Futures Thinking by Waterkant Hub

Futures Thinking – Waterkant Festival goes EDU

Futures Thinking - Waterkant Festival goes EDU

For the first time in the winter semester 2021/22, Waterkant Festival will be part of the opencampus.sh edu-course programme. Together with our participants and futurist Jane MacGonigal from the Institute of the Future, we will use tools and skills to not only think about futures, but to make them tangible and real as desirable utopias.

Futures Thinking - Bringing the Future into the Here and Now.

Futures Thinking is a set of tools, methods and models that help us to imagine probable and/or plausible futures. By strategically anticipating futures, we bring them into the Here and Now, putting ourselves in a position to work concretely on and with these ideas of the future: in our jobs, in our free time, in our voluntary work, in whatever form. These ideas make it easier for us to identify levers and make a real difference for and in the future.

Future, then, is not something ready-made on the horizon that simply hasn't arrived yet. Rather, the future is completely open and - this is the important thing - can be shaped by us! At the same time, this means that there is always more than one possible or plausible future - hence the term Futures Thinking.

Thinking the future - the basics

Signals // Signals are a piece of the future realised in the present and can be anything: events, situations, statements, a technological innovation, a moral problem. Anything that makes you wonder can be a signal. In the course we show where and how to recognise signals. Signals are the starting point for developing ideas about the future.

10 years // This is the time frame you think about as a futures thinker, because on the one hand 10 years are so far away that you can mentally detach yourself from many current circumstances and on the other hand 10 years are still so manageable and imaginable that the anticipated futures remain relevant for your own life.

Toolbox // There is a whole set of methods and tools for working with signals and designing futures. In the course itself we look at the following four in more detail:

  • Forecast & Scenarios
    How do you read the here and now to design future scenarios?
  • Simulation Skills
    How to overcome individual limits of what can be imagined as futures and find concrete ways to get involved?
  • Collaborative Gaming
    How can one empathically expand one's own perspective on futures to include the perspectives of others in order to avoid blind spots?
  • Urgent Optimism
    How do I plan strategies that involve concrete action in the here and now for a desirable future?

Why we do it

By offering this course as the Waterkant Team, we want to enable participants to become actively involved in shaping their own desirable futures. We give them a concrete set of tools to think about the future, to become active and to build a strong network. At the end, there is a chance to curate own priority themes for the Waterkant Festival 2022.

We think the course is a good start to actively engage with questions of desirable futures and at the same time can produce strong innovations - for the region and beyond.

Curious? See which futures the course participants will realise on the big stage at the Waterkant Festival 2022. All updates on tickets and content can be found here.

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