future ways of living III
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A global Opportunity

From the shared and escalating crisis of climate change, to our evolving relationship with technology, to the pressures of globalization, cities around the world are facing challenges more complex and nuanced than ever before.

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And as cities grow, so too do the complexity of systems that dictate how we live, offering new opportunities for future ways of living.

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A Future-Forward Approach to Problem Solving

Future Ways of Living III is a one of a kind initiative that leverages decades worth of design research and engages a broad array of stakeholders and an international community of thought leaders and subject matter experts from varying disciplines to share knowledge and best practices in order to craft resilient and integrated futures.

Developed to foster anticipatory design, Future Ways of Living is both a research method and a call to action. As a research method, it aims to investigate and visualize the past and present forces shaping society, which inform an understanding of potential futures. As a call to action, it challenges us to inspire, imagine and create what ought to be, rather than what exists.

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About FWoL III

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As the third iteration of the Future Ways of Living (FWoL) initiative, FWoL III is a global project supporting innovative cities around the world to realize enhanced futures through a process of community-enabled anticipatory design, called City Solutions Labs.

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Working with cities to create a research question and charrette brief that tackles a Post-COVID-19 challenge.

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City Solutions Lab: Cities will be involved in the charrette process to develop pilot-ready prototypes.

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Final results and prototypes will be shared publicly through a series of exhibitions and events.

Jointly presented by the Institute without Boundaries, MEET, TPEC (acting through Center for Public Research and Leadership) and World Design Organization (WDO), the project will partner with approximately eight Host Cities to investigate pressing local challenges and design impactful solutions to improve civic well-being.

Cities Can Expect to Learn from the Best

The FWoL III: City Solutions Lab process is based on practices refined and perfected over a collective two decades of research and experience by our founding partners. We are experts in the use of interdisciplinary problem-solving to explore challenges at any scale, across any problem set.

Supported by a multi-level network of input and expertise from around the world, each city will engage in its own City Solutions Lab experience, consisting of a series of workshops and engagement activities tailored to their specific needs and areas of inquiry.

Exploring a range of themes common to any municipality - from infrastructure and mobility to environment, culture and education. Cities will become part of the internationally networked FWoL III ecosystem, and have access to a unique platform of knowledge mobilization and solution sharing that can be translated and applied anywhere in the world.


Arts, Culture & Entertainment

The arts, culture and entertainment industry is vast and varied, covering everything from fine arts, performing arts and film to food, sports and recreation. The global entertainment and performing arts community also includes various venues such as arenas, cinemas, and amusement parks, all of which have been gravely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, the abrupt interruption of traditional systems for social exchange has threatened the cultural heritage of many smaller and localized communities and put a greater emphasis on a need for cultural preservation and identity, especially as an agent in equitable and accessible placemaking.


Climate Change, Environment & Density Reduction

The natural and built environment encompasses all living and nonliving things, forming a new kind of ecosystem with its own set of strengths and challenges. Over time, human actions have been a great detriment to the health of the natural landscape, with climate change and environmental issues now becoming increasingly pressing and exacerbating existing issues, such as threats to our ecosystems, coastal erosion, and the impacts of drought, extreme weather and access to clean drinking water.



Most cities bear substantial responsibility for preparing its young people for fulfilling and civically responsible adult lives. Variation in student learning success across otherwise similar jurisdictions has long revealed an uneven mobilization of public action to overcome educational inequality. Whether stemming from economic deprivation or accessibility issues, it is imperative that academic systems work towards a new equilibrium of more flexibility and pedagogical creativity.



Considered as a system for bringing physical and social sustenance from source to table, food is both essential for life and an extension of culture. Globalization has created new food cultures, technologies and awareness, but it has also disrupted and degraded food systems. COVID-19 has added to the strain on our global food systems and, in particular, on food security, food labour, as well as food supply and distribution around the world. The pandemic has revealed how interconnected the world of global food and agriculture has become, and has exposed areas of vulnerability that need to be addressed.



