October 20th–22nd 2021 (remote)

This unique three-day workshop introduces you to a key 21st-century skill for media professionals: the ability to create forward-looking media that can encourage positive transformations in a world challenged by climate change. You’ll learn to work from the future in a fact-based manner and take a deep dive into futuring techniques like strategic scenario development and speculative fiction. In hands-on exercises you can develop and discuss project ideas of your own.

Although stories nearly always present some kind of development, most media professionals know little about the mechanisms of change, and of social change in particular. Systems Theory and the scientific methods of Futures Research can help you to think about transformation in differentiated ways and to create more pertinent accounts of the complex challenges we’re facing.

Volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity increasingly determine the conditions for human agency on the planet. The prevalent approaches to storytelling in journalism, film and games struggle to deal with these particularities, with the result that many people in our media industries do not really grasp how we might dramatize what’s going on in the Anthropocene.

FUTURE VISION MAKERS 21 intends to close this gap. It will give you the critical and creative capacity to think and act in a more future-oriented way – in short: to become futures literate.

A special focus this year is the question whether we need a new Poetics of Change when talking about transformation. Which artistic strategies can help audiences to see the reality we're facing and to actively engage with it?

Open Keynotes

We're happy to announce three special guests at FUTURE VISION MAKERS 21, whose keynotes will be open to the public. PHOEBE TICKELL, PUPUL BISHT and ANDRI SNAER MAGNASON will discuss, each in their own way, how media makers can address questions of the future in their work.

You can register for the keynotes here: 

PHOEBE TICKELL, The Moral Imagination
October 20th, 4 pm CET, remote on Zoom

PUPUL BISHT, Decolonizing Futures
October 21st, 4 pm CET, remote on Zoom

October 22nd, 12 am CET, remote on Zoom

Each Keynote lasts for about 45 minutes and is followed by a short Q&A. 

What will you learn?

  • Scientifically validated process-oriented and methodical competencies with regard to emerging futures, adapted to the domains of storytelling and media creation;
  • Concepts and instruments from Systems Thinking, Complexity Theory and Transformation Design that shed a new light on the problems and challenges of our time;
  • A creative toolset for imagining and developing media projects of your own, centered around the question of the need for a «Poetics of Change»;
  • Futures Literacy: the faculty to sense, scrutinize and interpret complex transformational phenomena in novel ways, from a future perspective.

How is the workshop structured?

The online workshop covers three full working days. The sessions are alternated with regular pauses to make it easier to participate, engage and absorb the concepts and tools we discuss. The platforms we’ll be using are Zoom and Miro, where we’ll mix overviews of concepts and use cases with discussions and practical exercises.

Who can apply?

The workshop is designed for students and experienced media professionals working as scriptwriters, film makers, journalists, game designers, XR creators or social media managers.

FUTURE VISION MAKERS 21 will help you to extend your storytelling toolkit, sharpen your creative skills and deepen the impact of the media you make on audiences. It will be useful as well for those who commission media projects, and enable you to better guide their creation. It may also be valuable for those engaged in other forms of worldbuilding and storytelling.

What tools do you need?

You should be familiar with (basic) techniques of storytelling and be able to conceive and execute creative projects of your own. Experience with Design Thinking or Agile Methods is helpful, but not required. A good command of the English language, however, is necessary.

How can you apply?

currently no registrations are possible

Mentors and speakers

Andri Magnason

Icelandic writer and documentary film director

Andri has written novels, poetry, plays, short stories and essays. He is author of «On Time and Water», «Dreamland», «Casket of Time», «Love Star», «The Story of the Blue Planet», «Bonus Poetry» and more. His book «On Time and Water» was a national best seller in Iceland and will be translated to more than 30 languages.

Pupul Bisht

multi-disciplinary futurist

Pupul, a multidisciplinary designer, futurist and the Winner of the Joseph Jaworski Next Generation Foresight Practitioners Award 2018. She founded the Decolonizing Futures Initiative in 2018— a global project that aims to engage marginalized communities in imagining their preferred futures. Recognized as a thought leader advocating for culturally inclusive practices in design and futures, Pupul has been invited to speak at prestigious global platforms such as the ESPAS Conference (Brussels), UNESCO Global Futures Literacy Design Forum (Paris), PRIMER Conference (NYC), SDNow Conference (Australia), and the Global Foresight Summit among many other. She also hosts panels on Future of Storytelling at the NABShow, hosted annually in Las Vegas by the National Association of Broadcasting, USA, discussing latest innovations in the field of media & entertainment and their impact on the world. She is also the youngest founding member of Action Foresight’s ‘Global Swarm’— an internationally distributed team of futurists, reachers, and innovators. The group worked with NESTA on developing a guide on Participatory Futures as well as designing a game to imagine new ways to involve people in thinking about the future.

