Futures Guidance – briefly in English

Futures Guidance combines futures research methods with guidance-oriented thinking. 

In Futures Guidance, the future is seen open, containing many different possibilities. Humans naturally like to think about and focus on the future, but future-oriented thinking can also be learned and taught. Futures Guidance provides people with the tools for thinking and acting in ways that enable them to focus on their future expectations while also preparing for different chains of events. Futures Guidance also helps people imagine their future selves and roles within their communities and environments. Instead of envisioning a singular future that is set on a linear path, the goal of Futures Guidance is to assess the future as a more comprehensive set of entities and nonlinear continuum.

Education and training

We are based  in the University of Turku (UTU) currently offering academic education and continuation education for teachers nationwide in Finland.

Introduction to Futures Skills (5 ECTS cr)
– teacher training 2024–2026
– degree module at UTU & Open University 2025–

Basics of Foresight (5 ECTS cr)
– degree module at UTU & Open University 2023–

Futures Guidance Program (15 ECTS cr)
– degree module at UTU & Open University 2020–
– duration: 8 months

  • The module includes three units:
    • Introduction to futures thinking (5 cr)
    • Futures guidance in practice (5 cr)
    • Personal paths to the future (5 cr)

The future is approached at three levels:

1) Personal futures thinking (individual)
2) Futures guidance (community)
3) Futures research and foresight (system).

The program´s emphasis is on group work, individual work and reflection, fostering transformative learning.

The participants are mostly adult students with long experience in working life, who work as study counsellors, career and employment counsellors, mentors, coaches, support persons of young people in danger to become marginalized, nowadays also experts in human resources, personnel development, strategy, marketing etc.

The methods and tools of Futures Guidance are suited for e.g.:

  • Providing student guidance in various educational institutions
  • Providing support for coaching and guidance workshops
  • Providing workforce education for people who are switching fields or searching for their own field
  • Youth work
  • Working with immigrants and other special groups
  • All those who are interested in thinking about the future!

We have translated our Futures Guidance workbook in English and five other languages. Also our Get a Life simulation, which allows users to explore and imagine their future working life and educational paths, is translated in English.

Futures skills

Futures skills are the skills that are needed for creating the future, making better long-term decisions and can be used in various futures.  They are based on futures studies and futures consciousness.

Futures skills consist of the following cognitive, emotional and functional capacities:

  1. Envisioning multiple futures: to challenge presumptions and logical thinking in imagining alternatives and even impossibilities
  2. Systemic thinking and perceiving complexity: to detect and identify the interrelations and interdependencies of systems as well as the changing regularities of systems
  3. Development of time-perspective: to recognise multiple concepts of time, to understand the relation of past, present and future, to perceive long-term changes, and to expand one’s time-perspective
  4. Critical thinking: to evaluate the formation and underlying assumptions of various concepts of past, present and future, including one’s own
  5. Non-linear thinking and creativity: to use imagination in challenging and surpassing one’s beliefs and preconceptions regarding the future, to extend the boundaries of imagination
  6. Proactive and responsible action: to understand the personal and collective responsibility regarding the present and the future, to make justified value judgements to impact the future by action, and to assess the impact long into the future
  7. Accepting uncertainty and unknown: to direct one’s thinking and action to the open future without certainty over the consequences
  8. Reflection and value reflection, personal relation to future: to recognise and evaluate one’s values, world view, futures view as well as one’s assumptions and feelings about the future
Articles about Futures Guidance in English:
Future Camp event

Future Camp is a participatory and action based learning concept for exploring future possibilities and contemplating one’s personal ideas about the future.

The objective is to inspire students to think long term futures and support reflections on their personal decision making. The exploration takes 60–90 minutes in an indoor camp site. 

Future camp can be tailored for different target groups and objectives.

Read more…

Participants at the Future camp event 2014
Futures Guidance

– concept and tools developed since 2009
– home: Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku (Finland)
– research, education, development
– national&international co-operation projects

For more information, please contact: tulevaisuusohjaus(AT)utu.fi

Brochure (pdf)

Related events and organisations
Futures Day
  • Annual, national event in Finland
  • Materials for schools, institutions and companies on how to train futures thinking
  • More info

UNESCO Chair in Learning Society and Futures of Education
  • University of Turku, granted for professor Markku Wilenius (2016-2020)
  • The aim is making use of tools of futures research to eradicate global poverty and improve human well-being in developing countries
  • Development of Futures literacy concept and tool
  • More info

Teach the Future
  • A nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing foresight and futures thinking to schools and students around the world.
  • Free online teaching materials library and The Futures Thinking Playbook for educators.
  • More info

Futures School
  • Initiates kids of various ages with futures thinking and foresight by taking them on a fun and fascinating journey to alternative futures.
  • More info

Finland Futures Academy
Participants at the Future camp event 2014

Futures Guidance workbook (2017)


Futures Guidance workbook in English:

Workbook (pdf) Futures exercises (pdf)

Futures Guidance workbook in Swedish:

Framtiden – full av möjligheter! En arbetsbok för framtidsvägledning (pdf)

Futures Guidance workbook in Russian:

Workbook (pdf) Futures exercises (pdf)

Futures Guidance workbook in Somali:

Workbook (pdf) Futures exercises (pdf)

Futures Guidance workbook in Farsi:

Workbook (pdf) Futures exercises (pdf)