Health systems are the organization of people, institutions, and resources that deliver care and services to meet the health needs of target populations. Health encompasses access not only to medical, caretaking, and preventive services, but also to wellness and a fulfilling lifestyle. COVID-19 has revealed the fragilities in city health systems, including issues of quality, access, and often racialized disparities in levels of care and impact of virus infection rates and higher rates of death for communities of color, making innovation essential in the creation of resilient and inclusive health and wellness for all.



In addition to meeting a basic human need for shelter, housing plays a key role in fostering cultural, financial, health, and educational security. When access to affordable and adequate housing is not provided, this system is disrupted with negative effects on the individuals seeking shelter as well as the communities that surround them. In the COVID-19 context, the consequences of this condition are heightened by a widening gap between the rich and poor and further exacerbated by an increasing reliance on social support systems by our most vulnerable.


Justice & Security

The importance of personal safety and justice for citizens is linked to the fundamental need to establish human security, which recognizes that all citizens are entitled to freedoms, opportunities and rights that fully develop their potential. Justice and security refer to the values and goals of the collective society as well as the governments, institutions, and policies that are established in order to deliver them. Societies where there are no effective and accountable security structures can often experience higher incidence of violence, injustice and unrest. Moving forward, justice and security agencies must ensure public safety by considering the uncertainties that are brought on by the current global landscape and citizen needs.



Mobility encompasses the ability of people and goods to move from one location to another, allowing people to explore new environments, experience culture and increase economic development through tourism, trade and business. ​​Rethinking mobility, including regulatory developments and equity of access, will involve understanding the changing landscape to create safe, accessible and equitable mobility solutions.


FWoL III is keen to engage cities in the examination of challenges with local significance, but global impact. Each Host City will work with a transdisciplinary team to identify an area of need, and to develop and frame creative solutions around a series of core themes, including:

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Climate Change, Environment & Density Reduction
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Arts, Culture & Entertainment
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Justice & Security
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These themes  are meant to stimulate thought about what topics can and should be explored during the Post-COVID-19 / Future Ways of Living charrettes. The intent of this Call for Collaboration is to generate discourse with interested municipalities and subject matter experts to understand these and any other problems they face within the geographical, socioeconomic, legal, and political context of the Host City. In doing so we can then define a problem statement (the challenge), frame the creative investigation (the design brief) and generate desirable future solutions (the charrette).

our process

FWoL III will partner with approximately eight cities from around the world to develop new visions for their futures. Identified cities will work with an interdisciplinary team of experts to identify an area of need and develop a research question to frame the creative investigation.

The team will tackle the question in a virtual workshop process called a “charrette,” with facilitation by experts and participants from local stakeholder groups. The charrette will generate results in the form of a solution roadmap, including actionable strategies, tools, and implementation outlines responsive to the stipulations of each Host City.

More About Our Process

The charrette will generate results in the form of a solution roadmap, including actionable strategies, tools, and implementation outlines responsive to the stipulations of each Host City acting in the role and with the authority of retaining clients. Results will be communicated in a final report publication designed to connect ideas and further support the global spread and implementation of solutions proposed.

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The Host City results will be included in an exhibition and video documentary series showcasing the knowledge, insights and outcomes developed throughout this process among cities across the world.

The Project will culminate in a showcase of outcomes in a traveling exhibit to be displayed in each Host City as well as at Digifest 2023 and at Osaka World Expo 2025 in keeping with its theme of Designing Future Societies for Our Lives.

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To emerge from this season of unrest with sustainable and equitable purpose will require an unprecedented global effort. We need to work together.
- Luigi Ferrara

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Be a part of the Future Ways of Living movement, and join us as we support cities and communities in exploring how we can design a better future. Future Ways of Living challenges you to imagine and create what the world ought to be, rather than what exists. Let’s work together, to design better future ways of living for all.

Be a part of FWoL III


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