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Workshop: Myths of the Future

An interactive method (comprising a quiz, a spatial map of the future, exchanges among participants, and creative work) to explore the archetypal narratives of the future and become both more imaginative and more critical about the future.


Myths of the future: 6 archetypal stories of the future

Did you know that the futures we imagine can be roughly divided into six archetypal future narratives, or "Myths of the Future"?

Curious to know more? Two possibilities:

Take the quiz (12 questions, 6 min) and find out

which Myths of the Future speak to you the most:

Or read the description of the six myths here (spoiler alert*):

The six myths of the future

* You won't be able to do the quiz in the same way once you've read the myths!

Note: the term "Myth" does not reflect a value judgment (it is not synonymous with "illusion"), but is related to the fact that the original research comes from cultural theory.

The method in two words

This workshop combines experiential discovery - with a quiz and a map of the future on the floor - collective intelligence and creativity. Its duration is according to needs from 1.45 to 4 hours (see 'My offer' below).

Becoming more imaginative and critical about the future

In my practice, I use these six Myths of the Future for their ability to make us both more imaginative and more critical about the future.

Once we have identified and objectified these archetypal narratives of the future, we can indeed recombine these narratives in a different way and produce new ones, both more original, nuanced and desirable.

Last december 2022,

this workshop opened

the deliberations of the

for a sustainable future

of the institution by 2050.

My offer

Offer a session to your team or your audience with the complete questionnaire (24 questions) and a time for sharing and exchange (1h45), or the full version with creative time (3-4h).

Perfect as a team-building exercise (1h45-3h), to start envisioning

the future of your organisation in the mid or long term (3-4h), or for your audiences on a theme of their choice, such as democracy or sustainable futures (2-4h).

A bit of background

The research on Myths of the future stems from findings in social cognition and cultural theory concerning patterns of shared values and beliefs about society and the environment and how they relate to each other (Myths of physical and human nature).

Slide to the “Myths of the future” from my introductory course. The painting is from Le Douanier Rousseau (1891).

A survey in 24 questions helps the workshop participants uncover the Myths of the future that most speak to them.

The aim of the survey (and its embodiment in the floor map) is not so much to categorize the participants into one or the other “myth” (they generally resonate with 3 or more “myths”) but to provide them with a way of stepping back from conventional attitudes and beliefs about the future, in order to open up alternative images and ideas about what might come.

Based on their answers, participants are asked to position themselves on a map of the future. In this way it becomes clear that everyone has a different view of the future. Indeed, everybody has a unique vision about the future based on their personal experiences and backgrounds, which leads them to perceive specific future risks and opportunities.

Which is why it is precisely this diversity of viewpoints that is needed to identify and prepare for a wide range of risks and opportunities.

A diversity of perspectives is thus critical to better prepare for the future.


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