Phoebe Tickell

complex systems thinker

Phoebe Tickell is a complex systems thinker developing methodologies and approaches better suited for a better world. She is an ex-microbiologist and systems thinker. She works across multiple societal contexts applying a complexity and systems thinking lens and has worked in organisational design, advised government, the education sector and the food and farming sector. Most recently, this is in the field of philanthropy and funding. She is working in The National Lottery Community Fund to implement systems-thinking approaches to funding and and leading insight and learning at the Digital Fund. Phoebe has been a scientist, educator and systems entrepreneur. Since the age of 22, she has co-founded a series of organisations that steward systems change via innovation, weaving together networks and learning programmes across the sectors of education, food and farming, sustainability, and technology. She has a first class degree in Biological Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, and she brings this training in understanding biological networks and systems thinking into all of her work. Her passion for learning started at a young age, and her passion for reinventing and innovating the education system started at Cambridge, where she felt that as a society, we could be offering people a richer, more relevant, holistic and innovative education.

Prof. Egbert van Wyngaarden

Head of FIRST MOVIE PLUS and founder of Story X, Curator and Facilitator

Egbert van Wyngaarden heads the talent program FIRST MOVIE PLUS at the Bavarian Film Center. In this capacity he curates and facilitates the current Futures Literacy workshops, as well as the drama series development lab AUDIENCE:FIRST which takes place in cooperation with BR Bavarian Public Television, ZDF Quantum / Das kleine Fernsehspiel, FFF Bavarian Film Fund, HFF Munich Film School and Seriencamp International Drama Series Festival. In 2018 he published a handbook on Digital Storytelling from a Human Centered Design perspective (Herbert von Halem Publishers) and in 2021 he has founded the studio for Narrative Futures Design STORY X. His new book, FUTURES LITERACY & MEDIA, will appear this autumn.


Louis Götz

Student of Film Directing, Macromedia University Munich, Student Facilitator

Louis Götz studies Film Directing at Macromedia University in Munich. Participating as a student facilitator in the workshops CONSTRUCTIVE CINEMA, FUTURE VISION MAKERS 2020 and STORY x CHANGE he’s dived deep into the themes of Futures Literacy, Worldbuilding and Collective Storytelling. Louis has acted in several theatre productions and since 2019 also in various film and television features.

Background Information

The COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts of climate change herald an era of profound, disruptive change in our societies. Filmmakers, journalists and other media creators must be prepared for this. They should be able not only to react to what’s happening now, but also to look ahead and to design coping strategies with foresight. This is what visionary leadership in their professions could mean.

The three-day workshop FUTURE VISION MAKERS 21 combines Leading From the Future-approaches (MIT, Otto Scharmer) with methods from the discipline of Future Sciences (amongst others UNESCO, Riel Miller). It intends to give participants the knowledge and the ability to «work with the future» in a competent and fact-based manner.

Futures Literacy is a new essential skill for media professionals. Narrative, through its power to invent alternate realities, plays a determinant – if not the central – role in the creation of desirable futures. So do the media, especially if citizens are to be involved in processes of collective, participatory sensemaking with regard to the societies they want to live in.

At FUTURE VISION MAKERS 21 the participants can acquire the theoretical foundations as well as the practical tools needed for the conception of original, forward-looking media projects. They’ll develop ideas of their own with a user-centric approach in short iterations, while paying attention to the requirements and possibilities of the mediatic forms and platforms they choose to serve.

Futures Literacy at the Bavarian Film Center

The idea of organizing Futures Literacy training for filmmakers, journalists and other media creators arose in 2019. Since then, we’ve followed through several workshops, each presenting a different approach to working with plural futures. All of these events are grounded in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the UNESCO recommendations for Media and Futures Literacy.

CONSTRUCTIVE CINEMA (May 18th–19th 2020) focused on the adaptation of constructive journalism tools to the realm of fiction and considered its implications on film dramaturgy.

FUTURE VISION MAKERS 20 (September 16th–18th 2020) applied the scientific methods for analysis and foresight from the domain of Futures Studies to screenwriting, game design and XR.

STORY x CHANGE (May 19th–20th 2021) was dedicated to systems thinking, complexity theory and transformation design. It explored how we can present systemic change in film and other media.

The inputs and the learnings of these three workshops culminate in FUTURE VISION MAKERS 21, as well as in a forthcoming publication titled FUTURES LITERACY & MEDIA.

We’ll close the series in January 2022 with the event TRANSFORMATIVE MEDIA, where we’ll be investigating how narratives can incorporate and support the evolution of human consciousness.

The Bavarian Film Center based in Munich accompanies film school alumni on their way into the German creative industries. A large part of our work is dedicated to media innovation and continuous training, with trend setting initiatives on the crossroads of storytelling, technology, business and design.