Exploring survival skills for education

The meet-up for teachers at Avans University of Applied Sciences in Breda has an energetic and enthusiastic atmosphere, despite the late hour. Teachers from different schools have come together to participate in the Next Generation Survival Kit. They all want to change something in education. Together they will explore the future of education and their own role in it.

They start by making a number of choices between different developments. Each group deals with this differently. In one group, they carefully weigh up each choice and stall the decision moment as long as possible. “I think it’s both important, can’t they both be involved in the future?” Unfortunately, the choice has to be made, even though it’s not always easy and even if you don’t always agree with each other. They have heated discussions, but in the end consensus is reached.

In the other group they make the decision faster. They continue to discuss the latest technological and educational developments and how they could affect their lives. Is that what they want? Isn’t it better the way it is now? No, they want progress and change. “It’s handy when your fridge can order groceries for you!” But there is also fear of big changes. “I already find it difficult how my phone works sometimes”.  They notice that it is quite difficult to think a few steps further than what  already exists. But slowly they get a taste for it and they get more and more enjoyment in exploring the unknown.

In the end, both groups are working on a future scenario. They describe the skills that are needed to ‘survive’ in that future and that they think are important to start teaching today. It is interesting to see that despite the different approaches, the groups still describe largely the same ‘survival’ skills such as curiosity, creativity and flexibility. The future is uncertain, but these skills ensure that young people can always adapt to our rapidly changing world, where knowledge alone is no longer sufficient. After the session, many teachers hang around to talk. Inspiration and contact details are exchanged.

“Very inspiring! It’s nice to get together and experience what other people think about the future.”

“I go home with a lot of energy to apply future thinking in the classroom tomorrow.”

Futures Day, March 1st!

1 March 2019 – Join the Global Conversation about the Future on Futures Day, March 1st!

The future is constantly present in our everyday lives, guiding our actions and decisions – whether we are aware of it or not.

Young people of any age can learn to think critically and creatively about the future and develop the agency to influence it. The Teach the Future community is dedicated to bring futures thinking to schools, educators and students around the world.

Futures Day is a worldwide theme day aimed at sparking global, national and local conversations about the futures people around the globe desire and fear. Teach the Future supports Futures Day because it is a fun opportunity to create awareness about futures in schools. 

Futures Day aims to make possible futures more visible and strengthening individuals’ future awareness. Futures Day strives to 10,000 futures discussions on the 1st of March. 

Join the world’s largest conversation on futures on March 1, 2019. Start your own local initiative or join one in your neighborhood, country, region or a global one. 

Materials to stimulate conversations in your classroom can be downloaded in various languages over here. These materials are developed by the Finnish Team of Finland Futures Research Center, Tulevaisuuskoulu, Futures Specialist Helsinki and translated in various languages by the Teach the Future community members.

Worksheet Futures Table
Worksheet Horizon Scanning








Let us know about your initiative and use #futuresday so we can add it to the list and publish it via our site and social media channels. Mail us for questions, suggestions, your activity etc. on

Prepare students for tomorrow, teach the future today.

Thank you for collaborating on Futures Day! 


Supporters of Futures Day:

Humanity+, Millennium Project, Finland Futures Research Center, Tulevaisuuskoulu, Futures Specialists HelsinkiTeach the Future.


And of course we stimulate futures conversations everywhere. Are you a municipality or a company? Also like to join? A special Card set for you (in English) can be dowloaded here.

FUTURES DAY CARDS_Municipalities






Press release and invite for schools can be dowloaded here.



Let kids guide you into the future

“Adults should listen to us, because we will be living in the future longer than them.”

This is one of the statements made by elementary school pupils in the Dutch city of Breda. And who could argue with it? Listening to kids can really help us all to look at the future in unexpected ways.

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Recently Teach the Future joined forces in the Netherlands with creative incubator PakhuisB and set-up an educational package for elementary school teachers. Within a timeframe of 6 weeks the teachers engaged their pupils actively in exploring their feelings and visions on the future. The goal was for pupils to experience the influence they have on the future and to become active in creating their preferred one. With various tools (such as card games, sketching & drawing and group workshops) the pupils were inspired and challenged to play with their perspectives on the future.

This class program elicited many interesting thoughts and feelings amongst youngsters. Such as: “When I think about the future I feel a little anxious because I don’t know what will happen and at the same time excited to try out new things in the future.” Or: “When I grow up I want to be an archaeologist. I can set goals in the present to strive for this dream and realise it in the future.”

Watch a ten-minute compilation (in Dutch) with many more quotes and reactions of kids about future related topics and get inspired!

“I feel that it would be better if people always have a spare job, in case they lose the one they have currently.”

In addition, Teach the Future & PakhuisB, in cooperation with the TrendRede team, also organised a ‘KinderTrendRede’ in Breda. This is an event where a panel of selected pupils of various Breda based schools present the future visions of all schools combined to the citizens and deputies of the municipality of Breda. This future pupil council shows what kind of future they would want to live in. Advice included topics like deregulation to decreasing loneliness amongst elderly people, a changing job market to climate awareness.


“I think the municipality should award people who are active in preserving nature. Handing out prices will stimulate more people in our city to help out nature.”

Read the full content of the pupils’ future visions over here. Watch the aftermovie of this event (in Dutch) below and the full video of the TrendRede (in Dutch) over here.



Want to organise similar lessons or event in your city or country? Please contact Erica Bol for more information: Erica [@]

// Text by Els Dragt