The primary output of the ForesightNZ workshop – the playing cards – and the accompanying booklet are now published. These playing cards are the result of the 36 participants’ hard work to create a robust foresight tool at the ForesightNZ workshop in April 2016. You can download a full pack of cards and instructions here or order from our online store ($15 per pack). The stages participants undertook to brainstorm, sort, refine and design the cards are explained in detail in the ForesightNZ booklet.


Participants devised one pack of cards three different games – Cards for Humanity, I Reckon and Quarrel. The games focus on skills such as collaboration, guesstimation and imagination. We see these skills as enabling players to build capability in futures thinking and explore stories about how our future might unfold. The dynamic nature of the cards means that they can be played any way you like. One deck, infinite possibilities!

The pack of 64 is spilt into four categories: Capital Cards (x 4), Event Cards (x 32), Trend Cards (x 25) and Jokers (x 3). Capital Cards refer to the four capitals at the heart of the New Zealand Treasury’s Living Standards Framework. Event Cards represent possible events that are categorized into one of four high impact event types, depending on two factors: how aware society is of the event and the probability of each event occurring. Trend Cards show growing changes or movement in a particular direction over time. The Jokers spur imagination and enable players to come up with their own trends and events.

The games enable you to frame and explore how trends and events can co-exist and intersect with each other, ultimately challenging the certainty of the future.

We hope the ForesightNZ cards will provide a useful resource for individuals, businesses, schools, communities, councils and government departments interested in exploring New Zealand’s long-term future. We also believe the choice of cards illustrates the types of issues youth are thinking about.

About ForesightNZ
The ForesightNZ project aims to build public policy capability in New Zealand by encouraging long-term, agile thinking around our uncertain future. Initiated in 2008, ForesightNZ is about conceptualising the broad range of possible futures for New Zealand through up-to-date tools and conceptual approaches used in the field of futures studies. As part of the ForesightNZ work programme, The ForesightNZ workshop from 27 to 29 April 2016 saw 36 young people come together from throughout New Zealand to explore the events and trends that could shape our long-term future. The workshop formed part of the stakeholder engagement process for Treasury’s Statement on New Zealand’s Long-Term Fiscal Position. The Statement, which is prepared every four years under the Public Finance Act 1989, was published by Treasury on Tuesday, 22 November 2016.

The ForesightNZ workshop was a collaboration between the McGuinness Institute and the New Zealand Treasury. The ForesightNZ playing cards have been published by the McGuinness Institute. Thank you to all the sponsors, speakers, participants and the wider support team for making this workshop possible.