Welcome to the first online Pre-Event of the Futures Conference 2021

The current pandemic is affecting all spheres of life and societies worldwide. Due to this the Futures Conference organisers have made a decision to transform, extend the activities, and re-schedule the 2020 conference.

In addition to the conference to be organised during 79 June 2021 in Helsinki, we will be arranging two pre-events. The first taking place on 11 June 2020 and the second in October 2020. Both online sessions will be open and free to all interested participants. Further details about the October session will be available later on these pages.

Welcome to the first online Pre-Event of the Futures Conference 2021

11 June 2020 at 12.00–16.00 (UTC+3)


12.00 Opening and introduction to the theme of the event
Professor Markku Wilenius, Dubai Future Academy and Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku

12.30 Keynote Speech: What have we learnt in Finland about teaching/education during coronavirus pandemic
Director General Olli-Pekka Heinonen, Finnish National Agency for Education, EDUFI, Finland


13.30 Break [15 min]

13.45 Panel Discussion: Futures Skills in a Volatile World
Panelist: Erica Bol, Changemaker for Teach the Future Europe, the Netherlands; Professor Sanna Järvelä, University of Oulu, Finland; Research Manager Johanna Ollila, Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku and Dr. Rocco Scolozzi, Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento; Skopia Anticipation Services®, Italy

14.30 Chaired discussion groups

15.10 Break [5 min]

15.15 Introduction to Futures Consciousness
Researchers Sanna Ahvenharju and Matti Minkkinen, Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku


16.00 Closing of the event
Director, Dr. Juha Kaskinen, Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku

Please note, this programme is subject to change.

Access link to the online session (via Zoom) will be sent to all the registered participants in well advance to the session. The session recording as well as the presentation slides will be available afterwards at this page.

The Futures Consciousness Test will be available for all participants. You will receive an invitation link to the test at the same time with the Zoom link. We hope you can find time to do the test before the session.

> Registration by 7 June at the latest

You are welcome to join the discussion on futures skills in a volatile world!

If you have any questions about the arrangements, do not hesitate to contact us via futuresconference@utu.fi

Privacy notice

Conference rescheduled

Dear all,

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the novel COVID-19 outbreak as a global pandemic, and as the infectious disease continues to spread, the effects on public health are unmistakable. The situation and consequences of the pandemic are far more serious than we knew two weeks ago when we informed about the conference arrangements. Some estimations and modellings show that the corona virus will stay for example in Finland from 4 to 6 months. It will cover the dates of the Learning Futures conference. We regret to inform you that the COVID-19 will affect the arrangements of the conference.

We have made a decision that we do not cancel the conference. Instead we are transforming, extending the activities, and rescheduling the conference. In addition to the conference we will be arranging some extra activities as follows:

  • Thursday 11 June 2020. Online session, open and free to all interested participants. The program will be published later.
  • October 2020. Online session, open and free to all interested participants. The program and date will be published later.
  • 7–9 June 2021: Learning Futures – Futures of Learning conference in Helsinki, Finland (venue: Crowne Plaza Helsinki Hesperia). In practice, the conference is postponed for a year. We all do wish from the bottom of our hearts that the corona virus pandemic will be over in a year.

Corresponding authors: At this point we would like you to think through your participation and let us know your decision whether you are willing to participate next year or not. We understand if you wish to withdraw your presentation or workshop from the program. Take time to think this through and let us know at the latest Monday 14th of September 2020. We will set up a deadline for updated abstracts later.

Registered participants: We will also contact separately those who have already registered to the conference and paid the registration fee.

We will constantly update the conference webpage to inform about the changes and forthcoming events. Do not hesitate to contact us in any matter related to the conference.

Take a very good care of yourself and your beloved ones!

With kind regards,
the Scientific Board of the conference

Updates on the Conference Preparations and Coronavirus COVID-19

[update 12 March]

We are pleased to inform you that the preparations for the conference are going very well,  but we all really concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic.  We are intensively following the news and announcements of the authorities. The government of Finland announced today that all large public events (over 500 participants) in Finland are to be cancelled or postponed until the end of May 2020.

The Futures Conference secretariat has decided to keep on going to organize the conference. If the situation is not getting better, we have to consider other options. In such a case, we will inform all the speakers and those already registered immediately. Due to the current situation we have extended the early bird registration until 17 April 2020.

Extended Early Bird Registration

Due to the current situation we have extented the early bird registration until 17 April. We do recommend you to book your hotel accommodation in well advance. There is a free cancellation to the recommended hotels either 5 or 14 days before the arrival. Take a close look at the details with each hotel.

