What drives us
We met during the Futures Studies master’s programme at the Free University of Berlin. The idea to create Futures Probes was born a few years later, in April 2020, during the first Covid-19 Lockdown.
Futures Probes offers people the opportunity to explore their own wishes and ideas regarding the future – and to make them accessible to others. As futurists and feminists, we strive to bring ‘the future’ as a topic of debate into the mainstream. We believe that futures thinking should not be practised exclusively within academic circles and corporate strategy departments. Instead, futures must be articulated, shared and discussed by society as a whole. Only then can an inclusive, diverse and tolerant future for all come into existence.
Elena Artiles Leyes
Elena is the political brain behind it all. An avid (ex-)redditor and an even more avid (current-)newsletteror and podcast enthusiast, she knows everything that’s going on way before the rest of the team has even heard of it. That’s why anything she says (or writes) is on point. And she can say it – 100% fluent – in Spanish, English and German.
Based in Tenerife, the Canary Islands, Elena is rediscovering life in her hometown La Orotava. There, she’s an active member in the left-leaning party Asamblea and eventually expected to run for mayor (at least that’s what the rest of the team is rooting for).
Lilith is the conceptual force behind Futures Probes. With a combination of creativity and thoroughness she generates ideas from thin air and turns them into solid and shiny new concepts. She never fears new beginnings and has a hands-on attitude that keeps the team moving – with much more carrot than stick. And humour. And funky hair cuts.
Lilith can be found freelancing in the realm of strategic design, speculative futuring and creative team processes. But more importantly, she is currently trying to tip the scale of that famous work-life balance disproportionally towards life.
Kitty is the team’s visualisation wizard. Without her, Futures Probes wouldn’t look so colourful and fresh as it does today. Her mind sometimes goes places that no-one else can follow. When her mind returns, it’s usually with a bucket full of ideas. She’s also great at making everyone laugh – by laughing (a lot) until everyone else does, too.
Next to teaching Futures Studies and Visual Thinking at the SRH Berlin University of Applied Sciences, she has lots of experience as a designer and consultant working with different companies and organisations.
Gina is the team’s very own strategy consultant. She asks the right questions at the right time. She is not afraid to devil’s advocate when the team is once again exploring fantastical (and unrealistic) worlds far away. Her inquisitive “wait, but why?” has often helped the team back on track. She is also a great baker, feeding her team with the fluffiest of cakes.
In her other job Gina is a public-sector and non-profit consultant at Nordlicht Consulting. She also has a professional background in Marketing, from her previous life.
How we work
We challenge the status quo and deconstruct our environment. We are (self-)critical. Consequently, we sometimes ask uncomfortable questions.
We take ourselves and our work seriously. We are thorough in our research and bring a scientific mindset to the way we work. Everything we publish has been fact-checked to the best of our knowledge.
We do not mince words. Authenticity, self-confidence and vulnerability are what set us apart. We take a stand and defend it, not afraid of the mistakes we might make along the way.
We understand feminism as an intersectional movement working towards equality, human dignity and agency, pushing for a social transformation. Anything we do, we approach from a feminist perspective. Anti-racism, sorority and sustainability are intertwined phenomena and the main guiding principles of our work.
We approach complex topics with a certain lightness and curiosity. Thinking in plural futures can and should be fun. In addition to a healthy dose of humour and creative working formats, we also create playfulness through the power of visualisation.
We cultivate respectful and appreciative communications between ourselves and with others. We show appreciation not only for people, but also for the topics we research. And we value diversity and respectful dissent, even when it’s uncomfortable.