Utopia is not a dirty word
How to dream finer dreams?
The current dominant images of the future seem bleak. There seems to be a boom for dystopias and visions of apocalypse. We seem to suffer from an inability to envisage new possibilities. We cannot see alternative futures as better and are stuck in the extended present. To get rid of apathy and the inability to envisage new possibilities, we need to be allowed to have faith in the future; we need to imagine several different futures and we need to have new language and images to make better futures understandable. In the words of Fred Polak, we need to dream finer dreams. In this presentation, I will explore the role of utopias as a method for imagining radically better futures and the capabilities needed for creating societal change towards better futures. How can we use utopias as ways to broaden the range of imaginable futures and also broaden the range of people included in discussion of preferred futures? And what are the capabilities needed for imagining, discussing and creating radically better futures?
Mikko Dufva is Sitra’s leading foresight specialist. In his work, he examines future trends, the tensions between these trends and mental images connected with the future. In addition, he seeks to identify signals that may be weak now but are nevertheless significant from the point of view of the future. Mikko has extensive experience in foresight studies and a doctorate in Science (Technology) on creation of futures knowledge and systemic foresight.