Futures Consciousness Scale
Collaborative research on the human capacity to understand, anticipate, prepare for, and embrace the future.
ABOUT FUTURES CONSCIOUSNESS
The futures consciousness concept and scale has been developed by researchers at the Finland Futures Research Centre (University of Turku) and University of Geneva, with help from other contributors. Teach the Future received a grant from the World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF) and the Prince Mohammad bin Fahd University (PMU) to adapt the Scale for use by young people, ages 12-18. The results of that grant are being submitted for publication by the partners. After that, the Scale will be available for use by schools and other organizations that work with youth. The details will be published on this page shortly.
Futures consciousness is the human capacity to understand, anticipate, prepare for, and embrace the future.
The Five Dimensions of Futures Consciousness are:
time perspective; the ability to be aware of the past, present and future, as well as the way events follow each other over time
agency beliefs; basic sense of confidence that an individual has in their own ability to influence the external world
openness to alternatives; abilities used to critically question commonly accepted ideas and influences an individual’s willingness to consider alternative ways of being and doing
systems perception; the ability to recognize human and natural systems around us including groups, societies and ecosystems
concern for others; relates to the degree to which an individual pursues favourable futures for a group beyond themselves
Full article explaining the concept: The Five Dimensions of Futures Consciousness, Ahvenharju et al (2018)
Teach the Future collaborates with the University of Turku in Finland, the Finland Futures Research Centre and Digital Futures to research and promote the work in the context of education and (young) students.
Sanna Ahvenharju, Matti Minkkinen and Fanny Lalot are the research experts that developed the futures consciousness concept and scale.
Teach the Future supports the development of a scale matching the language and level of young people. This project is in collaboration with schools in the Netherlands, Italy, Turkiye, United States, and United Kingdom. And we thank our sponsor the Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd, Center for Futuristic Studies
Next to this we support the testing. Erica Bol has worked with Martin de Wolf of the Master Learning and Innovation at the Fontys University of Applied Sciene. She designed a futures lesson program supporting the Master program and tested if the students futures consciousness improved. The students did a test before and after the lessons program. A paper on the project and results are published in FUTURES issue 12-2022.
Are you curious about your Futures Consciousness Profile? Take 5 minutes and take this test. Make sure to read the instructon below before you start.
Once you press the "start the test" button you will see a website that looks like this:
Next you will be promoted to enter a Group key.
Please copy this key (in bold): TTF-global website and paste it into the field that looks like the one below.
Once you completed the test (less then 5 minutes) you can submit and you will see your profile. It will look something like this:
To get the your results you can download a pdf file at the bottom of the result page.
Frequently asked questions:
1. How will my test data be used? Will my test data be anonymous? Who can see my data?
2. Do I need to keep a record of my password/personal key somewhere?
When you are asked to complete the FC survey, you will be asked to input a group key. You will only need to do this one time. The key will be provided by your test coordinator alongside the URL of the test site.
If you are taking part in a project that asks for you to complete the test multiple times over a certain period of time, you will be asked for your email address after you have completed the first test. A link to the follow-up test will automatically be sent to your address, and it will only become active after a certain period of time as established by your test coordinator. Please do not delete the email with the follow-up test link and check your spam folder if you do not seem to have received the email. Please contact your test coordinator if the problem persists.
3. How can I save my results?
After you have completed the survey, you will have the option to download your results.
4. What result would be considered high and what result would be considered low?
It should be noted that in self reported testing, all test results are specific to each individual test taker only and can only be compared to others in aggregate. A higher score for one person may not necessarily mean that they have a higher futures consciousness when directly compared to another person with a lower score. It is generally more useful for an individual to use the results as a way of reflecting critically on one’s own way of thinking and behaving. With this in mind, a score of four or more is generally exhibited by advanced users of futures thinking, either in their profession or as a major aspect of their day-to-day thinking. A score of around two would be sign that that dimension of futures consciousness is underdeveloped and would benefit from practice and exercise.
5. I have a low result in X, what should I do to develop that dimension?
When you receive your test results, an example exercise is included for the development of each dimension. Taking time to explore that exercise in detail and reflect on the process is advisable. There are also numerous books available that delve deeper into the significance of each of the dimensions, ask your local librarian to help you find out more. Alternatively, your test coordinator may be more than willing to suggest readings, courses or activities with which you may engage.