Foresight is defined as organized, explicit work on the future that provides an understanding of alternative futures and strengthens decision-making. Often in the context of strategic planning, we miss out the opportunity to perceive surprises or new opportunities ahead, because our view on the future is too narrow. There is no one correct perspective on foresight. Foresight work requires several different perspectives and methods depending on the context. In the complex and rapidly changing world, the importance of foresight has grown steadily.

FFRC carries out foresight processes and research for a wide range of needs: to support societal decision-making, to support strategic planning and leadership in all kinds of organizations, and as a basis for scientific research. As foresight methods, we use future workshops, scenario and delphi processes, as well as various methods for identifying weak signals. We have executed foresight processes related e.g. to food, energy, technology, skills and competencies, housing and transport. In addition, we are constantly developing methods for futures research and foresight.

Ongoing Research and Development Projects:

Bounce Forward

New operation models to face uncertainty in work and to strengthen work communities' and experts’ resilience are developed in this project.

The global COVID-19 virus has made it more concrete how unpredictable the future is. In working life unpredictability and uncertainty weaken the sense of control and depending on the individual, decrease well-being at work. At the same time, the climate crisis should be considered also in workplaces. Due to constant changes, there is a growing need for the ability to act in times of uncertainty and to understand the complex nature of society. Especially in knowledge work, complex nature is one characteristic of the work. Furthermore, the superiors of experts are in challenging situations from many angles. Self-managing and team-managing skills are necessary. At the organizational level, new ways to co-operate are needed to characterize the bigger picture at times of continuous changes and to find different approaches and solutions for interaction.

The project's aim is to strengthen organizations' renewability and knowledge workers’ resilience and adaptability in working life change situations by assimilating new trust-building, interactive and futures-oriented ways of operating. In addition, actions against climate change are discussed. The target groups of the project are independent knowledge workers (entrepreneurs and employees) and SMEs and supporting organizations in the several fields of knowledge work. In the project, the resilience of companies is strengthened and new ways to interact are supported by forming a Living lab for development and testing and using user-oriented and experimental learning and developing methods.

The project is carried out in co-operation between Turku University of Applied Sciences (co-ordinator), Humak University of Applied Sciences and the FFRC.

The project is funded by the European Social Fund during 1.9.2021-31.8.2023 via Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (Central Finland). The project is funded by the REACT-EU Instrument as part of the European Union's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contact: Hanna-Kaisa Aalto, Finland Futures Research Centre


Cosmopolitan identity, life and future of work (COSMO)

In this project, we bring novel insights to management studies by considering who are cosmopolitans and how does their life course emerge, how does cosmopolitan disposition affect entrepreneurial behaviour, how is a cosmopolitan identity constructed, and what is the relationship between language kills and a cosmopolitan disposition.

This is also a study on international mobility, as cosmopolitan disposition has been identified as a significant driver for voluntary and possibly continuous emigration. In this phenomenon-driven study, embedded in the globalized, virtualised and multicultural environment in which cosmopolitans live today, we provide a contemporary perspective to the discussions on culture, international mobility, entrepreneurship and identity.

The project partners:

  • International Business, Turku School of Economics, University of Turku (coordinator)
  • Finland Futures Research Centre, Turku School of Economics, University of Turku
  • Faculty of Law, University of Turku
  • Faculty of Social Sciences, Business & Economics, Åbo Akademi University

Further information: Toni Ahlqvist and Laura Pouru-Mikkola, FFRC

Forest-based bioeconomy, foresight and futures knowledge (METUMO)

Forest-based bioeconomy, foresight and futures knowledge (METUMO) project introduces futures research concepts and futures workshop methods for the needs of the forest-based sector professionals.

School of Forest Sciences, University of Eastern Finland and Finland Futures Research Centre are collaborating to implement the Forest-based bioeconomy, foresight and futures knowledge (METUMO) project. METUMO organizes a series of workshops that aim to develop the futures capabilities of the forest sector and associated sectors. The project aims to utilize foresight research knowledge and distill it into futures-conscious foresight action with a progressive ambition. One of the central outputs of the project is a self-study material package, which helps the forest-based bioeconomy sector develop futures literacy and foresight capabilities.

The principal investigator of the project is prof. Teppo Hujala at University of Eastern Finland.

The project is funded by Metsämiesten Säätiö Foundation.

