Mayo Nissen

Design, etc

Associated Press

With over 170 years at the forefront of news, the AP reaches half the world’s population daily. My team at frog helped assess the technological, social and cultural trends radically changing how news and media are created, distributed and consumed through an immersive scenario-planning process called “futurecasting.” With a futures horizon of five years, we were able to escape the gravitational pull of annual budgets and individuals' next promotions, while resisting the urge to imagine jetpacks and flying cars. Within this frame, we identified a series of immediate actions the organization should take today in order to remain relevant in the face of inevitable change and uncertainty tomorrow.

Headlines from the future. Distressingly, some of our more fanciful future-news came true.

In an effort to support the stellar journalists that the AP is known for, the team examined the rise and impact of AI-augmented writing, citizen journalism and crowdsourced information gathering, and the impacts of self-driving cars on media consumption. The insights, the future scenarios they informed, and the roadmap rooted in them have since guided long-term investments and strategic planning initiatives across the AP leading to the prioritization of new technology capabilities, as well as investments in startups building tools to meet new demands and address emerging needs.

Collaborative and immersive workshops brought together senior stakeholders from editorial and business sides of the organization to consider the future of the AP. Here, a team describes speculative revenue projections for a new product concept they had just generated.

“Our work with frog not only helped us imagine the future; it also ignited the cultural change we needed to embrace innovation as a fundamental driver of our strategy. Together, we built a framework for innovation that became the foundation for transformation.” Jim Kennedy, Senior Vice President for Strategy and Enterprise Development, The Associated Press

Our recommendations spanned organisational culture, business model, strategic investments in emerging technologies, and challenged a number of deeply held assumptions within the org.


This work was conducted in 2015 while at frog, with Graham Tuttle and Jenna Carpenter.

We generated a series of concepts to illustrate bring some of our recommendations to life. In this concept, we explored how AI writing might be harnessed to enable new revenue sources.