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

Format: Interactives, RSD11, RSD11: Products are systemic objects, Topic: Learning & Education, Topic: Methods & Methodology

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 30-minute exploration of an experiential foresight and design thinking method 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. Making Futures Present helps us to envision preferred futures via design fiction objects. As a result, participants 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.




Citation Data

Author(s): Maggie Greyson
Year: 2022
Title: Making Futures Present: A postcard from the future clears up your vision of the horizon
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD11
Article No.: 068
Host: University of Brighton
Location: Brighton, UK
Symposium Dates: October 3–16, 2022
First published: 25 September 2022
Last update: 30 April 2023
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404