Design a learning curriculum and related educational material that addresses trends and future challenges



Future Boxes

Design a learning curriculum and related educational material that addresses trends and future challenges.


How can we inspire and empower students to deal with complex future topics in a creative and action-oriented way, so that they find their own answers to the great future questions of humanity?


New technologies, genome editing and robotics are finding their way into our everyday lives, and at the same time climate change is threatening the very basis of our existence. However, critical reflection on this and proactive participation in shaping the future is not encouraged in our schools.


May 2017 – Oct 2018 (17 months)


Education Innovation Lab


Futurium gGmbH


The five »Future Boxes« on the topics: the future of work, cities, health, energy and nutrition enable students in grades 7-10 to meet the challenges of the future. A box contains materials such as trend cards, templates, method cards, and reflection sheets, all of which contribute to a comprehensive learning curriculum. In addition, a guide for teachers has been developed on how to use the »Future Boxes«. Here they will find detailed information and support for implementing different learning formats in school, such as workshops or entire project weeks.


Before we developed any learning concepts and school materials, we researched relevant topics and trends with future foresight scientists and learned their approaches and methods. For example, how do you create a future scenario, under which perspectives (ecological, political, social, etc.) should you evaluate it, how can wildcards irritate the scenario and what influence do the observable megatrends have? Our task was then to adapt the methods in a child-friendly way, provide easy access to the required knowledge and create a learning journey that also encourages the 21st century skills like critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, media literacy and so on.

Starting with one of the future box topics we developed the first prototype to test the concept and difficulty of the content and methods with students in different ages and at various types of schools.
Afterwards the material development for the teachers followed. Thereby we observed great differences in the way the lessons were conducted: some teachers, for example, needed very detailed time schedules, material lists and step-by-step instructions for the application of the methods, others only needed a rough framework and liked to fill the uncertainty on their own. To meet both requirements was one of the hurdles in the conception.
From the design perspective one of the biggest challenges was to develop a navigation system for the sheer mass of different materials that had been produced until then.


Concept Development | Content Development | Layout and Illustration | Product Photos


The project was developed by the Education Innovation Lab for the Futurium Berlin. The interdisciplinary, six-person project team was supported in various phases by future scientists, teachers and students.


The project was awarded following a public tender. This meant that we had to submit a detailed concept in advance, which was not based on user research, and gave us a very tight corset in the end. If all types of material and a strict time schedule are already determined in advance, iterative work is hardly possible, since the user feedback cannot flow completely into the concept development.

The simultaneous elaboration of the five future boxes, the cooperation with many external experts and the dependencies in the team on the contents of others taught me a lot in project management. In retrospect, I would have been less hasty in starting work and would have taken more time in setting up a sprint structure and using a project management tool, and would have first worked out a common goal with the team.

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