Introducing Futuregazing — Empowering & Sensemaking Teens’ Futures

Details on our Two Atelier Events, Thursday June 9th:

Atelier #11a


A Crisis Moment — the COVID Pandemic

The pandemic has given us a moment to reappraise our worlds. For many things COVID and post-COVID related to teens, the verdict is not good.

On State of Anxiety & Depression:

Academics, Social & Emotional Development, Behaviors From Lockdown

Source: KFF

Futuregazing — Focus on Young People : Background

Our Grey Swan Guild was founded two years ago on the notion of helping everybody interested enough to make sense of the world’s biggest challenges and next future scenarios and wildcards (we call them Grey Swans).

  • Geeta Dhir (UK), Venture Leader and educational psychologist
  • Gina Clifford (USA), Futures Thinker and strategic communicator
  • Sean Moffitt (Canada), Venture Innovator and guild co-founder
  • Mercedes Baltazar Lobato (Mexico), Foresight Strategist & storyteller
  • Sarah Sheehan (Gibraltar), Teacher, psychologist and multidisciplinarian
  • Joelle Neish (Gibraltar), Specialist teacher, mental health advocate & face painter

Futuregazing — The Big Why

One of the intriguing aspects of people that have taken part in our effort, is a real visionary purpose behind it. In truth, of our 12 Guild ventures, this was the only project that became real based on the intensity of engagement and passionate ambassadorship of a core group of team members.

  • Create a sense of agency and control in an uncertain, unpredictable world, with increased self-determination and efficacy over their big decisions and choices
  • Build a sense of empowerment to lead & create change for the better, aiding themselves and others, applying what they have learnt and becoming change agent role models
  • Find ways of navigating threats and opportunities, with a sustained interest in an array of futures, design, critical and sensemaking approaches
  • Foster a sense of global community where the collective are a group of caring, conscious individuals coming together for common purposes
  • Manifest a direction for innovation and perceived enhancement to people’s lives, become pivotal young role models and participants in key projects
  • Produce a way of safeguarding the real-life and digital future of all living things, local & online communities, the planet and beyond

Futuregazing — The Need for Teens

We are taking an initial three year view on this venture and know that we’ll likely try things that flourish, and perhaps some that don’t. Regardless of possible tangible learning forums, inspirational events or collaborative efforts, we’ve drafted eight pivotal needs with teens that will be a compass for our work.

  • i) Self Regulation & Compassion — we want to foster the act of managing thoughts and feelings that enable goal-directed actions. Cognitive, emotional, and behavioral self-regulation skills can be taught much like literacy, with structure, support, and coaching over time.
  • ii) Collaboration & Listening — the ability to collaborate well with others is an important part of life and work, and it contributes to a teen’s capacity to respect the perspectives of others, to solve problems creatively, and to resolve conflicts appropriately. Whether through building things, playing video games or participating in competition, teens learn valuable skills of active listening, group empathy & affiliation and cooperative learning that they can bank for the future.
  • i) Complexity & Interdisciplinarity Thinking — providing a broader understanding of the interlaced network of cultural, technological, biological, educational, commercial, civic and human social systems are vital. It provides resilience and adaptability in a world that is certain to change over their most formative years. Providing multi-lens forums for taking mysteries away, understanding & synthesizing various concepts, abstraction, connection and inference of thought, are only some of the ways to improve a teen’s higher-order thinking.
  • ii) Futures & Sustainability Thinking —teens have a right to be heard in decision-making processes that affect their lives, and when it comes to the future, it likely is even more imperative as they live with the consequences longer than many policy makers. In experience, prospective thinking teens produce better outcomes. preferred visions and more ambitious goals. Intense traits of teenage years — pessimism & optimism bias, helplessness, fantasy, fear of the unknown, desire of social approval or perfectionism all play into this capacity and can be modulated and reframed.
  • i) Cultural & Media Literacy —teens can have a decided advantage of being able to understand the traditions, regular activities, history, commentary, journalism and media habits within and across cultures. We all have blindspots, biases and uncertainties that cause our minds to blur in the middle of interpretation and decision making. With teens lesser dependence on reading books, magazine or newspapers daily (20% daily), and greater dependence on social media (80% daily), critical thinking around culture and all media is even more important.
  • ii) Changemaking, Sensemaking & Action — for most teens, the opportunity to make their mark on the world will flow from their environment, confidence, network and involvement in either academics, sports, theater, activism, community service or heartfelt issue that springs them to action. For the first time in history, anyone can raise their hand and spread ideas, connect with millions, and lead our people on a journey, let’s provide the grease and positive engineering to that conveyor belt of ingenuity.
  • i) Leadership, Ethics & Self-Motivation — every teen has the potential to lead, with each forging their own potential path. While some people are more natural leaders than others, there are leadership skills that can be learned, developed and improved. Communication, initiating, trying new things, getting organized, self starting, goal setting, execution, team-building, active decision making and negotiation are all part of the tapestry of skillsets that can be fostered and practiced.
  • ii) Creativity, Design Thinking & Embodiment - in a world where administrative, routine and rote learning jobs have been commodified or on the road to being automated away, the generation of ideas or products that are both original, valuable and empathetic to customer or citizen need are at a premium. Aiding the craft of building user-centered & novel objects, ideas and sensations, and also helping teens understand the role that the actions of the body can play a role in the development of thoughts and ideas is a distinct learning change for lifelong value.
  • it’s early days, so join us and impact our thinking and road ahead
  • the language used here is for the professional, the language used by teens on what this feels and looks like will be much different
  • as a project about teen empowerment, our teen leaders are going to have a big say

