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Instructions for using the trend cards

The trend cards help you expand your thinking, brainstorm new ideas and envision what the future could be.


Jenna Lähdemäki-Pekkinen

Specialist (on extended leave), Foresight


Take a journey to the future! Sitra’s megatrend cards contain various trends that we believe are already impacting our lives and therefore our future. We also include descriptions of the tensions between the trends.

The trend cards cannot be used to predict the future. Instead, you can use them to stimulate and stretch your thinking, help you come up with new ideas and envision what the future could be.

You can find the megatrend cards here: Megatrend cards 2020.

In addition to the cards, you’ll need a pen and paper. In the online workshop, you can use the megatrend card randomiser tool. Tips for its use are also available.


You can use the trend cards in many different ways. Choose a suitable exercise from the ones listed below or try several of them:


Read through the deck of trend cards and see what thoughts you have about the trends. Are they familiar? Which ones are already apparent? Which are surprising?


Randomly pick 3–6 cards from the deck and place them in the order of importance based on your view. If you are working together with others, discuss and compare the order of the trend cards. Are there any common themes that come out of your discussion? Are you all in agreement?

Create a story

Pick 3–6 cards and use them to create a story about the future. Incorporate topics that are related to your work or other aspects of your life. Share your story with the others.


Choose a tension card from the deck. Think about how the tension could be resolved: is one of the two sides of the tension stronger, could a new direction be found, or will the state of tension continue – and what would that mean?

Come up with ideas

Get today’s newspaper and pick a news article that interests you. Pick 3–6 trend cards and think about what the news article would look like if the phenomena outlined in your trend cards were now commonplace. You can also use the Future News template.


Pick 3–6 trend cards. Use them to create a picture of the best possible future by describing the future of something that is important to you in combination with the cards you picked.


Pick 3–6 cards. Based on the ideas you get from the cards, create a future service, solution, product or procedure related to your subjects of interest that would make it better.

Make it concrete

Move from a future vision and work backwards to the present a step at a time. What concrete events can you identify as you move “backwards” from the future to the present?

Be surprised

Pick 3–6 cards and come up with completely opposite scenarios for them. What would have had to have happened for the opposite scenario to become a reality? Can you find surprising perspectives? Share your most interesting and surprising ideas with the others. Think about whether this could happen.

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