Your Future, Our Future: Our final transnational workshop in Sweden

By Mikaela Nyström

Two years have flown by since the Future Narratives project kicked off – it’s been an amazing journey, full of wonderful experiences shared with all of our participants. Let’s have a look at what the final workshop in Sollentuna, Sweden, had to offer!

A day of self-discovery and entrepreneurship

The first day began with warm welcomes and traditional Swedish fika – coffee, tea and cookies – for all to enjoy upon arrival. Coordinator of the Future Narratives project Nerina Finetto (Traces&Dreams), together with Bashar Tancro and Abdulkadir Bulhan (Möjligheternas Plats), shared some inspiring words about storytelling as well as the project’s journey over the last few years. After introductions, they went over the schedule for the week, outlining the various activities and events that the young people would be participating in. It was very nice to be together with all the partners, among them Jenni Schüßler and Mathias Huppenbauer from Machart, and Amerissa Giannouli and Boyka Boneva from Inter Alia – and of course all our participants from across Europe. All the individuals that have made this project possible, together in one place again!

During the first workshop, the young people were encouraged to think critically and reflect on their future goals, dreams and fears. They were divided into small groups where they could exchange ideas and express themselves freely. With the help of a mind-map as a way to visualize their thoughts and encourage creative problem solving, the participants outlined their aspirations, challenges, and the steps they would take to achieve their goals. Once their mind-maps were complete, the groups took turns presenting their work to the rest of the workshop attendees. This created an opportunity for them to share their stories, receive feedback, and learn from each other.

After a common lunch in Sollentuna Centrum, the group had an enlightening lecture from entrepreneur Jon Skoglund about the power of thinking and creating one’s future. The workshop was insightful and provided valuable insights into the SWOB-analysis method. This method, which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Barriers, allowed the participants to analyze their own business ideas and see the potential impact they could have in the elimination of major problems facing society. The workshop culminated in the
presentation of the participants’ business ideas, which showcased their creativity, innovation and determination to make a difference. After the lecture, the youth were given an opportunity to create and present their own business ideas aimed at addressing some of the major problems facing society.

Exploring the future through art and adventure

Day two was spent in the picturesque setting of Edsviken, Sollentuna, which was an ideal place for a Future Narratives workshop as its connection between past, present, and future aligns with the very essence of the project. The day began with a creative activity – painting! The workshop aimed to encourage the participants to express their visions of the future, using shapes and colors as a form of self-expression. There was only one rule: no rules! The intention was to let go of all existing limitations and fears and be as free as possible in the creative process. Some youths decided to paint their own painting, while others joined in together on one canvas. The workshop resulted in many different expressions and sharing of stories and ideas behind the different visualizations.

Later, we had a visit from social entrepreneur Felicia Margineanu, who led a workshop on using photography as a form of creative expression. After an inspiring lecture, the youths were instructed to go out and explore the practice of photographing by themselves. One part of the task was to find an object and capture it through five different angles. At the end of the workshop, they got to choose one of their photos to share together with a little story behind it.

In the afternoon, the participants had the option to choose between ice skating and the traditional Nordic activity of vinterbad, or ice bathing. A few brave participants decided to take the plunge and immerse themselves in the cold water for the full Nordic experience.

To round off the day, we enjoyed a fantastic dinner together at the beautiful Edsviken’s Castle, where we also got a guided tour to discover more about its history.

Exploring Stockholm through a ‘walk and talk’

On the third day workshop, the young participants from Sweden had organized a city tour of Stockholm. This was a unique opportunity for them to showcase their knowledge of their city and share their perspectives with one another.

The tour consisted of a “walk and talk” session, where the participants walked through the city and engaged in conversations about their thoughts and ideas about the future. These conversations were not only enlightening, but also provided an opportunity for the participants to bond and connect with each other. The young people came from different backgrounds and had diverse perspectives, which made their discussions all the more interesting. As they walked and talked, they shared their hopes and dreams for the future, their thoughts on the current state of the world, and their opinions on what they would like to see change.

Showcasing creativity and visions for the future: the final event

The following day it was time for the final dissemination event, which also was an opportunity for the young people to showcase the creative projects that they had been working on throughout the week.

At the beginning of the program, each participant was given the choice between four different themes to work on: painting, photo/video, theater or poetry. They were divided into groups and assigned their respective themes based on their personal interests and skills. By implementing their ideas and the knowledge they had obtained from the workshops throughout the week, the participants worked together to present their creative and impressive performances for the audience through different forms of storytelling. At the event, some of the leaders shared inspiring words about storytelling and Futures Literacy, and we also had a visit from social entrepreneur Leo Razzak, who held a panel discussion with the youth
about their experiences and thoughts about the journey with Future Narratives. A very successful evening!

The week in Sweden was a fantastic conclusion to the Future Narratives project. The young people left with new connections, self-reflection, and inspiration, and the memories of a lifetime. We hope that Future Narratives will continue to inspire and empower youth for many years to come!

For those in Stockholm, the young people’s artworks will be displayed for a month in Sollentuna Library together with other materials and information about Future Narratives . The exhibition is open to the public from Friday, January 27th, 2023, and for a month thereafter.

Make sure to check out some of the highlights from the week in this video:

Copyright 2024. All Rights Reserved