Shaping the future is a skill that can be developed. Bringing about changes in society requires more people to talk about the future, develop their future-related skills and imagine alternative futures.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Right now, Finland is faced with major future issues and deeds. The journey towards a society based on the limits of Earth’s carrying capacity requires a large group of reformers – people, organisations, all of us.
To build a better tomorrow, we need more people to discuss the future, imagine alternative futures and take action towards a desirable future. Shaping the future is a skill that can be developed!
The Future makers project focuses on combining, developing and teaching future-oriented thinking and change-making skills.
The aim of the project is to bring together and popularise future-oriented thinking and change-making skills. Change makers have always also been futurists. They have had the courage to question things and imagine that which has not yet happened. The project aims to reach individuals and collectives that wish to develop these skills in their respective organisations and networks.
While we face major societal changes, and while the shape of the desired future state is still ambiguous, future-oriented thinking has a lot to give. However, future-oriented thinking is not enough by itself. You also need actions – and people willing to take action – to implement the desired changes.
Among trailblazers in the field, the focus is increasingly shifting from producing foresight and insight towards reinforcing foresight skills – the actual ability of people to take long-term trends into account, compare possible futures and contribute to the realisation of a desirable future. The Reformers of the Future project also focuses on these aspects.
What are we doing?
The project began in the spring 2020 with the work of the developer team. Assembled through an open search, the development team comprised of 17 specialists has been sparring with Sitra’s team charged with conceptualising and developing Future Frequency, a workshop method that combines future-oriented thinking and change-making skills. Future Frequency is a method for imagining and shaping alternative futures. The development work will continue in the autumn with various pilot workshops and the method will subsequently be released for open use in early 2021.
We are also developing a two-day Future makers training module that will make the tools of future-oriented thinking and societal influence accessible by people and will provide them with the skills and knowledge they need to act as facilitators in Future Frequency workshops. The training aims to reach change makers in various fields who will be able to utilise what they have learned in their own networks. The application period for the training will begin in early 2021.The project will also produce information on how to better link future-oriented thinking and change making skills.
Who is involved?
We work with various groups, communities and organisations that are interested in taking advantage of future-oriented thinking and change-making skills. When the Future makers training activities begin in the spring 2021, we hope the participants will include development-oriented people who work in non-governmental organisations, municipalities, training institutions and the business sector. Our aim is to provide new tools and offer people increased opportunities to participate in discussions about the future.
In addition to the development team comprised of 17 members, the Future makers project also has an international mentor team comprised of scholars and experts in societal influence from across the world.