Further information: Osku Haapasaari & Katriina Siivonen

Project website

Futures Knowledge Distillery

The University of Turku’s Futures Knowledge Distillery serves organisations whose goals are to develop their foresight skills and the ability to prepare for changes in the operating environment.

Our service is based on the Finland Futures Research Centre’s 30 years of experience in future, combined with the expertise of eight faculties of scientific research at the University of Turku.

On this basis, we offer practical solutions for consciously making futures. Foresight can be seen as the most effective way to prepare for uncertainty, identify opportunities and create desirable futures.  

We serve our customers:

  • through acquiring, analysing and building an understanding of future knowledge and information
  • through the development of foresight skills
  • through the development of continuous foresight activities that support organisation’s operations and strategy
  • and by building an organisational foresight culture

Further information: Keijo Koskinen

Futures Knowledge Distillery website

InnoScope – Success in Changed Circumstances through Entrepreneurs’ Sustainable Innovations

The special situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has introduced new challenges for enterprises. Prognoses for example in the fields of hotel and restaurant trade, tourism and event production are dramatically bleak. With innovation and developing products and services, productivity and result-orientation can be influenced. This, in turn, has an effect on the improvement of well-being.

The Regional Strategy for Southwest Finland encourages for growth entrepreneurship and innovations, and for partnerships and bold experiments to promote a dynamic culture of cooperation. The Regional Programme of Southwest Finland encourages a close, strategic partnership between enterprises and education providers. According to the regional coping strategy of Southwest Finland, the region’s small and micro entrepreneurs and their staff in the fields of tourism, trade, services, the hotel and restaurant sector, and in culture and event production have suffered for the pandemic the most. Recovery funds are targeted at companies’ opportunities to improve their competitiveness and create new business and growth, and further, new jobs. The work against climate change plays a central part.

The project aims to respond to the Regional Strategy and Regional Programme of Southwest Finland and the regional coping strategy of Southwest Finland. The main objective of the project is to help the enterprises to cope with the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic by helping and supporting established entrepreneurs and their staff to develop environmentally friendly new business with innovation. The project focuses on assisting the fields which have suffered for the pandemic the most in Southwest Finland. This aim will be achieved with a versatile, future-oriented innovation process which is based on sustainable development and experiments, the help of experts and networking.

The project is carried out by Turku University of Applied Sciences (co-ordinator), HUMAK University of Applied Sciences and Finland Futures Research Centre at the University of Turku, which have extensive networks and create a strong combination by their cooperation and also in their cooperation with entrepreneurs.

The project is funded by the European Social Fund during 1.9.2021-31.8.2023 via Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (Central Finland). The project is funded by the REACT-EU Instrument as part of the European Union's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contact: Hanna-Kaisa Aalto, Finland Futures Research Centre


My Story

MyStory is an Interreg Nord funded project in a cross-border regional development context. The project is based along the Finnish-Swedish-Norwegian border region, along the Northern Lights Route. The Northern Lights Route is an official tourism road starting from Tornio-Haparanda and follows the E8 and Road 99 along Tornio and Muonio rivers all the way to Kilpisjärvi, and continues via Storfjord to Tromsø in Norway. 

The route connects not only three neighbouring countries, but also six different languages (Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Meänkieli, Sami and Kven) and a shared history and cultural heritage. The common culture and history are strongly represented along the Northern Lights Route and the region shares a growing consciousness of its common roots and identity, which is the basis for this cross-border project.

The Northern Lights Route is still quite unknown. The main goal of the project is to develop the tourism in the region by supporting small-scale tourism companies and by developing tourism in the cross-border context through a common vision and a roadmaping process. The companies will receive support in using storytelling in their businesses by utilizing local cultural history and stories in a socially and culturally sustainable ways, and, in addition, new technologies such as virtual reality will be piloted. The project supports the development of new story and place-based digital tools and business concepts, skills development and cross-border collaboration with new, innovative digital solutions. This project is continuation to a previous project Our Stories, where stories from the region were collected and published in written, visual and audio forms. 

The work package of FFRC is related to the strategic development of tourism in this cross-border region. FFRC will run a vision and roadmap process which objective is to find a common understanding on what the tourism in the region should be like and be based on, and how the tourism can be developed sustainably as a cross-border regional effort. The involvement and participation of the different stakeholders involved in tourism development in the region, such as municipalities, companies, development organizations and educational institutions, is the key for successful long-term planning.

