Future Narratives – Your Future, Our Future | 22-27 January 2023, Sollentuna, Stockholm, Sweden 

Two years of the Future Narratives project finished with a very last international experience and an installation at the Municipal Library in Sollentuna, Sweden! The week consisted of workshops and interventions on how to build alternative ideas for the future involving creative experimentation in video making, painting, photography, theatre and creative writing. Participants were invited to build a collective exhibition of artworks inspired by their preferable futures. 

Before our meeting in Sweden, we had already had a preparatory webinar by Professor Ivana Milojević. She spoke about the importance of narratives for how we think about the future. She explained in particular how implicit ideas we may have could inform our current behaviour and future expectations. 

During the first workshop, the young people were divided into small groups to reflect on their future goals, dreams and fears. They were asked to use the mind mapping method to develop their collective thoughts and present them to the other groups. 

Afterwards, Jon Skoglund was invited to implement a workshop about social entrepreneurship. The workshop used the SWOB-analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Barriers) and allowed the participants to analyse what kind of change they would like to make in their local community and how they could potentially do it through social innovation.

The next day began with a painting workshop. The participants were provided with painting materials and were motivated to express freely their visions of the future using their imagination. There was no right or wrong in this exploratory and expressive activity. Each painting had a very special story behind it and an aspiration for the future!

Later, we had a visit from another social entrepreneur Felicia Margineanu, who led a workshop on using photography. The participants were asked to go out in nature and capture something from five different angles. At the end of the workshop, they got to choose one of their photos to share together with a little story behind it.

In the afternoon, the participants had the option to choose between ice skating and the traditional Nordic activity of “vinterbad”, or ice bathing. A few brave participants decided to take the plunge and immerse themselves in the cold water for the full Nordic experience. 

To conclude the day, we enjoyed a fantastic dinner together at the beautiful Edsviken’s Castle, where we also got a guided tour to discover more about its history.

On the third day, the participants were divided in four groups based on their interests (i.e. video making, painting, theatre and creative writing). Each group had two facilitators from the youth leaders that supported the creative process and helped the participants construct their ideas about the future. It was time to come together as groups and build their collective ideal stories of the future.

Then,  the young participants from Sweden had organised a city tour of Stockholm. This was a unique opportunity for them to showcase their knowledge of their city and share their perspectives with the rest of the participants. 

The tour consisted of a “walk and talk” session, where the participants walked through the city and engaged in conversations about their thoughts and ideas about the future. These conversations were not only enlightening, but also provided an opportunity for the participants to bond and connect with each other. The young people came from different backgrounds and had diverse perspectives, which made their discussions very interesting. As they walked and talked, they shared their hopes and dreams for the future, their thoughts on the current state of the world, and their opinions on what they would like to see change.

The following day was dedicated to the finalisation of the groups’ creative works for the future. In the evening. The final dissemination event took place and gave the opportunity to the young people to showcase their creative projects. At the event, some of the youth leaders also shared inspiring words about storytelling and Futures Literacy, and we also had a visit from social entrepreneur Leo Razzak, who held a panel discussion with some of the young participants about their experiences and thoughts about the journey with Future Narratives.