Cancellation of the Conference registration must be made in writing (email) to info@aboaservices.fi before 10 May. No fees will be refunded after this date. A processing fee of EUR 50 will be deducted from all refunds.

In the event that the meeting is cancelled by the Meeting Organisers, or cannot take place for any reason outside the control of the Meeting Organisers, the registration fee shall be refunded in full. The liability of the Meeting Organiser shall be limited to that refund.

The COVID-19 Situation in Finland

So far, 109 laboratory-confirmed cases caused by the new coronavirus (COVID-19) have been diagnosed in Finland (situation: 12 March 2020).

Coronavirus COVID-19 – Latest Updates from Finnish authorities.

Call for Papers is open until 31 December 2019

10-12 June 2020, Helsinki, Finland

As we move further into the 21st century, we need to renew our understanding of what it means to learn, teach, and develop new knowledge. Education systems and learning processes for people of all ages are needed to navigate uncertainty, address known problems, identify new ones, and be able to detect and make the sense of emergent issues and opportunities. The roles of education and learning are also becoming more essential in solving the pressing global ecological, cultural, societal and economic challenges. One pathway for renewal is the development of futures learning at all levels of education and in wider society. 

The forthcoming Futures Conference 2020 will focus on questions such as: How can the field of Futures Studies contribute to rethinking learning? How do we teach and learn about futures? What are the images of the future that shape current conceptions of the systems that generate and diffuse knowledge? What are the images of the future that inspire a reimagining of the attributes, role and functioning of learning? What are the new motivations, means and approaches to learning? What kinds of learning settings could there be in the future and what infrastructures and resources will be required? Which way are education policies changing in the future? What human capacities will be needed to enable sustainable futures on the limited boundaries of our planet?

We welcome you to share your findings, ideas, results and thoughts on (but not limited to) these key topics:

  1. Rethinking learning in societal transformations
  2. Futures research in learning and education
  3. Futures literacy and anticipation
  4. Critical and emancipatory education: theoretical and empirical research on learning
  5. Futures education and learning: pedagogy, skills and competences, forms of learning
  6. Digitalisation of learning environments
  7. Learning as a systemic capability: learning regions and innovation systems
  8. Nature and environment in education: addressing sustainability and ecological pressures
  9. Equality of education
  10. Biographical learning, peer-to-peer learning, and the narratives of the future

The ‘Learning Futures’ conference will create a cross-disciplinary platform where participants can meet, share, and discuss new ideas concerning futures and learning. The conference program will consist of keynote lectures, parallel sessions, participatory workshops and chaired poster session. The conference will aim to generate multidisciplinary, stimulating and critical discussions that promote networking between people interested in futures issues from different backgrounds.

We invite interested contributors from universities, research institutes, companies, governmental and non-governmental organisations to submit your abstract (max. 250 words) to


Important Dates

  • Abstract submission starts: October 2019
  • Deadline for the abstracts: 31 December 2019
  • Notification of acceptance: 30 January 2020

See also: Conference Publication

Conference organizers

‘Learning Futures – Futures of Learning’ is the 21st International Futures Conference of the Finland Futures Research Centre and Finland Futures Academy of the University of Turku.  It is organized in association with the Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI).

Take a Look What We Did Last Summer

Futures Conference 2019 focused on the concept of agency in action and research for futures. ‘Constructing Futures – Sustainability, Responsibility and Power’ was organized on 12–13 June in Logomo, Turku. Together with 280 participants from 29 different countries we succeeded to generate multidisciplinary, stimulating and critical discussions that promoted networking between people interested in futures issues from different backgrounds.

Special issue of the FFRC’s newsletter ‘Futuuri’ is a summary of the keynotes and some of the sessions organised during the event. We hope that those of you who joined the conference enjoyed your days in Turku and that others will have a good view on the event by browsing through materials on the website.

Read here the special issue of Futuuri newsletter 3/2019 in a pdf format.

You can find also the conference keynote and session presentations as pdf files online. We also encourage you to take a look at the photos taken and interviews recorded during the conference days.

Conference website: futuresconference2019.wordpress.com

Welcome to Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki is the capital and most populous city of Finland. Located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, it is the seat of the region of Uusimaa in southern Finland, and has a population of 650,058. The city’s urban area has a population of 1,268,296 making it by far the most populous urban area in Finland as well as the country’s most important center for politics, education, finance, culture, and research.

Below you can find some tips for your visit. We hope you enjoy your stay in Helsinki!