Life in Optimism

 Narrative 2 – Cologne Workshop

The second narrative developed in our first Cologne-based Futures of Europe event followed a consciously optimistic view of the future:

It imagines a world in which the science-scepticism of the early 21st century has been overcome as a globalized humanity realized that its only realistic path towards a prosperous future was a shared, scientifically literate one.

Representing this, a successor to the United Nations – or reformed UN – plays a key role in shaping the destinies of the planet’s inhabitants. Moving beyond the post-World War II roles of regional powers in bodies such as the Security Council, this new World Government truly does embody the geographical makeup of the population. To symbolize this, the Government is nomadic in nature, making only months-long stops in individual locations before moving on to allow for all its citizens to have equal access to their elected leaders. This modus operandi for any modern legislative body is dependent of and first enabled by technological progress that allows for the mobility and transportability of staff and infrastructure while reducing the environmental, social and political costs to a minimum.
Similarly, this future imagines a humanity that has moved beyond ‘single planet status’ and started to colonize and make use of the solar system, investing in its exploration for scientific discoveries and natural resources, replacing the need to further exhaust the already strained resources on planet Earth.

In this futures newspaper (dated: 26/04/2047), the following major headlines could be found:
– The last gasoline-powered car has been retired was put into the newly founded “Museum of Outdated Technologies” in Nairobi, Kenya – marking one more symbolic step away from the industries and thinking on the 20th century.
– The first gubernatorial elections on Mars have successfully concluded with a win from Earth-born Frank March for the Mars Citizens Initiative, marking both a milestone for the planet’s 50.000 colonists – and likely one of the last earth-born representatives of the red planet.
– New Life forms have been found in the sub-surface ocean of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede, report scientists based in the research outpost on the moon’s surface – the creatures are said to be highly adapted to life in the lightless depths of their environments. First images are expected to be de-classified by the end of the week.
– Jon Jhons is the first post-gendered person to be elected both Mr and Ms Universe, tearing down one more barrier of heteronormative thinking.

The Global Citizen

Narrative 1 – Cologne Workshop

What should be simple in the future and what shouldn’t?

This question became the point of departure for one of the four narratives that were created at the Cologne-workshop.

Even though it contains the word “simple”, the question far from was. Many different wide-ranging topics were discussed, mostly resulting in quite ambigous conclusions. In the end, however, the group was able to come up with three different concrete newspaper sections, which illustrated their main points:

Global exchange of knowledge

The first newspaper section was an article about German students going to Congo to learn about their new mobile phone technologies and exchange knowledge.

International relations should be complex in the sense of connecting the whole world and profiting from the possibilities created by globalisation. We should profit from each other’s different complex value- and knowledge systems. On the other hand, International relations should be “simple” in the sense that they should be based on humanity, solidarity and equality.

Citizen’s initiatives

The second section was an article about how a local citizen’s initiative had managed to completely abolish food waste in their city.

In the future, more problems should be solved by more direct (/simpler) volunteer initiatives. The citizens should feel connected to their neighborhoods and thus responsible for finding solutions to local and even global issues. Additionally, innovative solutions should be cherished and encouraged.

A complex but honest public debate

The last newspaper section was a debate section, where politicians clearly and honestly expressed their varied opinions on a subject.

Public debate should not be dominated by over-simplified arguments, and it should not depend on complex hidden political strategies. Instead it should be dominated by complex, honest and clear representations of opinions.

 

 

 

 

 

Kick-Off in Cologne is a wrap!

Last week we had an exciting kick-off for Futures Of Europe in Cologne. Co-inciding with the national covention of Germany’s populist new-right, we voiced our own protest by discussing and envisioning positive and desirable futures for our cities, neighborhoods, and families.

We had a diverse and open-minded crowd with us, ranging from artists, a futurist, a psychotherapist, teachers, and more – and we jumped into the discussion of big and general questions, as well as tiny details and concrete examples. After about 5 hours we came up with four narratives, framed as “good news from the future”, that shed some light on the future of housing, (social-)mobility, sustainability and the social contract. We will write up those narratives and publish them here in the coming weeks.

Our first take on this matter was a refreshing and interesting experience, we learned a lot and are very looking forward to round two in Copenhagen, coming up June 24! We’d love to see you there and are of course happy to hear your thoughts! For some impressions on the first workshop, see below.

 

Sei dabei – am 22. April in Köln!

 

Keine Lust , Dich immer nur mit den Problemen von Donald und Frauke zu beschäftigen? Und auch keinen Nerv mehr für düstere Visionen vom Ende der Demokratie, der „europäischen Werte” und – noch schlimmer – des gesammelten Abendlands?
Wir auch nicht!

Uns interessiert viel mehr: wie wäre eigentlich alles ganz ok? Ganz konkret, hier bei uns und generell? Und an welcher Gesellschaft wollen wir alle mitbauen, statt dramatischen Trends und Voraussagen zu vermeiden?

In einem halbtägigen Workshop wollen wir daher fragen, in welcher Zukunft wir eigentlich leben wollen? Wie wünschen wir uns Familie, Freunde, Alltag, Stadt und Europa in Zukunft? Und welche Spinnereien, Träume und Utopien haben wir im Kopf, wenn wir an übermorgen denken?

Dazu laden wir Zukunftsforscher, Städteplaner, Designer und Nachbarn ein, mit uns gemeinsam Zukunftsbilder entwickeln, bei denen es sich zu fragen lohnt – wie kommen wir dahin? Und die Lust machen, gemeinsam dafür zu arbeiten.

Sei Dabei! Teilnahme kostenlos!
Anmelden und teilen unter: https://www.facebook.com/events/1716265128666433/

Introducing: Futures of Europe

In the early 21st century, European societies and the idea of Europe as such are besieged by multitudes of challenges from within and without, not least of which is the rise of populism across the continent.

It is the core idea of this project to counter the over-simplified “Not this!” put forward by said movements and encourage the inhabitants of Europe to think – and dream – about the city, country and Europe of the future they want to live in. In doing so, we aim to change their perception of both the present and the future into a more positive one.

We will conduct two Citizen Futures Days in Cologne and Copenhagen in which we will debut our version of a human-centric approach to encourage participants to think positively about the future. We will use this blog to share and highlight our project, events and positive visions of the future of Europe.

Futures of Europe is part of and funded by FutureLab Europe – and now we are started.

Thanks for stopping by!