Tool: Futures Literacy Lab

Estimated Time
Four sessions: 3 x 90 mins and 1 x 120 mins
Resource Type
TIPC Region
Nordic Hub

This tool guides participants through a Futures Literacy Lab, a practical method to help us reveal, reframe and rethink the assumptions we use to imagine the future. It draws on TIPC’s Nordic members’ experience of running a Lab in partnership with UNESCO and The Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education in 2021.

The original Lab methodology on which the tool is based was provided by UNESCO Futures Literacy, which works to build capabilities to cultivate more effective and efficient use of the future. Participants in the Lab will exercise their imaginative capabilities and play with their images of the future. The point is not to predict the future, but to explore different stories about it, and to use these stories to reflect on our preconceptions about on social, cultural, economic, environmental and technological drivers.

This is a capacity development activity and may lead to second order learning in relation to the assumptions and underlying beliefs influencing a TIP theory of change.

The tool is for use by participants during a facilitated workshop series. It is not designed to be self-facilitated and requires: (a) one lead facilitator; (b) a team of small group facilitators and (c) the group of participants, some of whom will act as rapporteurs. If you are preparing to facilitate the sessions, please refer to the guidance for facilitators and the slides introducing the Futures Literacy Lab methodology.



The tool is based on the methodology created by Riel Miller with colleagues and networks at UNESCO Future Literacy. Special thanks to Riel – and to Lisa Scordato and Per Koch at the Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU) – for training TIPC members and partners in the method, and for providing resources and guidance for facilitators and participants, which have been adapted for the TIP Resource Lab.

Thanks to Elisabeth Gulbrandsen at The Research Council of Norway for leadership on the learning agenda for TIPC Nordic hub members in 2021-22, and on the theme of Futures Literacy for Transformative Innovation Policy.

For more on Futures Literacy, resources and network information visit UNESCO Futures Literacy.


Alvial, Palavicino, C., Gulbrandsen, E., Koch, P., Miller, R., Scordato, L., Shaw, V., Zinkstock, E. (2023) Futures Literacy Lab tool. Available at

Facilitators Instructions

Important: Duplicating the tool

This resource is a Master version of the tool. To use it, you will need to duplicate it to your own Miro account.

How to duplicate the Board

  • First, make sure you have your own Miro account. Researchers may be able to access a free educational plan for staff at educational institutions
  • Click on the ‘download’ link to access the Lab master board
  • Then click on the title
  • Click ‘duplicate’ – this will open another board with ‘Copy’ in the title
  • Rename the tool and save the URL

You will need to complete this process for each board. If you are using a tool with multiple groups, you can either: (a) create a different board for each group or (b) copy the tool multiple times on the same board. We recommend (b) to avoid confusion over board links.

If you are new to Miro, there is a short intro here.

If you accidentally change the Resource Lab Master, don’t worry! – please leave a message in the feedback section below and the Lab team will be able to update it.

Reflections on TIPC use

The Lab methodology was tested in 2021 on the theme of innovation priorities in 2050. Our thanks to the 30 researchers, funders and policy practitioners who took part in the intensive Lab series from: Business Finland; Centre for Digital Life Norway; Expo 2020; INGENIO (CSIC-UPV); Lund University; NIFU; NTNU; Swedish Social Insurance Agency; The Research Council of Norway; UNESCO; University of Stavanger; University of Sussex; Utrecht University and Vinnova. Their experiences and learnings have been used to shape the tool.

Leave your feedback on the resource

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *