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Introduction
 "Building the Future"
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INTRODUCTION

 
DESCRIPTION OF THE METHODOLOGY CALLED FRAMTIDSBYGGETTM OR BUILDING THE FUTURE
A YEAR LONG COURSE IN FUTURES STUDIES.


 
Visionscentret Framtidsbygget in Sweden has guided 170 people through a research project called FramtidsbyggetTM. "Building the Future".

Background
 
The title of this concept, "Building the Future", uses the word "future" based on a new area of study called Futures Studies which began to take form in the 1960's. Bertrand de Jouvenel who started The Futuribles Group developed a new use of the word future in France directed at decision-makers. The Group's futures research is known as la prospective in French. La prospective is based on five specific steps, which result in scenarios. Rand Corporation, which began as a military think tank in USA, developed a variety of techniques to be used in Futures Studies; Delfi and Cross Impact Matrix being two examples. In the ensuing years the techniques of both groups have evolved so that many academics, consultants, and companies integrate scanning, trend analysis and scenario techniques into their business life. Working in Germany Austria and Switzerland, Robert Jungk worked with the future in a different way. 1962 began to run future workshops for workers. His goal was to help people to actively take part in the creation of their own futures. Beginning with a problem statement, and including brainstorming, prioritizing, fantasy and creativity, the participants developed action plans, which they then followed.
 
"Building the Future" actually combines all of these traditions and has added other important dimensions as well.
 

 
The Vision Center has added values, to their studies of the future. We have also added knowledge about learning styles and the latest brain research so that participants carry out their study in accordance with their own personal learning and work styles.
 

 
Natalie Dian brought Futures Studies to Sweden in 1985, but it wasn't until 1992 that she and Christel Nilsson developed a model, which trains individuals to apply these techniques to both their work, and their everyday lives. The model is much more than learning futurist techniques. In the spirit of Junk, it helps individuals to be proactive in creating the future (by developing scenarios and visions for the community and themselves) while developing competence in social skills. It is also an inspiring model for adult learning, very important in view of the life-long learning in which we all must participate.
 

Facts
 

Each of the studies completed was of different systems, the future of the public sector, the future of a sustainable society, the future of work and jobs, etc.
 
Each study was conducted by 35 hand chosen people who were unemployed at the time.
 
The groups differed; three were for youth between 18 and 27, one for women between 35 and 55, and one for men and women between 25 and 50. After a successful result in the initial project, The Vision Center, 1996, trained project leaders for NBV's project in Sweden "Trendbryterna". They in turn led two Transnational Employment Youth Start Projects financed by the European Union social fund. They were developed in order to spread the concept and to test the replicability of the model. The two programs for young people between 18 and 24 were held in various parts of Sweden. After successful results, one of the project leaders went on to implement what she learned in teacher training courses and her own classroom. Another expressed herself in book form, "Vilken framtid vill du ha Svensson?", (What Kind of Future Do You Want Svensson?), which challenges the citizens of Sweden to take part in the changes that were occurring around them. Still others dropped the futures element and went on to emphasize, values, learning to learn and personal development in combination with one to one counseling in successful projects for youth.
 
The participants were chosen for their different backgrounds, cultures and work experiences.
 

 
Three thoughts lie behind the choice of speakers, materials and exercises that participants receive in order to carry out their futures study:
 
  1. We are moving from linear thinking to systems thinking.
  2. Brain research is teaching us that there are different kinds of intelligence's and that adults and children have to be taught in accordance with their own unique combinations of intelligence.
  3. We know that most children do not have a positive experience of school and learning. Adult education must help adults' experience learning as a positive activity as they must continue to learn for the rest of their lives.

The pedagogic model of FramtidsbyggetTM
 
The pedagogic model of FramtidsbyggetTM was drawn from many sources. Some of the concepts behind it are:
 
People learn best when doing something constructive, when they see the purpose of their work (creating a vision or scenarios).
 
People learn best when they can find the information themselves, and when it is a subject they are already interested in (environmental scanning).
 
People learn from each other as much as they can learn from a teacher (most work takes place in groups and each participant is expected to share what they have learned and developed with the other participants, a cross-disciplinary approach).
 
People learn best when they see how subjects are integrated (they began to understand that all of the variables- subjects they scan are linked into one huge system made up of smaller systems).
 
People learn best when they have a combination of structure and control over their learning (the process provides control, but the researchers have much to say about the way their work will be done).
 
People learn best when they understand their own learning style (each participant is given a test to determine their learning and working styles, these are then discussed with a professional).
 
People learn best when information is presented to all of the senses (many different learning techniques are incorporated into the program, exercises, discussions, movement, music, dramatization and simulation).
 
People have a need to see the whole picture as well as the details (participants work with details, which come together in a "whole" during scenario writing).
 
People have a need to learn techniques that can last them their whole lifetime, not just till the next test (participants learn how to read the news differently, think broader and more systemically, learn techniques for working with a diverse group of people and understand the process the world is currently undergoing and much more).
 
People learn best when they evaluate their own results and when their success is measured against their own previous results.
 


 

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