For the untrained and unassisted, the creative process can be a loose, unproductive affair. With so many variables, making sense of what to do can often feel like a daunting task. The Future Newspaper tool helps kick-start the creative and critical process by asking participants to imagine a variety of desirable futures. Then, by working backwards from those visions, participants can articulate the conditions, resources, stakeholders and events which might help lead to those outcomes. These can then become discussion points which the community can vote on to create actions and interventions.

Format Method, WorkshopTimeframe 2 hGroup Size AllFacilitation Level MediumRequired Materials Pen and paper, Post its


  • Divide participants into groups of three to five. Give each group a Future Newspaper Canvas and Post-it notes for brainstorming.
  • Write a headline which reflects the community’s desired future. It is often easier to start from the glorious landmark change they want to see in their particular context. This can be as realistic or outlandish as you want: however, this choice will have a direct impact on the ideas generated after.
  • How do we get to that future? Using the canvas, participants will think about, discuss and strategise what resources, conditions, people and events have to come together in order to reach the future they havernenvisioned.
  • Lay out all the Future Newspapers, and after a brief presentation and discussion on the merits of each, a round of sticker-dot voting can help reach a consensus on which route to take.


There is no formula for coming up with creative ideas. Sometimes, however, by thinking about the future, we can have better ideas for the present. It is important to consider what you can do now, and who you might involve, to arrive at the future you want to see.


Keep in mind the following guiding question while implementing this method: What will the situation look like in ten years?