A playful technique that incorporates words from discussions the present and uses them to create sentences about possible futures. This can be used as a warmup exercise during multi-day workshops to lighten the discussions.

  • Collect words that relate to current discussions, and divide them into four decks:
    • World/Situation/Context
    • Entity/Actor
    • Method/Action
    • Result/Outcome
  • Look at all the words, pick one from each deck. You can do this either randomly or choose the words that resonate with everyone in the group.
  • Make 2-3 sentences using one word from each deck. The sentences should reflect an interesting direction for the organisation/collective/situation that you're discussing.
  • Pick one sentence (at random, or by preference).
  • Elaborate on the sentence. Describe the wider world and how your topic of discussion might be affected by it. What this future might look like. What might be the implications for the topics at hand? What would (have to) change for this future to become possible?
  • Write a short description (eg 280 characters) or make an image/moodboard that summarises your discussions
  • Share your descriptions with each other

For groups larger than 6 people:

  • → Create breakout groups (e.g. people can pull group number or symbol out of a hat) after the decks have been created, then split the decks into as many groups as you have.
  • → if you're working with breakout groups, you could swap the chosen sentences between the groups

(a list of references and/or further reading)

  • futurist_fieldguide/stochastic_futures.txt
  • Last modified: 2018-10-11 09:01
  • by maja