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Supporting policy with scientific evidence

We mobilise people and resources to create, curate, make sense of and use knowledge to inform policymaking across Europe.

Projects and activities | Last updated: 04 Mar 2024

Futures Garden

Pioneering Policy Innovation through Speculative Design

Brief me

We want to revolutionize policy creation in a forward-thinking, resilient, and inclusive way. 

With Futures Garden we envision an Europe enriched by a diverse tapestry of potential futures, each path distinct with its own opportunities and challenges. These opportunities and challenges indicate new ways and directions relevant for policy design. They help us pro-actively prepare for futures to come.

For this we use speculative design with creativity, empathy, and analytical insight. 

Futures Garden aims at creating inspiring alternative future scenarios through the use of fictional future artefacts that invite to reflection and debate. 

Our unique platform, Futures Garden, collaborates with leading futurists, innovative designers, and engaged EU citizens. Together, we're dedicated to actively craft a future for Europe that's as dynamic and diverse as its people. 


Our four-step approach ensures a comprehensive and impactful exploration:

Horizon Scanning: We dive into cutting-edge ideas and emerging trends, identifying opportunities that could shape Europe's future.

Speculative Design: Our creative process transforms abstract concepts into tangible, thought-provoking scenarios, making future possibilities more accessible and engaging.

Citizen Engagement: We delve into the societal implications of these speculative scenarios, gathering diverse perspectives and insights from citizens in Europe.

Policy Reflection: The final step involves analyzing the potential impact of these innovative ideas on policy-making, support policy makers to start new small scale experiments, ensuring that future EU policies are forward-thinking, inclusive, and impactful.

Different teams of a diversity of Directorate Generals, have started new small scale experiments, to understand and unravel these potential futures, in the safe and experimental space of the Policy Lab. 


Our fictional future artefacts discuss topics that influence how we transition to a sustainable fair future:

Dealing with future selves” explores new ways of being, individually and collectively, examines new practices and technologies that enhance self-reflection and sharing of emotions, which help shape our choices in life and nurture a renewed sense of togetherness.

Inwards video teaser

Extending human perception to new scales explores the richness of non-human intelligences, expanding our attention and appreciation for their unique sensory worlds, their “umwelt” – what they “feel” and how they “think”. In doing so it departs from the human-centric worldview towards a deeper understanding and celebration of life on Earth.

Symbiotic video teaser


Futures Garden is initiated by the EU Policy Lab and commissioned by DG for Research & Innovation through the Foresight on Demand framework contract. 

The project is conducted with partners Austrian Institute of Technology, Fraunhofer ISI, Futures2all, Futurlab, Institutul de Prospectiva, Modem and Normals.


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Read the blog:

Futures Garden:


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