This method is a playful way of helping participants project themselves imaginatively into the future, clarifying and personalising possibilities and aspirations for a particular case.
Focusing on a specific case, participants are invited to project themselves optimistically into a future time, inventing positive stories of regeneration and renewal that are worth celebrating. Such stories are then condensed into an imaginary headline from a newspaper cover page in the future. This practice can be combined with other methods, e.g. Inviting Non-Human Stakeholders (thinking of the future from the perspective of a given character) Collage (creating an image to represent the headline). Inspired by backcasting techniques, this method expands one’s sense of time and can point to practical action steps that are required to achieve the desired result. Moreover, the exercise of imagining a future headline triggers participants’ ability to condense ideas and aspirations, communicating concisely the future they envision.
The future story could also include more dystopian or uncertain visions of the future, which could invite another round of deeper observation and reflection about specific fears and sadness that might hold people back from taking positive action steps. This could be combined with Personifying Emotions.
Paper and pens; markers; one big sheet of paper; (optional) typed letters taken from newspapers, images for collage.
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