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The Futures Club




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 did not.

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.

Facilities: Katedralskolan 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".

Futures Wheel
Students looked through the mega trends from Naisbitt and Aburdene’s 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.


Statement: Biotechnology is growing.

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 increase.

Statement: Taxes are lowered.

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 questions were:

Is work a necessary evil?
Is work important for your identity?
Is work most important because it gives life experience?
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.


















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