Mobile Futurium – Research on discourses on the future in rural areas as part of the model project

Project description

Our current coexistence is accompanied by numerous environmental, technical, and social upheavals. These include, for example, the negative effects of climate change, the development and use of artificial intelligence, and the transformation of our education system. New technologies play a central role in this. Resource-saving batteries or organic photovoltaic cells, for example, can make important contributions to climate protection. On the other hand, advancing digitalization has the potential to change entire industries in a relatively short time, with correspondingly dramatic impact on the labor market. Last but not least, normative questions are raised: What can and should a good life look like for present and future generations, and what role will technologies play in this? In order to be able to deal with such questions, so-called future competencies are needed. This refers to the ability to understand the consequences of technical developments in terms of their risks and opportunities. Furthermore, responsible and affected persons must be enabled to use and further develop technologies in the interest of the common good.

This is where the “Mobile Futurium” project comes in. The project aims to address future competencies and anchor them in schools on a long term basis. Young people are the focus of attention. Because of their age, they are particularly affected by future developments. On the other hand, today’s students are tomorrow’s decision-makers. Teachers as central actors are supported here in imparting knowledge about the future and the use of new technologies. To this end, the Futurium in Berlin develops a mobile future and participation space and visits numerous schools in rural areas in Germany with it. In this way, impulses for “Future Literacy” are to be set.

Within the project, ITAS is responsible for the accompanying participatory research. For this purpose, the use of the Mobile Futurium is reflected from the perspective of technology assessment and education for sustainable development. With regard to the idea of future literacy, the researchers look at what future topics are considered relevant by the students and teachers and whether and how the understanding of roles changes with the visit of the Mobile Futurium. To do this, the ITAS researchers use participatory research approaches and methods. This includes, for example, qualitative interviews, research support by means of participatory observation, and the organization of transdisciplinary workshops.


Marius Albiez
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-23968