03. What is Futures Literacy (FL)? - Ανοικτό Πανεπιστήμιο Κύπρου - Open University of Cyprus
UNESCO Chair
on Visual Anticipation
and Futures Literacy
towards Visual Literacy

What is Futures Literacy (FL)?

Futures Literacy, an official UNESCO program since 2012, is a tool through which we can better understand how we sense and make sense of the world around us. The revolutionary element in this proposal is that by acknowledging the countless alternatives of the future, we not only change the way we anticipate it – i.e. perceive, see and approach it – but we primarily, change the way we think and act in the present.

Futures Literacy aims at strengthening the capacity of exploring the multiple versions of the future in the present and, consequently, equipping with the ability to understand current events in a deeper level; to share ideas regarding alternative scenarios; to suggest solutions that lay beyond our comfort zones; and deal immediately with the various current challenges.

The concept ‘Literacy’ is used because it refers to a competence equivalent to reading, speech and writing. Its uniqueness, though, relies on the fact that it involves as well a variety of existing skills, such as social, technical and processing, that support our innate ability to make-sense.

Why should you be interested?

Futures Literate individuals enhance their awareness of the opportunities emerging from upheavals and difficulties while they value innovation and ephemerality more than they used to do. Hence, they sharpen their anti-fragility ability balancing between knowledge and preparation, on the one hand, and creative imagination, diversity and acceptance of uncertainty as a source of opportunity, on the other.

Useful links:

Get started on Futures Literacy

UNESCO, Futures Literacy

Futures literacy: anticipation in the 21st Century

Transforming the Future: Anticipation in the 21st Century

What Is ‘Futures Literacy’ and Why Is It Important?