Lapland University of Applied Sciences is the main coordinator of the project. In addition, stakeholders from Finland, Norway and Sweden are involved in the project. The project is financed by Interreg Nord, Lapin liitto, Council of Torne Valley, Innovasjon Norge, Forskningsrådet Norge and Troms og Finnmark Fylkeskommune. 

Further information: Hanna Lakkala

Interreg Nord logo

Strategic Foresight for Sustainability (SF4S)

Strategic Foresight for Sustainability (SF4S) supports the transition to a more sustainable European economy by addressing green and digital opportunities enabled by sustainability foresight and futures skills. 

The collaborative action funded by the Erasmus+ programme connects Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), Vocational Education and Training (VET) providers, innovation networks and business entities from the Agri-food, Health and Mobility sectors. The industry partners span from Estonian ice cream chain La Muu over the Turku-based venture fund Nordic Foodtech VC to global mobility giants Airbus and Lufthansa.

The project is carried out by 18 partners and is coordinated by Design School Kolding (DK). Finland Futures Research Centre is a partner and work package leader (WP2).
The project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union during 1.7.2022-30.6.2025 (Project ID 101056410). 

Further information: Toni Ahlqvist, Tero Villman, Amos Taylor, Mikkel Stein Knudsen.

Read more about the project

UTU news 5.4.2023: Accelerating the green transition in Europe through foresight

Towards Deliberative Climate and Energy Foresight (DECENT)

The purpose of DECENT is to examine medium and long-term future-oriented governmental decision-making in Finland, with particular focus on the formation and impact of national climate and energy strategy.

The DECENT is based on collaboration between Finland Futures Research Centre (FFRC), University of Turku; Natural Resources Institute Finland and Finnish Environment Institute. The research project is funded by the Academy of Finland and it is operational during 2019-2023.

> Read more about the project

Further information: Petri Tapio & Marjukka Parkkinen


Whenever you need extreme (WYNE)

Whenever you need extreme (WYNE) project promotes low-carbon business and vitality in Fell Lapland. WYNE combines information gathered from the extreme natural conditions of Fell Lapland and combines it with futures knowledge.

The above information will be refined to develop low carbon business using the futures platform and the innovation environment to be developed during the project in cooperation with companies.

The projects’ activities are divided into three work packages:

  • Promoting sustainable business and vitality in Fell Lapland
  • Mapping of extreme conditions
  • Communication and administration

The end result is the world’s cleanest innovation environment, which attracts sustainable companies, employment opportunities and R&D investments to the region.

With the Whenever You Need Extreme project, Fell Lapland Development (FLD), Finland Futures Research Centre (FFRC) and Leader Fell Lapland (LFL) respond to the need for a diverse and sustainable regional economic structure. As regional actors, FLD and LFL bring into the project the regional knowledge and the perspectives of the business field.

Combined with FFRC’s foresight and innovation expertise, the project aims at sustainably commercializing the attraction factors of Fell Lapland and attract new companies to the region, providing a setting that allows them to differentiate them from the competitors. The project will develop the region’s business environment, taking into account the special features of the region, and ensure that the region has a solid plan for the future.

The project is funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) during 1.8.2021-30.6.2023. The total budget for the project is 343 858 euros.

Further information: Hanna Lakkala, FFRC



Vulnerability of the Finnish Food System (RUOKAVARMA)

Competitiveness of the food system is comprised of not only comparative cost advantages but also of the capacity of the system to fulfil its basic function – food supply and food security – in many kinds of situations and circumstances. The contemporary food system is based on deep division of work and specialisation, which implies that the actors of the food system are highly dependent on each other.

This study is focused on the interdependencies within the food system and their role as a source of vulnerability. Alleviation of vulnerability asks for analysis of the systemic properties to identify effective leverage points. Change of the vulnerabilities is evaluated in three contrast scenarios. Actor network analysis reveals actions that reduce vulnerability of the food system in each scenario and also exposes the relocation and multiplicative effects of the vulnerabilities that arise as a consequence of the actions.

The project is carried out in co-operation with the University of Jyväskylä and e2 Research.

Funding: 2021–2022 Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry & The Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK)

Contact: Research Director Tuomas Kuhmonen, FFRC