The mission of future-gifting is to help as many people as possible to engage with their futures in positive, meaningful and practical ways.
We aim to do this through highly accessible, engaging and useful courses, ideas and resources.
Start your journey into your future, today
Future-gifting is designed to equip you with the tools to help you imagine your better tomorrow and to take action in the present to create it.
A few words from James
Hi, my name is James Janson Young. I’m the creator of future-gifting.
I’ve been researching and writing about the future in various forms for over twenty years.
In the early-noughties, I studied Greenlandic ice-cores for clues as to what our future climate might look like. I then worked as a session musician in the UK and US before studying foreign policy and working overseas. Most recently, I spent over a decade authoring official reports on how the UK Government could improve the way it manages public money in the future.
These experiences taught me how to look to the future through a whole range of lenses. Through the prism of governments, music, large organisations and on the grandest scale of all: our planet’s climate system.
But, it was a personal experience that most influenced and informed my understanding of ‘the future’ and my own role in shaping it.
What happened when ‘the future’ collapsed
In the mid-2010s, I underwent open-heart surgery. Twice. I spent several months in hospital supported by a team of truly amazing medical staff.
There were some very bleak moments when I simply couldn’t see any future for myself. My sense of the future had essentially collapsed.
The question I asked myself was, how on earth could I rebuild it?
During my recovery, I began exploring ways to slowly shape a new relationship with my future.
Expanding time horizons
Taking each day at a time, I slowly rebuilt my belief in that the future did truly exist. I expanded my time horizons outward gradually, from just a few days initially, to a few weeks, to a couple of months, to a year and so on.
In doing so, I came face-to-face with many of the challenges we all encounter when trying to imagine further into the future. That it can feel uncomfortable, abstract and detached from our present experience. What’s more, it can appear at times so uncertain and outside our control, that it can feel impossible, if not pointless, to think in any meaningful way about the possibilities that lie ahead.
But, as I brushed up against these barriers, I discovered ways to overcome them.
Greater confidence and clarity
Little by little, I started to see my future a little more clearly and with a little more certainty. In the process, I became fascinated with the future and our ability to shape it through our day-to-day actions.
I started to have conversations with others about my experiences and findings, and how they engaged with their tomorrows. What struck me most was that whilst nearly everyone I spoke to was fascinated by the future and wanted to learn more about it, they thought about it very rarely in any meaningful or useful way. Many also found it really hard to image what might happen and didn’t really know where or how to start.
I wanted to understand why we find the future – something that can be such a powerful force for good in our lives – so difficult, and at times uncomfortable, to engage with. I started to learn more about how our minds work and the forces in everyday life that shape our relationship with time. I also started to explore what tools are available to assist our thinking.
The product of my experience and learning became future-gifting.
I’ve always been passionate about making good ideas, tools and resources accessible. For me, ‘accessible’ means that ideas are presented in a way that’s clear and easy for you to pick up and start playing with. It means that what you find here is relevant and practical. It’s my hope that the courses and resources here are as engaging as they are useful to you in everyday life.
I look forward to sharing with you the tools and ideas I find most useful in the hope that they’ll help you out in your journey ahead.
As we like to say in future-gifting, we ‘get’ to help out our future-self. Well, all you’ll find here is where I get to help out your future-self.
Thank you for reading and I look forward to seeing you on one of our courses soon.
Explore your your future, today
Find out more about how future-gifting can support you to imagine your better tomorrow and to take action in the present to create it.