On March 1st, 2019 Futures Day was celebrated in Finland in more than 70 registered events and numerous unregistered events including e.g. the National Parliament, several companies, schools, municipalities, museums, libraries and all kinds of communities around Finland. Futures Day also emerged as the most talked about topic in Finnish Twitter with more than 650 tweets and a reach of over 900 000 people.
The initiative originated from the idea of challenging people to think and discuss for a day what kind of future we want to build. The aim of the day was to strengthen individual futures awareness of all Finns as well as the will and capability to act for better futures.
Subsequently, the Futures Day initiative spread internationally as the Finnish example inspired the Teach The Future community to translate the materials e.g. in Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Dutch and Arabic. Schools and educational institutes e.g. in Canada, Brazil, Greece, Russia, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, Iran and Turkey participated by organizing their own Futures Day and own futures discussions.
The Futures Day was organized as part of our Unesco Chair in LSFE activities at the Finland Futures Research Centre together with Futures School and Futures Specialists Helsinki. The founding team consisted of Laura Pouru, Otto Tähkäpää, Annina Antinranta and Minna Koskelo. We also had various partners such as the Local Association of Regional Authorities, Finnish National Agency for Education, The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and Laurea University of Applied Sciences; sponsors such as Futurice, Gofore, Ambientia and Fibres Online, and patrons President Tarja Halonen, Tiina Heikka, Markku Wilenius, Ilkka Halava, Perttu Pölönen, Reijo Karhinen, Elina Hirvonen, Kaisa Vuorinen and Osmo Kuusi.
Later in March, the Finnish Futures Day was awarded with the annual Foresight Act of Year -award granted by a panel consisting experts from the Finnish National Foresight Network coordinated by the Prime Minister’s Office.