Summery of the Futures Club 2004
13-14 March, 2004 Turku, Finland
Futures Club 2004
is the second weekend in Futures Studies for
high school students from Finland and Sweden.
It is sponsored by The Finish Futures Society
and The Vision Center for Futures Creation.
Initiating futures thinking:
The goal was to introduce Futures
Studies and get the students to think deeper
and wider about the futures than they had ever
had before. We also introduced the students
to futures tools.
High Points: Patrik
Sibelius, from Åbo Akademi and Prof. Christina
Krause from Helsingsfors University, workshops,
food quality, the general structure, our good
translators and participation by teachers.
Program design: The
Futures Club had three parts, lectures, workshops
on mega trends and a workshop on individual
futures. The participants came from Lillerud
Naturbruk in Dalarna, Sweden, Katedralskolan
in Turku, Finland and Paraisten lukio just outside
Turku. Swedish was the language of the weekend.
Participants had Finish, Swedish, and Finish
Swedish as their native languages. Others had
Swedish and English as second or third languages.
Credit: Certain participants
received credit for their participationand others
Adult participation: Adult
participation took several forms organizer -
Leena- Maija Lauren, workshop designer
Natalie Dian and teacher/principals who contributed
to the content and participated in the various
events of the day alongside the students, Leena
Laakso, Outi Verronen-Pöyliö Carlgren,
Gertrud and Marita Reuter and others.
in Åbo was the perfect size for 24 participants
and teachers. It had good acoustics and small
areas for group work. Paraisten lukio presented
another learning environment, small and specially
designed. One lecture, dinner and entertainment
were held there. Students here have Futures
Studies as a part of their coursework. On Sunday,
the program was held in an old sailing ship
in the harbor called "suomen joutsen".
Students looked through the
mega trends from Naisbitt and Aburdenes
book, Megatrends 2000 and discussed them. Each
group chose one they were most interested in.
They turned the trend into a statement and created
a futures wheel from that statement. A futures
wheel highlights negative and positive consequences
of the chosen statement on three levels, the
direct consequences of the statement, their
consequences and the consequences derived from
the second level. Some chosen thoughts from
this exercise follows.
Possible consequences: Medicines,
more pollution, some illnesses, more illness,
new weapons, new cool animals.
Statement: The old religions
don not provide solutions.
Possible consequences: people
become "born again", misunderstandings
Statement: Taxes are
Possible consequences: one
can work less, more money to use, unemployment
shrinks, the state has to lower services and
individuals have to pay more for doctors
services, individuals have to pay for more health
care or buy insurance.
Another exercise was about
developing participants ability to articulate
their own thoughts on the subject of work, which
is important to their future choices. They will
be creating a future for themselves based upon
their beliefs. Participants discussed four questions
on work in small groups and then the groups
voted on the ideas that each small group presented.
They were asked to draw pictures of themselves,
One with a smiling portrait J
which meant "I agree totally with, the
statement and a smiling portrait with a diagonal
line "/ " through it meant, "I
partly agree with the statement".
A count of the pictures gave
the groups viewpoint on the subject. The discussion
Is work a necessary evil?
Is work important for your identity?
Is work most important because it gives life
Is work important for personal development?
After a guided visualization,
which helped participants picture their own
futures, they left tired and happy into the
wet weather of early spring in Turku.