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Future orientation in times of climate change

Climate change is at the centre of attention, although not in the minds of a sufficient number of businesses,  governmental organisations and politicians, yet, nor in the care of enough citizens. Besides making agreements and taking action, internationally and worldwide, it is necessary for all people and parties everywhere to prepare for the future. This lifemap scenario offers individuals a way to explore to which future they would want to contribute to. To look forward and find concrete and practical stepping stones for climate adaptation and a more nature-friendly life, that match with their own life and work.  


The image shows the lifemap building blocks

A lifemap scenario and a workshop programme for a self-appointed group of four. A group coordinator receives the lifemap package for the group, containing the building blocks shown in the image for each member: the compass poster, life’s work stickers (extended version), quality and organising stickers and a variant of the work symbols.

The overarching goal for this lifemap scenario

The overarching goal for this scenario is to encourage one another and help each other to build a positive vision, which reflects the personal story and the intentions to improve life conditions on earth, close to home.

To develop a personal, practical and positive future orientation

The tendency of people and in organisations and society, too, is often to focus on the short term only, but when times are uncertain and risky, extrapolation for the longer term cannot be lacking. Because of the scale and weight of the impact of climate change – and nature’s decline, in the shadow of it – it makes sense to get acquainted with the well-known facts and get used to the idea, that we live in a time in which life conditions on earth will be deteriorating rather then improving. Future orientation can be seen as a human capacity, like self-esteem is, as a quality which is developed in the course of life. This lifemap scenario facilitates the creation of a personal map for the future. The map shows a person’s life course, gives an impression of how the future is perceived and ends with gathering indications and choosing practical guidelines as examples of how to prepare for it.

Just sharing what you know and think in a safe environment relaxes. Discussion and argumentation are not a part of the workshop programme, which focuses on individual mapping, storytelling and listening and ends with an inspiring brainstorm. The programme for this scenario is designed to be grounded and intuitive, without becoming challenging or heavy.

Though more and more information is available as to what kind of direct impact is to be expected at  the region and country level, such as areas of drought, storms and extreme heat, as an individual we will never have a complete picture. The approach in this scenario is to work with the awareness and knowledge group members have, currently. No information is added. No prior knowledge is necessary for participation in a workshop.

Though it often seems unreal, and there is a tendency to dismiss things or put them aside, we will have to adapt. The decision to become aware and prepare is powerful and will give you courage. It is difficult to talk about climate change, such as when your family or environment has a completely different view. It helps to practice thinking and talking about it in relation to your own life and work situation, which we do in the workshop. Emotions can arise around climate change. In this scenario and workshop we accept emotions, like fear, but there is no room for fatalism. Orientation on the positive in each situation is a strong strategy.

In the mapping process symbols add to a sense of direction


Workshop programme

A workshop programme with an alternation of individual mapping and group exchange works well for this lifemap scenario, possibly with time in between to let things sink in. This makes it suitable to be hosted online, through Zoom. A quiet and harmonious environment, such as at home, is ideal while filling in the poster.

In a first round of individual work, the group members map their life course up until now on the poster, using life’s work stickers. They add the self-selected qualities to the themes or periods they were developed. With work symbols they indicate key themes and core qualities. After the mapping people come together as a group to tell each other their stories. Without discussion, only listening profoundly and giving feedback in the form of positive reinforcement and open questions. Another round of individual work follows, in which everyone imagines, that it is 2026 and a major climate-related event has happened somewhere in the world. They reflect about causes and consequences and they assess their first response on the poster. After this the group convenes again to share their stories. In a third round of individual mapping, the group reflects about the statements, principles and actions on the poster, by listening to each other. In a short silence the Master Code of Care: Taking care of self, others, place and planet is brought in. A dialogue follows in which the group envisions how they would come together in the light of this code and what their unity would bring.

With consent of the group members, a private recording can be made, to enable people to listen back to their own and other’s life stories. An indication for the duration of the programme could be 6 hours of self-motivation, in total, spread over several days and three rounds of exchange of 2 – 3 hours each.

Personal safety and privacy

How the built-in lifemap process faciliates a safe environment for sharing and how personal information is protected during the workshop will be discussed in advance.

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