Stories of the Future

Dec 2018 | Design for Democracy, Design for Planet, Master's Projects

Lieke van Raan 2019

A shift in mindset

Today’s individualistic and consumer culture, as well as the industries and government, focussed on economic growth, cause waste, pollution and overuse of natural resources, leading to climate change. The exact cause of climate change and other environmental and social problems is complicated and not due to one actor. We relate to this crisis with the same mental framework and habits that contributed to the making of this crisis. Therefore a change in the way we think about sustainability is needed: a shift from a focus on individualistic well-being to collective well-being, with respect for nature and unborn generations.


On a more concrete level, we can say that the government has a lot of power to stimulate a sustainable society, by regulating industries and making it easier for citizens to live sustainably. But the short-termism of our democracy goes against a sustainable future. For this, the politicians need to work on a long-term vision, and the voters need a long-term focus when they decide who to vote for during the elections.


To work towards a more sustainable future, a long-term focus and a change of mindset on both the citizens, the industry and the politicians’ side is needed. Conversations about sustainability and the future of the planet need to be stimulated, to strengthen democracy and in the long run, contribute to the change of mindset.


This project proposes a platform called ‘Face the future’, to prepare citizens for the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Stories about the future

The platform will give citizens an idea of what the world could look like in 30 years, when, hypothetically, one of the nine Norwegian political parties would run the country. Stories about the future are told in form of a podcast series, a virtual reality experience and a movie, which also works as a political preference test.


It will make a stand against the short-term focussed debates and campaigns where a lot of people base their vote and stimulate citizens and politicians to think more long term by experiencing and discussing the future world.