Chasing Black Swans through Science Fiction: Surprising Future Events in the Stories of a Finnish Writing Competition

by Toni Ahlqvist  & Tuomo Uotila & Olli Hietanen


In the paper we analyse the notion of ‘black swan’ as popularised by Taleb (2007). We propose that in the context of the futures’ imagination, a black swan can be defined as hybrid that integrates local knowledge with multiple temporal scales, combining past, present and future tenses. As empirical material, we analyse the short stories from a writing contest held by the Finnish Parliament’s Committee for the Future. The material contains 132 short stories. The analysis gives intriguing insights into how Finnish people – from different locales,of different ages and with differing educational and professional backgrounds – imagine different

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