Nicolas Balcom Raleigh profile picture
Balcom Raleigh
Doctoral Student, Finland Futures Research Centre (FFRC)
Project Researcher, Finland Futures Research Centre (FFRC)
Futures Literacy across the Deep (FLxDeep); BioEconomy and Justice (BioEcoJust)


+358 29 450 4087
+358 50 341 7270
Korkeavuorenkatu 25 Helsinki

Areas of expertise

Futures Literacy
Sustainability Innovation
Participatory Methods
Game-based Futuring
Creativity & Criticality
Critical Futures Studies


Balcom Raleigh is an interdisciplinary researcher interested in broadening societal understanding of how the futures people imagine are linked to their capabilities to perceive transformation and innovate. His particular focus is on sustainability innovators who are working to address climate change and global environmental change. He is principal investigator of the Futures Literacy across the Deep (FLxDeep) initiative (June 2019 to present).

He is PhD student in Futures Studies researching complexity, transformation, capabilities, and imagination in contexts of sustainability innovation with supervisors Professor Toni Ahlqvist (University of Turku) and Dr. Riel Miller (UNESCO). He has a master’s degree in Futures Studies (Turku School of Economics - University of Turku, May 2017) and his thesis took an action research approach to developing a futuring game called Metaphor Molecule.

He started at Finland Futures Research Centre in June 2015 as Millennium Project Intern. He continued as a research assistant as part of a benchmarking study for the centre’s Masters Degree Program in Futures Studies. He then joined the Futures of Cities and Communities project in May 2016 and a year later officially began as a project researcher.

Previous to his academic career, he worked in the field of online communications (2000-2014) for public companies, private companies, and Macalester College (St. Paul, Minnesota) building a few of the world’s first e-newsletters, websites, online training, and social media strategies.


Balcom Raleigh is responsible teacher (2021) for the Participatory Scenario Planning course in which students learn about the limits and potentials of scenario planning while working with an actual case organization. He co-taught the preceding version of the course, Scenario Thinking, with Amos Taylor in 2019; and with Markku Wilenius and Amos Taylor in 2018.

In 2017, Balcom Raleigh co-designed and co-taught the Finland Futures Academy Summer School which was organized as a UNESCO MOST Futures Literacy Lab on the topic of Complex Futures of Human Settlements.


Balcom Raleigh leads the Futures Literacy across the Deep (FLxDeep) funded by EIT Climate KIC (see He is currently part of the futures team of the Bioeconomy and Justice (BioEcoJust) project funded by Academy of Finland (January 2018 to December 2020).

Previously he worked on the Future Potentials of Big Data for European Growth Corridor Development funded by ESPON (May 2018 to August 2019); the Futures of Cities and Communities project focusing on complexity and futures of mobility in Turku 2050 (May 2016 to December 2017); a benchmarking study of international Master's Degree Programs in Futures Studies (January to  March 2016); the Millennium Project's Future of Work/Technology 2050 study (June to December 2015); and the NeoCarbon Energy Project funded as a Tekes strategic opening (June to August 2015).


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