WHY BOTHER WITH HAPPY VISIONS

Karolina Thakker
Happy Futures Lab

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Hello dare dreamers,

we have had it tough these last years.

I was surprised when after launching Happy Futures Lab in January this year some people approached me directly to share their feelings, their anxiety and tiredness with all the uncertainty that they deal with on a daily basis. Either it being more personal worries like mental, financial or physical struggles or global challenges such as pandemic, climate change, refugee crisis, escalating wars or doom of pending inflation… Well, the list goes on.

At the same time, the same individuals expressed their support, encouragement and even willingness to help establish a space for collective and active weaving of happy visions. It seems that there is a place to inhabit. Between terrifying dystopias and too-good-to-be-true utopias, there is a societal desire to create positive and exciting images of the future within our reach of possibilities. It was the simple “oh, yeah, I think we all need it right now…” that I heard in conversations with people over and over again that assured me that there’s something here worth digging.

We all need something to look forward to, something to give us hope, to be a catalyst of a directional change.

Some may say that creating visions for happy tomorrows is a naive or futile endeavour (sometimes it’s even my inner voice). But creating positive narratives and hopeful visuals for the future is not about ignoring all the problems. It is about co-dreaming and co-shaping these ideas collectively. By acknowledging all the societal fears and wishes, we can find a clearing in the tangled web of uncertainties. It’s about practising the forgotten muscles of communication and imagination.

Of course, it is important to look out for the danger and all the wrongs that can happen. But it’s also crucial to look out for possible positive change. Because we need to make some decisions eventually. We can make it based on the least evil or the best possible vision.

I recognize that ‘to future’ is a privilege. So many of us need to focus on just surviving and getting by, not being allowed to dream at all. Not everybody has the same opportunities to engage in long-term thinking. Yet, those who can — we can make the whole process more inviting and accessible, friendlier to approach. Make it the matter of many, not few.

Well, this is my hope. I want to use this platform to document my research and process into making this dream possible.

-Karo

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