Envisioning a desirable future

In times of uncertainty, people start to talk about the future they want to live in. This conversation happens on many levels. It is best to capture the essence in stories since they stick better than facts and figures. This guide describes how.
2 mins read

It is more than a decade ago, I joined a corporate session, involving about 200 people from all over the world. Collectively we painted "pictures of the future" for the industry and the organization. The fruits of this exercise were a report and powerpoint containing some artifully styled pictures (images) showcasing repeating themes people believed to be the future.

Although the "pictures of the future" were very detailed, engaging, and futuristic, I struggled to help my direct colleagues make meaning in these pictures. Now, I know, how we could have done better. There was something missing, a link. They knew they have to solve today's problems, so it was stretching for them to see how the pictures of the future would fit into their life story.

Pictures of the future should be stories to help people relate to

So I believe, pictures of the future should morph into stories, people can relate to. It is best to ask people to provide those stories by themself.

A publishing, some media houses and a house for future (Futurium) in Germany just did that. They asked some renown science-fiction authors to provide stories from 2029 [1]. Out came eleven stories in a book with more than 500 pages. Interestingly the authors see that the topics among people don't change so much, but the people of tomorrow are embedded in more technology (if they like it or not). This technology has a major impact on how people experience their daily life.

 “Telling a story is one of the best ways we have of coming up with new ideas, and also of learning about each other and our world” Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group

Another example to mention is the quest for a vision for 2030 by a french sports equipment manufacturer and retailer. They are aiming to collect contributions from 1 Million people to imagine the future, and build it together [2].

Start your conversations about the future now. Create a community using the above template and share the link to anyone you want to contribute to the conversation.

[1] 2029 Geschichten von Morgen, Suhrkamp Verlag, ISBN 978-3-518-47029-9

[2] https://www.decathlonvision2030.com/




Community Template

to use at fireside-stories.de

Community: My desirable future
Description: In 5 years time, how should your future look like? How do you want us to grow and learn? What experiences do you want to have for us? How do you want stakeholders to see us? What impact do you see for the organization to make for the world? Create a short story, that provides your valued perspective on one or more points.




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