top of page

open futures  strategic foresight tailored to your needs

The 'Myths of the Future' Method

Team Building 

Strategy

An interactive method to explore the archetypal narratives of the future and become both more imaginative and more critical about the future – comprising a quiz, a spatial map of the future, exchanges among participants, and creative work.

 

8 to 60 people

1.5 to 5 hours

in person and online

Henri_Rousseau 1891_edited_edited_edited_edited.jpg

Myths of the future: 

Six archetypal stories of the future

 

Did you know that the futures we imagine can be roughly divided into six archetypal future narratives, or "Myths of the Future"?

Note: the term "Myth" does not reflect a value judgment (it is not synonymous with "illusion"), but is related to the fact that the original research comes from cultural theory.

Curious to know more?

Two possibilities:

Take the 'Myths of the Future' Quiz
(short version, 12 questions, 5 min)

and find out which Myths of the Future speak to you the most!

Read the description of the six Myths here (spoiler alert*):

*Spoiler alert: You won't be able to do the quiz in the same way once you have read the myths!

Consider filling the above Quiz of the Myths first.

Reference: Fabio Boschetti, Jennifer Price & Iain Walker (2016) “Myths of the future and scenario archetypes” Technological Forecasting & Social Change 111: 76–85

Henri_Rousseau 1891_edited_edited_edited

Discover the six Myths of the future

Lions-Henri_Rousseau_edited.jpg

*Spoiler alert: You won't be able to do the quiz in the same way once you have read the myths!

  • The eco-crisis myth describes beliefs that environmental conditions and natural habitats are likely and lead to social unrest.

  • The social crisis myth describes beliefs that traditional values, social order, and human competence are likely to decline in the future.

  • The power and economic inequality myth describes beliefs that big business and governments are likely to become more powerful and cause social inequality and economic crisis.

  • The techno-optimism myth describes beliefs that science and technology are likely to create innovations that improve quality of life.

  • The social transformation myth describes beliefs that society is likely to become more decentralized, caring, and collectively empowered.

  • The traditionalist environmentalism myth describes beliefs that biotech and nanotech entail risks for the environment as well as for humanity, which is likely to return to simpler ways of living.

The method and its uses

 

This workshop combines experiential discovery - with a quiz and a map of the future on the floor - collective intelligence and creativity. Its duration is according to needs from 1.45 to 4 hours.

This workshop is perfectly suited as a team building exercise (1h45-3h), to start envisioning the future of your organisation in the mid or long term (3-4h), or for your audiences on a theme of their choice, such as democracy or sustainable futures (2.30-4h). See Our Offers for more.

 

Becoming more imaginative and critical about the future

 

In our practice, we use these six Myths of the Future for their ability to make us both more imaginative and more critical about the future.

 

Once we have identified and objectified these archetypal narratives of the future, we can indeed recombine these narratives in a different way and produce new ones, both more original, nuanced and desirable.

The 'Myths of the Future' Method

A bit of background

 

The research on Myths of the future stems from findings in social cognition and cultural theory concerning patterns of shared values and beliefs about society and the environment and how they relate to each other (Myths of physical and human nature).

The research on Myths of the future is by Fabio Boschetti, Jennifer Price & Iain Walker (2016) “Myths of the future and scenario archetypes,” Technological Forecasting & Social Change 111: 76–85
 

Quiz of the 'Myths of the Future'

A quiz (survey) in 24 questions helps the workshop participants uncover the Myths of the future that most speak to them.

 

The aim of the quiz is not so much to categorize the participants into one or the other “myth” (they generally resonate with 3 or more “myths”) as it is to provide them with a way of stepping back from conventional attitudes and beliefs about the future, in order to open up alternative images and ideas about what might come.

Quiz Myths of the Future

Filling in the Quiz of the Myths of the Future during the Workshop at the Assembly of Transition, University of Lausanne © Nora Rupp

Map of the Future

A Map of the Future in the space helps the participants uncover the diversity of viewpoints needed to identify and prepare for a wide range of risks and opportunities.

 

Based on their answers, participants are asked to position themselves on a map of the future. In this way it becomes clear that everyone has a different view of the future. Indeed, everybody has a unique vision about the future based on their personal experiences and backgrounds, which leads them to perceive specific future risks and opportunities.

 

Which is why we precisely need this diversity of viewpoints to identify and prepare for a wide range of risks and opportunities. A diversity of perspectives is critical to better prepare for different futures.

A Map of the Future based on the Myths of the Future for a Workshop at the Assembly of Transition, University of Lausanne.

© Nora Rupp

Our offer

 

This workshop is perfectly suited as a team building exercise (1h45-3h), to start envisioning the future of your organisation in the mid or long term (3-4h), or for your audiences on a theme of their choice, such as democracy or sustainable futures (2.30-4h).

 

Offer a session to your team or your audience:

  • with the complete version of quiz (24 questions) and a time for sharing and exchange (1h45),

  • with the same as above plus an additional strategic or creative part in order to imagine opportunistic and inspiring futures (3-4h).

A Map of the Future based on the Quiz of the Myths of the Future for a Workshop at the Assembly of Transition, University of Lausanne. The post-its on the floor are indications of the participants' position on the map.

© Nora Rupp

Find out how you can benefit from
a 'Myths of the Future' workshop
.

Book a free meeting with our foresight director, Isabelle Vuong

through calendly, or write us an email.

© 2024 openfutures

bottom of page