We are using a process called “foresight” to imagine how we might improve the well-being of children and youth across Canada in the future. Foresight challenges us to think far into the future (like, 10-12 years from now), and then plan for the many different possible outcomes. What will it be like to grow up in Canada in 2030? What will be different for young people in the future?
Will the future be better for kids in Canada? It depends on what we do today.
As part of the Generation 2030 foresight project, One Youth is engaging Canadians to consider many different possibilities for children and youth in the future. The futures we’ve imagined draw on the contributions of hundreds of people across the country — including children and youth.
The futures were developed through a foresight process that included scanning for signals of change, developing trends from the patterns that emerge from the signals, identifying the forces driving these trends, and mapping the two most uncertain of these drivers (those which will have the most impact) to create four different possible futures.
The four imagined futures, or scenarios, are very different. They represent threads of hope, aspiration, ambition, warning, and possibility for the future of childhood in Canada. In each case, they prompt Canadians to start a conversation about the future today.
Why do we use foresight?
Foresight isn’t about predicting the future. Instead, it’s about using what’s happening now to help us imagine what the future may be like. This research-based approach helps us plan for many possibilities, and be prepared no matter what the future looks like.
Companies, organizations, communities and governments can use foresight to guide advocacy, program design and policy creation that supports Canada’s next generation of children and youth.
Foresight with children and youth
Children and youth tend to be more optimistic and creative in their view of the future–and we could use more optimism and creativity.
In our foresight workshops with children and youth, our collaborators have come up with incredible ideas about how to improve the well-being of kids in the future. These ideas help us understand what is important to children and youth now, and what their concerns and visions are for their own future.
Here are some of the ideas we’ve heard:
- Genetically-Modified Flowers that absorb carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases.
- A Vending Machine that recycles plastic and gives out healthy snacks to kids.
- A Virtual Reality Portal that lets kids meet up with friends when they are feeling unsafe.
These ideas inform the priorities we set for the One Youth Design Studio, and give us feedback to share with the Canadian public and decision-makers.
Get involved in shaping the future
We need Canadians–adults and young people–to think about and start working on creating a healthier, happier future for children and youth in Canada.