FutureCast is an in-person workshop game where players explore opportunities and threats by collaboratively answering prompts and building on each other’s answers. The game was originally designed for exploring upcoming elections but you can easily adapt it to other contexts. FutureCast includes a toolkit for customizing the game to meet your own goals.
This collaboration started when the United Nations Global Pulse, the foresight arm of the UN, approached us to create a game to explore opportunities, threats, and pathways to positive change in the context of elections. The game had to be quick to customize for local contexts, to be easy to facilitate and play, to generate useful insights for the organizer and players, and it had to work with both expert and non-expert players.
We co-designed a simple game where teams of players answer focused questions and then exchange their answers with another team that answers a follow-up question that builds on the original answer. Prompts are organized into rounds that move forward over the period of years that the facilitators want to explore. End-of-round and end-of-game debriefs are key to synthesizing insights from the players.
The game was piloted with a United Nations resident coordinator team in Asia, who used it to explore risks and opportunities around an upcoming election. They ran the game with both civil society leaders and with local youths to understand perspectives. We then generalized the game into the FutureCast framework and guide for easy customization to a wide array of different contexts. The UN is planning to run it in more countries, soon.
The FutureCast toolkit includes:
You can download the toolkit here: FutureCast Toolkit
You can listen to the collaborators discussing FutureCast on this Techdirt podcast Episode.