SItra. Photo: Miikka Pirinen

Published April 9, 2020

The future is made together – from home

These exceptional times have taught us that it is possible to work and reflect together virtually on the future while physically at home. We have compiled a list of useful tips and tools to make working from home easier.
Writer
Asiantuntija, Viestintä ja yhteistyösuhteet, Sitra

The future is happening now – there is no time to stop and wait for the crisis to end. Envisioning the future is, in fact, an efficient way of alleviating the anxiety caused by the current uncertain situation. Unprecedented times present unprecedented opportunities to change the future.

But how can we carry on with future-oriented work in practice in such exceptional circumstances? How can you kickstart your thinking and ideas, and envision the world together virtually with others? What might the future be like and how will megatrends affect my speciality, organisation or life in general?

There is an endless number of tools and materials to support future-oriented work. Most of Sitra’s materials and tools are equally well suited to workshops and working alone at home. We have reworked and optimised a new version of the megatrend cards for the purpose of virtual team work.

Broaden your mind with megatrend cards

The megatrend selector will deal out trend and tension cards in random order. Your job is to think about what the future indicated by each trend and tension would be like.

You can reflect on futures on your own or as a team or organisation

  1. Alone: Select 3-10 trend and tension cards and consider what the future would look like according to the scenario presented by the cards.
  2. As a team: Start your ideas meeting by selecting random cards on your screen and sharing your view with the other participants. Reflect in dialogue how the trends and tensions impact your speciality or organisation. Alternatively, each participant can select their own cards and first reflect individually on what kind of picture of the future the cards paint and finish the exercise by sharing their thoughts.
  3. As an organisation: If you want to raise discussion through your entire organisation, select three cards every week, for example, take a photo of the cards, share them on the intranet or group chat and initiate a discussion on how the trends and tensions affect your sector or organisation.

The tool is an open-source tool, so all improvements are welcome.

What else?

Megatrends slides also make for useful viewing before you start your work on megatrends.

If you need additional challenges and new ideas, pay attention to weak signals. To identify weak signals, read the article What is a weak signal?.

What other materials or tools should we work on to better support your work while working from home? Let us (Anna and Mikko) know about your ideas and needs, and we’ll try to come up with a solution!

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