Finding new horizons

Covid-19 has changed the world in few months. Our future seems to have changes via this black swan called corona. Especially for young people it is very important to be able to keep your eye on the future. While waiting for the next international intensive week the participants of Making my future are getting together online in creativity workshops.

Making my future aims to establish agency and future optimism among the young adults who participate in the project. In the project we will experiment and implement various creative methods that advocate participation and involvement in one’s own life and the societies. Covid-19 has turned Europe upside down in many ways and instead of making our future, we have had to react on and adapt to the situation.

The corona crises really provokes the need for projects like Making my future. We need ways and space to reflect on our life paths and find proactive ways to accomplish agency. Especially young adults need hope and skills to be the driver, not the passenger in their lives. Corona has caused a global crisis that European countries are solving on local levels. Now that we are facing the time of physical distancing, we need social solidarity and togetherness that goes beyond national borders.

When the borders are closed, we need to build bridges that help us to get together. In Making my future-project we are organizing online workshops were participants from Finland, Latvia and Estonia get together and imagine the world post corona. By using creative methods, we pursue a wide future horizon. The metaphor of horizon gives as perspective. At the moment there has been so many changes and cancellations that we easily lost the sight of future. Focusing on the horizon helps us to be present in this moment, and orienting forward.

The future orientation of young people is interfaced with personal development and social, societal, cultural and ecological context. In times of uncertainty and insecurity the trust to a good future may waver. Without support the effects can be far-reaching. To avoid short-sightedness we need to support hopefulness, ambition and life planning. (Pölkki & Hämäläinen & Vornanen 2018, 161.)

Supporting young people in constructing, or because of corona, even reconstructing their future is a duty and a challenge that must be accepted and faced by the youth workers, social workers, and educators. Future orientation consists of individual thoughts about the future, plans and intentions, motivation, hopes and feelings (Trommsdorff 1983). Hopeful future orientation can activate self-regulating skills also in challenging situations and lead to a positive growth (Pölkki et al 2018, 164).

In 2020 future orientation is not merely an individual project but communal. Many communities in different levels must recreate their image of the future. Maybe this can be also a possibility for the young people in their emerging adulthood; we are all in this together! Our online workshops give an opportunity to come together to reinforce our belief in the future. We need to build wide future horizons and with creative methods we can see, feel and experience more deeply and widely. We want to offer young people a possibility to be seen and heard and express themselves. Corona may bound agency, but creativity may be used as an antidote and bring back control over one´s life choices.

Together we can find out ways to cope in times of great changes and to proactively build the future that we want for ourselves and help others with the same task.

Trommsdorff, Gisela (1983). Future Orientation and Socialization. International Journal of Psychology, 18, (1- 4), 381–406.

Pölkki, Pirjo & Hämäläinen, Juha & Vornanen, Riitta (2018). Nuorten tulevaisuusorientaation tukeminen epävarmuuksien aikana. Teoksessa Lammintakainen, Johanna & Laulainen, Sanna (toim.) Kohti vaikuttavaa päätöksentekoa ja johtamisen hyvinvointipalveluissa (2018) University of Eastern Finland