„Stockholm set in the future” by J.Ekeberg (courtesy of)
Future Day March 1st was founded in 2012 and is an international event, with things taking place in different cities all over the world. It’s the idea of having a special day to celebrate all the possibilities that our glorious future harbour. The event in Stockholm this year was held in the Museum of Technology (Tekniska Museet) . For a list of events world-wide see: http://futureday.org/events/
About 60 people had gathered in the museum’s main auditorium for an afternoon that proved to be rather innovative. We played a “game” and wrote stories!
After an introduction by organiser Vasilis Mavroudis, representatives of different organisations with an interest in the future presented their ideas. After that the audience was divided into groups. Each group was given a paper, The Perspective Matrix, with the ideas from the organisations in random order. The task was to identify which idea belonged to which organisation. The organisations were:
Transition (transitionnetwork.org) presented by Stephen Hinton – all presentations were made in English, BTW – who believes in “sustainable living and local ecological resilience in the near future”, to quote from the paper.
Broken Future (dark-mountain.net) presented by Dougald Hine, a network to solve “social, economic, ecological and cultural drises that mark the end of the world”.
Humanity+ (manniskaplus.net) presented by Waldemar Ingdahl and Hannes Sjöblom, which favour “technological transformation, the singularity and augmented humanity”.
Wider Embraces (widerembraces.org), presented by Stina Deurell , which wants “recognition and development of collective consciousness and perspectives”.
Tekniska Museet (Museum of Technology), Stockholm
After the presentations our groups could get more information from info corners of the different organisations, to help fill in the questionnaire, which was then corrected. My group, we called ourselves “The Improvisers”, were proud to get full points here.
After this, the game continued with identifying possible problems with the different visions. For my part, much of what was presented was too much of dystopian gloom cliches, like respect-Mother-Earth-and-eat-raw-carotts. Recycling, indeed – recycling the old Club of Rome claims , since long wholly discredited by reality. I’m more of a guy who embraces globalisation, hi tech, space, growth, technology and so on. I guess Humanity+ was the organisation most in my taste – they also like science and hi tech, and want to tweak and improve Homo Sapiens herself.
Ahrvid Engholm (center)
Anyway, using everything we had picked up, we were lastly to write a short fable. I’m a short story writer, but I must say that 20 minutes for this was a bit short. But I’m proud to say that I managed to contribute the basic idea, a fable of a cute chicken borrowing seeds from a greedy magpie. The magpie demands a high interest rate, the fable continues, but the chicken gets his day when he grows up to a mighty rooster. The different fables were read aloud for the audience, and then we put points on them to select a winner. The winning fable was about a tree that developed posionous fruits to get rid of goats damaging trees.
It all ended with a short panel debate with the representatives from the organisations.
I thought it was all very interesting. To get involved as an audience rather than to just hear a number of speeches could be something for…the future.
Ahrvid Engholm is a swedish author, editor, journalist and SF fan.