Future Vocabulary


What is it?

It is a set of terms that are used to better talk about futures. To highlight their application and differences we mapped them on a timeline: past, present and future.

Why is it important?

Especially when we move from thinking about the future for ourselves – which itself can be quite challenging – to thinking about the future for or within bigger groups: we often realize that there is a lack of common understanding of what futures are, and what words are used to describe it. However the pandemic has shown, a general capacity of thinking and acting with possible futures in mind is vital. So, short and simply speaking: talking futures is hard. → Everyone uses different words, we get confused with timelines, so we suggest let's use future vocabulary.

How does it benefit my teamwork?

  • It helps a team to have better conversations about what was, what is, what could and what should be. So let’s sync your team's thoughts and identify blind spots.

  • Also, when pitching future strategies or ideas, the vocabulary helps to structure narratives and allows us to ask for specific feedback on assumptions regarding the past, the present and the future.


V L Vogel image
V L Vogel
Future and Urban Designer
Exploring fair futures and helping organizations to create equitable places in the digital age that are worth living – within and well beyond the city.
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