"Future thinking is a superpower that everyone needs"
Published: 24 February 2023
Prototypes of future scenarios where people can experience a possible future situation. That Vinnova is working together with designers and visionaries to engage people in shaping tomorrow's society.
This web page has been machine translated. If there are any uncertainties, please refer to the Swedish text.
Watch the video about how Vinnova uses speculative design to create engaging future scenarios.
A healthcare clinic where patients are treated preventively based on genetic and digital tests. A society with street signs showing zones with clean air after the climate changes that have occurred. They are two prototypes that illustrate two different future scenarios that Vinnova together with designers and visionaries developed as a way of understanding our future. The method is an important part of what is called speculative design, which is about challenging the ideas we have about how the world works and instead exploring the future.
After Joakim Skog and his colleagues, who work with foresight at Vinnova, familiarized themselves with the methodology, a call for proposals was made aimed at future researchers, innovators and creators, to send in sketches of future scenarios and then have the opportunity to apply for funding to design future prototypes based on these sketches. Over a hundred proposals were received. Of these, eleven were selected for funding and development into living physical environments that people could visit and experience. The goal was to stimulate dialogue about shaping the Sweden and the world we want in the future.
- Working with a future perspective arouses emotions, it creates commitment and sets in motion a process of change that could never be orchestrated or controlled in advance, but which is based precisely on people getting the feeling that they are involved in shaping a future instead of waiting for that it will occur, says Joakim Skog.
He believes that when it comes to major societal challenges such as climate change, pandemics and social divides, it is not enough to start from where we stand today. In order to come up with radically new ideas and be able to make conscious decisions that contribute to a sustainable transition, we have to paint scenarios of alternative futures. Then speculative design and future prototypes can be an effective tool. Getting better at thinking about the future is a knowledge that all organizations should acquire, says Joakim Skog.
- Future thinking is a superpower that everyone needs to be able to meet the speed of change.
Foresight during Sweden innovation days
Under Sweden Innovation Days 21-23 March you have the chance to find out more about how to work with future scenarios. Each day will begin with a short film from the future connected to the themes raised during the days. Joakim Skog will also hold three sessions on future scenarios and be co-moderator on days 1 and 3. Read more about him and his sessions here.