Futurization of Thinking and Behaviour

This multi-disciplinary project looks into the emerging concept of ‘futurization’. The aim is to propose an empirical definition of this new concept and to disentangle it from the concept of the ‘future’. Currently, it is noted that ‘futurization’ is being used in the context of policy-making, however, without clear definition, it creates ambiguous reactions. What does it actually mean to say ‘futurization of politics’ or ‘futurization of thinking’ or ‘futurization of behavior’? This project explores the image of the future that laypeople have. What concepts and imagery do they associate with the term ‘futurization’? What are their hopes, dreams, fears, and anxieties about it?

The project aims to identify opportunities to foster long-term thinking in individuals. This research explores, for example, the potential benefits of transformations towards sustainability, and of a conscious approach to long-term thinking and behaving. The project links research perspectives on future challenges and sustainable actions to the daily life of an individual.

Follow the project’s progress on Researchgate.

Project updates:


Symposium at the XVI European Congress of Psychology, July 2-5 2019, Moscow, Russia

Exploring various aspects of futurization

In this cross-disciplinary symposium we are looking into the emerging concept of ‘futurization’ (of thinking, behavior, politics, etc.) and the image of the future from the perspectives of psychology, behavioral economics and sociology. We explore multiple facets of ‘futurization’ in relation to personal identity level, but also on societal level and linking it to diversity, migration, sustainability and human nature and development in general. Decisions made today can have far-reaching consequences for individuals, societies, and ecosystems in the future. Yet far too often, present feelings are so powerful that considerations of future events are neglected: individual interests in the present become fulfilled at the expense of the common interest for the future and the generations to come. We discuss novel solutions that psychology, behavioral economics and sociology have to offer to this classical temporal dilemma – a temporal conflict between short-term and long-term interests.

Anna Sircova, PhD, Head of the Board, Time Perspective Network; External Lecturer, DIS: Study Abroad in Scandinavia, Copenhagen, Denmark

Chris Crespo, Behavioural Economist, Chief Digital Strategist, Nordea, Copenhagen, Denmark

Elisabeth Schilling, Prof. Dr., Göttingen Diversity Research Institute, Göttingen, Germany,

Alejandro Vásquez-Echeverría, PhD, Associate Professor, University of the Republic, Uruguay

Strizhitskaya Olga, PhD, Associate Professor, Saint Petersburg State University, Russia

Book chapter:

Sircova, A., Scharf, A. E., Kennedy, M., & Päivinen, P. R. (2019). Futurization of Thinking and Behavior: Exploring People’s Imaginaries About the Future and Futurization. In Managing Screen Time in an Online Society (pp. 219-245). IGI Global.


Research project funding from DIS: Study Abroad in Scandinavia consisting of research stipend and Research Assistant stipend through 2019: “Futurization of Thinking and Behavior”, September 2018, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Call for Research Assistants for Fall 2019.

Focus group: “Futurization of Thinking and Behavior”, April 2018, Copenhagen, Denmark. Summary of results.


Focus group: “Futurization of thinking and behavior as a fine balancing act”, October 2017, Copenhagen, Denmark. Summary of results.