Estimated reading time 2 min

Futures Lens – a tool for democratising futures.

The Futures Lens – a tool for democratising futures – helps us examine the power to define futures and consider the choices involved.


Lilli Poussa

Specialist, Foresight

Terhi Ylikoski

Specialist, Foresight



First, decide on the scope of your work: what future-related process or existing vision of the future you want to view through the lens. The process can be one you are responsible for or you can also use a process owned by someone else. The visions of the future can also be your own or those of someone else.

The materials include the Futures Lens and a template that explores each of the six dimensions of the lens. Print the templates of your choice or prepare digital templates.


  1. Start by studying the Futures Lens to get an idea of what it is all about.
  2. Then, move on to using the templates that open up the lens. Depending on the situation, you can use one, a few or all of the templates in any order.
  3. For each template, assess the current situation – where you are now in terms of the power to define futures. Also, set a target situation.
  4. Discuss the questions in the templates you have chosen and fill in your observations on the template.
  5. Finally, return to your initial assessment of the current situation and goals. How do they look in light of the discussion? Do you want to make any changes to them? What will you do to reach each target? 


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