Design meets future studies to boost visioning and participatory foresight
Keywords:Co-design, design thinking, foresight scenarios, future literacy, envisioning, commons, social innovation, local development
The increasing uncertainties of all contemporary communities require future literacy, and strengthening the participatory dimension of foresight practice is part of the solution. The “Montagna 4.0 FutureAlps'” project involved high school students, teachers, businesses and stakeholders of Valtellina, Northern Italy, in local laboratories of participatory foresight through a codesign approach. This article briefly reports the project framework and the visioning exercises undertaken to build meaningful images of the future (2040). Such images should be able to question and broaden the current development visions of the Alpine Valley and inspire a collective design of its development trajectories by raising the community’s awareness of current and future changes. The activities took place over six workshops with three meetings each from September to December 2020, involving students (“@Scuola”), local stakeholders (“community lab”) and the general public and experts (“Open talk”). Each workshop focused on a specific topic, such as the mountain of tomorrow, sustainable innovation, social innovation and sustainable communities, protection, production and promotion, sustainable mobility and events for Alpine tourism. The outputs consisted of uncertainty scenarios, postcards from different futures and indications to make development strategies future-proof, which are all elaborated on in this article.