A summary of current factors of change that will impact on our future world
To organise these insights, Flow used their Thrivable Culture model (illustrated right) which acknowledges the relationship between factors that can contribute to a thriving creative place or community, and illustrates how these factors work together.
Download the full findings here: Full map of factors for change
We have identified eight types of change factor that present challenges or opportunities for children and young people and those working with them: Technology, Economy & Work, Society, Environment, Politics & Law, Ethics, Healthcare, and Culture.
Economic, political and environmental change factors present the biggest challenges; they will affect resources in a profound and material way.
However, technological advances (e.g. imaging and data analysis) offer many opportunities to creatively tackle these problems. This is the right moment for Cultural Education Partnerships to face these challenges by deepening their collaborations, thinking systemically, opening to digital creativity and involving young people in their future plans.
Cultural partnerships need to stay open-minded about the possibilities offered by technology, in terms of making culture and creativity more accessible, inclusive and enterprising.
Technology can be used to take cultural learning experiences into schools and the daily lives of children and young people.
Cultural organisations can collaborate to strongly advocate for the role of cultural and creative learning opportunities in building a stronger future economy.
Technology wakes me, guides me, connects me and finally sends me to sleep. I know my parents had to get up to go to work, but there are few jobs in 2026: everyone’s freelance and most people do many things.
The skills, knowledge and capacities that children and young people and those working with them need to develop in order to overcome challenges and maximise opportunities (as well as factors impacting on their ability to do so)
Our research shows that technology is only one of many drivers for change in education and future skills. Although some aspects of technology are perceived by children and young people to be a threat (particularly the automation of jobs), there are many positive opportunities for harnessing technology to develop creativity, empathy and problem-solving. However, progress in this area is potentially threatened by Government education reforms and the plan to the leave the EU.
Cultural organisations need to support schools and advocate for the importance of creative, cultural and digital learning. Supporting work experience initiatives that line up with this ethos is also vital.
“I imagine a more fluid society where creative activity is focused in reorganising and interpreting what is already there.”
The values and attitudes that enable children and young people and their communities to lead creative and meaningful lives
Children and young people are highly conscious of a challenging future, accrediting pressures in their mental health to wider global issues, and an increasingly high-stakes academic curriculum. Social division is also identified as problematic.
However, intervention through cultural learning is able to positively influence and address such issues. The key to community resilience is ensuring that people collaborate and know how to defuse tension. Cultural Education Partners can make powerful interventions by empowering children and young people to be cultural leaders and creative innovators.
Cultural organisations can help demonstrate how cultural learning develops individuals to be self-aware, reflective, imaginative and compassionate.
They can support opportunities for young people to express their views and be actively engaged in changing places and politics.
They should also integrate digital learning into activities to maximise chances for young people to develop digital literacies and future skills.
Moving from individual and ego-leadership has taken time but gradually the emotional bonus of mutual success has helped dissolve the initial fear of losing control