Futuregazing — The What

  • Camp Cygnet — a distinctive week long camp to improve higher order thinking, behavior, and action skills among teens
  • A Futuregazing Podcast — going deeper on views by teens, for teens in audio format
  • Open Futuregazing —a partnered, open source challenge/hackathon to globally make sense of the world
  • The Futuregazing Council — a global network of teen leaders from 50+ different countries engaged and judging Futuregazing activity
  • Futuregazing Audit — developing a benchmarking and diagnosis tool for teen world- and future-readiness
  • Teen Masterclasses — unlike other academic and thought-leader courses, have classes taught by and through the lens of teens
  • Young Voices, Global Prism — relevant global teen commentary on the most important issues of today and tomorrow
  • 1,000 Day Radar, Teen Viewpoints — considering mid-futures scenarios from a young person’s perspective
  • Futuregazing Book Club — the top of the Reader/Book shelf of books uniquely interesting to teens
  • Futuregazing Decentralized U.N. — a refreshing change from state-sponsored to individual general assembly forum on future policy
  • Visual Futuregazing — research, insight and foresight regular editions of infographics and well-designed intelligence
  • Play Life— building out and kickstarting a newly invented game or sport that brings together many of the teens skills and needs under one roof
  • Young Advisory LLC — create a tribe of youth committed to helping organizations, causes and governments to do better, bolder & faster
  • The Futuregazing Gallery — a leading edge virtual art gallery crafted by youth
  • The Hour of Mad Skillz — learning life and fun activities in less than an hour through DIY Video
  • The Futuregazing Feed — a top Reddit-like universe of leading headlines for the month aimed to help enlighten, inspire and lift teens up
  • Would I.Wouldn’t I ?— posing questions and canvassing our lead Futuregazing audience to decide on what they would do in similar situations
  • Spin the Futuregazing Wheel — connect, infer, abstract and ideate 1st & 2nd level future actions, reactions and scenarios on subjects teens care about
  • The Three Minute Storygazers — provide a regular forum for teen video autobiographies with punch, speed, emotion and relatable perspectives and lessons
  • The Scoop — the most interesting and voted on concepts, things and ideas just-breaking, important and improving our world as identified by teens

Futuregazing — Three Calls to Action

A. The Futuregazing Survey — Your Voice:

We have a survey we would love to have young people (13–16 years old) respond to about their feelings about the pandemic, the future they want and the future they think they might get. If you have access to youth in your personal or professional circles, we would love to generate some traction and input.
Futuregazing Survey :

II. The Futuregazing Atelier — June 9th

We have a two interactive forums at 4am BST and 4pm EDT that bring futures and thinking excellence, creativity, teen brilliance and interactive conversation and making at its core. Adult stakeholders, Guild members and teens are all welcome.

June 9th — Futuregazing Atelier 11a — Futuregazing Atelier 11b —

C. The Futuregazing Circle

We are not actively recruiting our key constituency teens (13–16 years old) yet, but

Join our Futuregazing Circle focused on advancing young people in the world :

Grey Swan Guild — Making Sense Momentum

Hopefully some of you will think about joining our collective that tries to make sense of thee world and the future.

Other Guild Activities — Feature City of the Month

Vancouver, Rain City itself, and one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Craft-Building Series #32 — Futures Thinking, Possibilities & Wild Cards

Clubhouse Friday, June 17th 1pm ET

Profile Member Shade This Week #16 —Design Thinkers, Human-Centred Designers and Experience Developers



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Grey Swan Guild

Grey Swan Guild

Making Sense of the World’s Biggest Challenges & Next Grey Swans — curating and creating knowledge through observation, informed futurism, and analysis🦢