by People's Voice Media
Foresight provides participatory methods that support people and organisations - from citizens to policy makers - to gather intelligence that can support the building of medium-to-long-term scenarios about the future and develop plans for how these can be created. It is not about predicting a singular, correct version of our future (OECD, 2019) but instead embodies epistemological pluralism in action as it supports the creation of visions for the future (Inayatullah, 2010). In a world of increasing uncertainty and complexity, set against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, foresight and future thinking techniques can act as a key tool in the innovation of policy development, bringing citizens and decision-makers together to define solutions about our shared futures (Fox, 2020).
With stories being powerful tools through which people connect, share understanding and build bridges, they are ideal materials to incorporate into future-thinking activities. More so, storytelling has a long history as a tool for “for learning and dialogic encounters” and in supporting change-making processes (Copeland and Moor, 2008: 101).
This toolkit supports the combining of lived experience stories with future-thinking, enabling practitioners from policy, research or services to use people’s stories as source material for signals about our future and to explore possible futures. Whilst this toolkit was originally designed for the EUARENAS project to support contemplation about the future of our democracies, the guidelines presented here can be utilised to explore a range of topic areas and applied in different settings from service improvement to policy development.