Thingvellir. The site of the Alþing, the annual parliament of Iceland from the year 930

The Nordic Chapter of World Futures Studies Federation

Futures of Democracy

Nordic democracy as leverage for global challenges

Call for proposals

The organization team encourage participants to send in proposals or ideas, workshop, presentations, and related material, which contribute to the theme of the conference.

Please contact us by email: [email protected]

How can we inspire the rest of the world to renew democracy for the 21st century?

Join us to co-create concrete measures to ensure that democratic values are used to tackle our wicked global challenges. We invite you to take part in discussions, workshops, do-shops and talks to develop specific concrete solutions and ideas to speed up processes for citizen participation, enthusiastic youth engagement and group-action.

Using future thinking and methods we will look into possible ways to develop what we propose to call “Democracy+” as a tool to explore what is needed for a 21st century societal contract 2.0, which clearly links democracy to civil society and the need for social innovation and sees resilient democracy as a force for peace.

Focusing on 2040, positive action and concrete movement, you will be part of an action-oriented and challenge-driven 3-day camp to reframe tomorrow’s democracy.

Join us in Reykjavík on 21-23 February 2024 so we can co-create together.

Wednesday, 21 February

13:00 – 14:00: Arrival and registration

14:00 – 15:00: Conference opening and tribute to Eirikur Ingólfsson. See words of remembrance

15:00 – 16:00: Participant introductions and networking through a ‘Marketplace’ where attendees share their contributions and conference goals.

16:00 – 18:00: Engage in parallel discussions about the themes of the conference.

Thursday, 22 February

08:30: Arrive and prepare for a day of futures exploration.

09:00 – 12:30: A full day of futures workshops, exploring the futures of democracy, from today to 2040 and 2070. We continue working with the core themes and co-create possible futures in response to the key questions of the conference. In parallel workshops and plenary discussions, we will explore how we can innovate democracy and how we can actively shape the democracy we desire. We will also consider how we can better integrate foresight to be aware of future crisis.

12:30 – 13:30: Take a break for lunch.

12:30 – 17:00: Futures workshops continue.

Friday, 23 February

08:30: Arrive and prepare for a day of reflecting and moving to action.

09:00 – 11:30: Parallel working sessions, based on participants share insights and interests. Here we intend to form working groups, and rapidly prototype innovative solutions that we will continue to refine and test after the conference.

11:30 – 13:00: Conclude the conference with a plenary session, summarizing key takeaways, and reflections on the significant questions posed at the conference’s beginning.


The very fabric of society is facing eroding forces due to short-termism, climate change and non-science-based policy making and is putting peace and security at risk. Today’s democracy was never designed to be a caretaker of future generations. We in Nordic Europe see possibilities to rethink democracy to make it a better fit for future decades, working together with a broad constituency of stakeholders – and especially the voices of our young people – in a multigenerational co-design process.

How do we tackle this? That’s what this work conference is about


We will not only address questions not yet answered, but we will also look for the questions not yet asked.

By using different future methods (positive thinking, rapid prototyping, cartography, scenarios) combined with provocative contexts, we will co-develop new, action-based approaches for moving beyond talking and thinking to create testable prototypes of our most promising ideas – ideas that will be tested both during the conference and taken away to further prototype in participants’ own working environments. This will stress-test ideas, explore the resilience of tomorrow’s structures and look into long-term consequences.

By embracing complexity, uncertainty, and a sense of urgency we can make sense of chaos, explore (and map) new ways forward, based on ‘sense of opportunity’ Doing this together with new friends from other fields, backgrounds and contexts, we will not only experience how future methodologies help us ask new questions and develop sustainable and competitive solutions to wicked problems, we will have fun exploring new ways to make more desirable futures take shap


Participants will take away one or more concrete prototypes to test with their constituencies, feeding back results to us and to each other, in an iterative process we would like to see as first steps towards co-creating several local Future Labs linked to each other in on-going process for renewing European democracy.

Who we are.

The Nordic Chapter of the World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF), an UNESCO and UN consultative partner, includes the Icelandic Centre for Future Studies, Finland Futures Research Centre, and the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies, as well as independent foresight practitioners in the Nordic countries, the Netherlands, and Germany. Members in the organizing committee are:

Erik Øverland

President for the World Futures Studies Federation

Magnus Jorge

Magnus Jörge

World Futures Studies Federation

Karl Friðriksson

The Icelandic Centre for Future studies


Sævar Kristinsson

The Icelandic Centre for Future studies

Toni Ahlquist

Finland Futures Research Centre

Jari Kaivo-Oja x

Jari Kaivo-oja

Finland Futures Research Centre


Mikkel Knudsen

Finland Futures Research Centre

Martin Kruse

Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies

Hank Kune


Siv Helen Hesjedal

Themis Foresight

William Fagerheim

Mind the Gap

Anna Sigurborg Ólafsdóttir

Future Committee


The event in Reykjavík is a work conference and designed so that all participants will be able to co-create together. The conference is therefore limited to 60 participants. On-site participation only.

Conference fee: 300 EUR, includes lunch for three days. 150 EUR for students.

Cancellation policy: Cancellation by 12 January 2024: Refund of conference registration less 80 EUR. cancellation fee. Cancellation after 15 January 2024: No refund fee. Substitutions are welcome.

For more information about this working conference and for registration, please visit or contact [email protected]


In memory of Eiríkur Ingólfsson (1960–2019), entrepreneur in field of future studies

Eiríkur was a pioneer in introducing scenarios and foresight in Iceland. He conducted together with partners in Iceland numerous foresight studies for Icelandic companies and organizations.  Later Eirikur moved to Norway and became a well-known foresight practitioner in there. 

 Eiríkur became cand. oecon. from the University of Iceland in 1985. He also completed a master’s degree in management from Handelshøyskolen BI in 2005. In addition, he attended several courses in project management and future studies.

Eiríkur was i.e., Executive Director of SUS, The Federation of young people at Independence Party 1983-85, Executive Director of the Students’ Association 1986-90, and the Engineering Department of Hekla hf. 1990-93. He was project manager and journalist at Viðskiptablaðið 1993-94 and executive manager of ISS service unit 1994-96. He moved to Norway in 1997 and worked there i.e., at Trondheim, as executive director of Smartnett AS and later SIT Bolig AS. After that, he mainly dealt with project management and consulting both in Norway and Iceland, mainly in the field of scenarios and future matters.

 Eiríkur was one of the pioneers introducing foresight thinking in Iceland and doing his to increase cooperation between foresight practitioners in the Nordic countries.  Eiríkur wrote the book “Future – From uncertainty to success”, together with Karl Friðriksson and Sævar Kristinsson (Reykjavik 2007).  

 He was active in social affairs and held positions in student social affairs during his academic years and in the work for the Independent Party in Iceland. After Eiríkur moved to Norway, he took active part in the activities of the Conservative Party in Trondheim. Later he became the chairman of the Conservative Party in Fredrikstad.