On 3 May 2023, Stefan Karp and Moritz Müller, founders and employees of the design and strategy office ma ma Interactive System Design from Frankfurt am Main, visited the DKKV office in Bonn. Together with DKKV staff and young professionals, they conducted a workshop, a so-called Future Lab, on the topic of “The Future of Civil Protection in the Face of Climate Change”. A Future Lab is the practical component or implementation of the term Futures Literacy.

The term Futures Literacy, first used by UNESCO, describes the ability that enables people to better understand the role of the future in their vision and actions. The term implies a more skilful way for people to deal with the still unknown future, and aims to impart the ability to imagine it in different ways. In this way, people become futures literate (UNESCO).

The aim of the workshop was to analyse futures in civil protection for relevant topics and activities in DKKV. It was also intended to get to know the methodological procedure of a Future Lab. To this end, the workshop followed a clear structure. This divided the day into four different phases: Revealing, Experimenting, Matching and Acting.

In a first step, the participants of the workshop were asked to discuss their probable and desirable futures of civil protection. Based on this, the underlying assumptions of the previously discussed futures were to be uncovered and compiled. The aim of this is to become aware of often hidden assumptions and thus to be able to better understand other wishes and ideas. In the second phase, an alternative future of civil protection was experimented with. This phase enabled the participants to look at the future from a different perspective and to let their imagination run free. In this way, new questions can also be formulated, such as: What is reasonable? What role does fear play? What do we have to do now? The workshop ended with the compilation of the results and a reflection. In this fourth phase, initial ideas on possible courses of action for civil protection in the face of climate change were briefly addressed and discussed in the group.

The workshop was very instructive for all participants, was a lot of fun and gave us in the DKKV exciting impulses for our future work.

If you are interested in the topic of Futures Literacy, you can find more information on the UNESCO website.