TikTok Futures

Using TikTok to imagine better climate futures


Film workshop


Young Creators UK Sirlute European Comission Next Generation Foresight Awards



Decisions about the future must draw from diverse perspectives and lived experiences

Current approaches to youth consultation, particularly on climate policy, are generated in a youth-free manner and are unlikely to reflect the values, priorities and lived experiences of diverse young people. When young people are consulted, it is often through surveys and transactional methods of asking people their thoughts on the future.

There is a need to reach more diverse groups of young people, with more diverse lived experiences in consultative processes. Reaching beyond those typically engaged around climate issues is also challenging and expensive. As part of a residence with the European Commission, we wanted to develop a format that could engage atypical groups of young people in discussions about the future.

We use TikTok to help young people imagine and articulate their own futures

The first iteration of the project explored the theme ‘Pollinators in Decline’ with the European Commission Joint Research centre. We interviewed scientists and pollination experts to create a set of future scenarios. Engaging in a co-design process with youth groups in South London, we then developed and piloted a youth consultation format which has since been scaled to other groups.

The format first aims to give young people agency and optimism over the future by teaching skills and mindsets in strategic long-term thinking. Then by using games, physical prototyping and TikTok video making it opens up a conversation on the future of specific subjects. By placing creative authorship into young people's hands we help them to share and to shape their own visions of the future, and develop compelling stories of their preferred futures.

We are continuing to develop the project into a scalable format for consultations with young people about the future.

“I got a bit of a reality check. [Now] I’m realistically positive. I know we have problems and i'm hopeful we can find a solution."

Young person

“I’d never seen futures as a series of steps before. The exercises we were doing were fun and creative and it didn't seem like futures but then we kept relating it back to imagining the future”

Young person

"It was brilliant how all of us interpereted things differently...that is the most interesting part of thinking about the future, that everyone has a different interpretation”

Young person

"What was interesting about this week was giving us the idea that you can change the future. I felt really stuck and really pessimistic [before].”

Young person

“Teaching people [futures methods] changes your mentality. People won’t be as scared and people will just do stuff”

Young person
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