The Project

Future Narratives is a strategic partnership between six organisations across Europe, co-funded by Erasmus+ to support innovation in the field of youth. It is addressed to young people aged 18-30 years old, particularly those from migrant or disadvantaged backgrounds, and the youth workers and educators who work with them.

In the first iteration of our project, Future Narratives invited youth workers and young people to join in sharing our experiences and developing new skills in a series of events in Spain, Greece, Germany and Sweden, blended throughout with our digital platform. The experience enabled all participants to build a new narrative for themselves, to place their individual voices into dialogue with each other, and to tell their stories to the world.

Our project aims to introduce young people to Future Narratives as a way to develop their Futures Literacy. Futures Literacy describes the capability to decide why and how to use your imagination to introduce the future into the present. Since 2012, UNESCO has been developing the concept of Futures Literacy through international centres, seeking to understand “the frames people use to understand tomorrow.”

This project sees narrative as the central tool through which people are able to understand and build possible futures. Future Narratives will enable young people to use narrative as a central tool for empowerment at a personal and a community level. Future Narratives originates from the belief that it is through telling the stories of ourselves and of our communities that we can understand and invest in our possible futures.

Our project brings together the concepts and methods of storytelling, narrative and future literacy as a way to empower individuals and communities. We use storytelling as the key heuristic to activate the capacity to reflect on the past, the present and the future, and to recognise different paths, approaches, and solutions. Introducing young people to the concept of narrative as a way of understanding their present, we foster their understanding of the power of culture, stories and visions to bring about a better future. This understanding gives them not only the tools to work on a vision for themselves and for their community, but also develops the soft skills recognised as vital for our future society, such as cultural understanding, critical thinking, communication, and social media literacy.

Through our first project, we saw that the methods we have begun to discover – which combine narratives at individual, community, and societal levels with Futures Literacy – have a major impact for young people and youth workers in their personal and professional lives and in their perspective on the future for themselves and their societies.

Future Narratives 1 made clear the needs of the community for a long-term commitment, and an enhanced methodology for greater impact in a range of contexts.

We seek to build a knowledge and imagination community that can achieve real impact in a time of uncertainty and fear for many. There is a need for spaces in which young people can become active creators of their own visions of the future by reflecting on their histories, values, and aspirations. By developing Future Narratives as an innovative methodology adaptable for youth work in a wide range of contexts, the capacities of practitioners can be enhanced in enabling young people to become more conscious authors of their stories.

Future Narratives 2 – key activities:

  • The Future Narratives Digital Platform becomes a Knowledge Hub for theory and methodology related to Futures Literacy, narrative and storytelling, with educational and inspirational resources and a community for practitioners and young people to exchange knowledge, connect and share all over Europe.
  • Development of a Future Narratives Curriculum for youth workers, educators, and practitioners, building upon our previous experience and expertise to create a comprehensive approach based on critical thinking and contextual analysis, aiming for greater reach and impact in youth work.
  • Training and mentoring for youth workers, practitioners and educators in Germany, Greece, Spain and Sweden, piloting the Future Narrative Curriculum while analysing transferability and diversity.
  • National and transnational workshops for young people, allowing trained practitioners to mentor young people directly, building practical experience while empowering youth to understand the impact of narratives on their past, present, and future, enhancing their Futures Literacy, and facilitating collaboration and exchange among trainers and young people across countries.
  • Launch of the Future Narratives Festival (Italy, Spring 2025), to showcase and disseminate the project and its results to local and international audiences, provide hands-on experience of the Future Narratives methodology, offer a platform for young people to present their future stories, and enable engagement with young people’s perspectives through installations both online and offline.

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