wannabe, he created and directed the project.

Scott Smith


Scott Smith is the founder of Changeist, a lab, research tank and studio created to identify and make sense of weak signals of change. He has over a decade of experiences as a futurist, working with global organizations to navigate complexity. A hardened football tourist, Scott developed many of the high level technological, political and economic narratives for this project.

Philippe Gargov


Philippe Gargov is a geographer, founder of Seeklup, a foresight agency that explores among other things the mutations of urban spaces. He contributed to this project with many of the low level implications of the use of data on the evolution of tactics and the overall language to describe the game; topics he also covers in his blogs Football Totalitaire and the magazine Les Cahiers du Football.



Bestiario is Barcelona based design studio dedicated to data dynamic representation and to the creation of digital spaces for the collective creation of knowledge. They 'make the complex comprehensible.' Their practice combines art and science to design and create interactive information spaces. Andrés Ortiz, Julian Jaramillo and Paola Avellaneda produced the design and graphics of the project.

A project commissioned and produced by FutureEverything, National Football Museum, Centre for Contemporary Culture Barcelona – CCCB, and Fundación Telefónica, supported by ECAS, a European Commission Culture Fund project and MEDIAPRO.

Future Everything

FutureEverything is an internationally recognised R&D hub for digital culture, presenting industry conferences, innovation projects, artworks and live experiences which showcase a digital future. For almost twenty years FutureEverything has been at the heart of the digital debate, inspiring thinkers, city makers, developers, coders, artists and musicians to experiment and collaborate.

National Football Museum

The National Football Museum exists to explain how and why football has become ‘the people’s game’, a key part of England’s heritage and way of life. It also aims to explain why England is the home of football, the birthplace of the world’s most popular sport. NFM aims to be the first point of contact with football for non-fans and an introduction to wider aspects of culture and history for football fans.


The Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona organizes and produces exhibitions, debates, festivals and concerts, programmes film cycles, courses and lectures, and encourages creation using new technologies and languages. It promotes artistic research in fields such as multimedia, backs research into exhibition formats.

Fundacion Telefonica

Fundación Telefónica is channeling Grupo Telefónica's social and cultural initiatives in all countries where it is present. This is how the company interacts with society and contributes to building the future contributubg to the educational, social and cultural development of the communities of which they are part.


Near Future Laboratory is a thinking, making, design, development and research practice based in California and Europe.

Our goal is to understand how imaginations and hypothesis become materialized to swerve the present into new, more habitable near future worlds. Our practice involves working closely with creative, thoughtful experts within various domains of work depending on the needs of any particular project. Our associations with a wide network of well-respected and accomplished practitioners makes it possible to work from concept development to construction of unique digital designs.