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Making Futures Present: A postcard from the future clears up your vision of the horizon


Maggie Greyson

Is what’s over the horizon a bit blurry for you? The future presents a greater feeling of certainty when you hold a piece of it in your hands.

Making Futures Present is a one-hour personal experiential foresight and design thinking workshop that helps to review and rethink the future by co-creating multiple scenarios.

It is very tempting for us to turn our gaze away from the future when it looks blurry, seems unknowable, and feels menacing. However, strategic foresight is a practice of low-risk thought experiments to reflect on the capacity to manage complex and turbulent scenarios. This is an experiential learning workshop to help us envision preferred futures via design fiction objects. As a result, participants will increase their comfort level with uncertainty and take steps in the present toward the future that they want.

Making Futures Present was awarded the Next Generation Foresight Practitioner award from the School of International Futures in 2018. It was also awarded the Most Significant Futures Work by the Association of Professional Futurists in 2019. It has been adapted for high school students, seniors, artists, writers, journalists, and people who are in career transitions. In 2020 it was adapted for youth anti-vaping research with the University of Toronto School of Public Health and recreated as an online research tool called Nod from 2050 in 2021. Most recently, it was adapted again for anti-vaping training onsite at a high school in Toronto. The facilitation instructions will be available free via a Creative Commons license soon.

KEYWORDS: futures thinking, strategic foresight, design fiction, scenarios, research technique.

Pre-proceedings drafts are available for RSD11 participants to review. The corresponding paper number is at the end of the title. The papers have been peer-reviewed, and the authors have made revisions. Following RSD11, authors will have a final period to revise their work from the feedback received at RSD before the proceedings are formally published.

Posted September 2022 content is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. This permits anyone to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form according to the licence terms.

Suggested Citation Format (APA)

Author(s) (20XX). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSDX) Symposium.