16:15 - 17:15
Crystal ball games: Exploring a positive future for technology and society

Short thesis

We’re used to the future being presented to us as bleak, from global warming to increasing economic inequality. But another future is possible - one where technology is used to tackle the challenges of the years to come, and where it unites us rather than divides us. And how better to imagine that future than through play?

Come and try out our brand new board game, which will help you explore a positive vision for how technology will help us tackle the big challenges of tomorrow.


It can be easy to despair about the future, bombarded as we are by negative headlines, videos and tweets.

It's not so easy to step back and imagine a more positive future, but it's just as important - and much more fulfilling. With this in mind, we’ve developed a card game to get people thinking about the future in a more positive way. Games are wonderful tools to start conversations. They get us to see the big picture, to empathise, and to ask questions - and, most of all, they're fun.

In this session, we’re inviting you to test our game out, thinking creatively about the future you want to see for yourself, your families and your planet. The game, which is based on the Situation Lab's award-winning "The Thing From The Future", allows people to construct imaginative, thought-provoking future scenarios with the help of various stimuli and prompts.

You'll be guided through a journey to develop a detailed scenario of how technology might be used to tackle future social challenges, prompted by cards for different concepts, places, objects, people, events, emotions and other stimuli. First, you’ll be building a vision for the future - which might be hopeful, scary, realistic, or even implausible. Then, you’ll start thinking about how technology will help us tackle those challenges. How will technology empower us as citizens? What will it allow us to do? What will our society, economy and way of life look like if technology is used as a force for good?

Throughout the game, you'll be voting on each others’ ideas, iteratively building a shared vision for the future, before presenting them to the group as a whole. Whatever future you build, the exercise will be thought-provoking, exciting and fun. You'll leave with new ideas, and maybe a new outlook on the world. We look forward to seeing you there!

Made possible with generous funding from the EU through the DSI4EU project (digitalsocial.eu). Capacity: 30.