A Utopia is an imagined community or society that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its citizens. One could also say that utopia is a perfect "place" that has been designed so there are no problems. The belief that humans are perfectible leads, inevitably, to mistakes when ‘a perfect society’ is designed for an imperfect species. There is no best way to live because there is so much variation in how people want to live. Therefore, there is no best society, only multiple variations on a handful of themes as dictated by our nature.

What, then, should replace the idea of utopia? One answer can be found in another neologism – protopia – incremental progress in steps toward improvement, not perfection. As the futurist Kevin Kelly describes his coinage:

Protopia is a state that is better today than yesterday, although it might be only a little better. Protopia is much much harder to visualise. Because a protopia contains as many new problems as new benefits, this complex interaction of working and broken is very hard to predict.


The intention of this exercise is for you to let your imagination free and build a strong picture of how you envision and believe the world could be improved.

Desired Outcome:

By the end of the exercise, we want you to have a clearer picture of how you think the world/specific system could be improved upon and how you would like to take part in this.



(Suggested time: 20min)

Imagine you're standing in the year 2050 right now, and your vision of the world/challenges has come true. How does it look? How does it work, and why? What new challenges are there?

Define/visualize or describe the improvement in the system that you believe would work better than today.

(If you've done the Worldview task before, you can define which of the challenges that you reflected upon in the "worldview" you feel obligated to take responsibility for)


(Suggested time: 20min)

Now imagine you work your way backward from 2050 to today.

  • What would have to happen to make this vision a reality?

  • What kind of leadership is needed?

  • What would you change and why?



Share your progress with your buddy and help each other define the vision clearly. Make sure that you challenge each others assumptions as well.

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