Methods to imagine transformative futures. An integrative literature review

Sanna Ketonen-Oksi*, Minna Vigren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
79 Downloads (Pure)


The scope of planetary crisis has led to calls for urgent, far-reaching, and unprecedented transformations of systems and cultures. To achieve these fundamental changes, creative and participatory methods are needed to imagine and engage with alternatives. This integrative literature review, consisting of a detailed analysis of 39 articles, provides a synthesis of methods and the identification of related gaps therein. The analysis is grounded in the Five Dimensions of Futures Consciousness by Ahvenharju, Minkkinen and Lalot (2018), namely time perspective, agency beliefs, openness to alternatives, systems perception, and ethical perspective. Importantly, the results are discussed and cross tabulated with Vogel and O'Brien’s (2021) concept of transformation, illustrated with the aspects of transdisciplinarity, transgressiveness, and transcendence. As our major contribution to the advancement of the field, a Framework for imagining transformative futures is initiated to both demonstrate and argue the needs for further research. Accordingly, in addition to transcending current thinking patterns and normative framings, only the emergence of the completely new and previously unimaginable can pave the way for fundamental transformations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103341
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024
MoE publication typeA2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review


  • Alternative futures
  • Futures consciousness
  • Imagination
  • Integrative literature review
  • Methods
  • Transformation


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