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We make the Future - Communications Camp


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The Comunication cams are the model develop the interctive sosciety

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We make the Future - Communications Camp

  1. 1. 1 We Make the Future – Communications Camp Marja-Liisa Viherä 21.3.2017 INTRODUCTION What we do in our daily life affects more and more the future of the entire planet. It is therefore important to develop future tools for everyday life. Communication camp is way to inspire future orientation and give concrete example on options available in the future. Futures researchers, on the one hand, study globally important phenomena and their future influence and, on the other hand, the development of technology and its influence on daily life. Future workshops are an example of a method for examining the future from the everyday life level (Nurmela 2017). Combining global phenomena and everyday life is less common. Narratives (Jarva 2017) are one method, and another one is to produce examples of the ways of life in a globalised world. Communication camps have been created due to an interest in the future. Activity in these two is guided by the idea of communication based on mutual trust between people. The motive for developing the model is a concern about the influences of global phenomena (pollution of the environment, loss of workplaces, global inequality, supranational entertainment etc.) on our daily lives: loneliness, lack of vision, insecurity, unwillingness to participate etc. Applications of information technology in different fields are often in the background of these phenomena. At the communication camps, information technology has been intentionally put in the service of future interaction society. In this article, I intend to explain the role of Communication camps as places for making the future and places that inspire in visioning the future. Therefore, I shall give an overview of the 30-years long history of the camps, from the point of view of future orientation I shall first examine ideas from the sphere of futures studies for developing the models, and secondly give an overview of the theoretical basis of the models i.e. the three components of communication skills in future information society. One of these components will be analysed in more detail. After this theoretical examination, The principles of communication camps will be presented, followed by a description of how the Communication camp functions. Then I evaluate how the communication camp responds to the needs of the interaction society. Then I will present a future laboratory developed from the miniature communication camps. Finally, I summarize the importance of future thinking and making the future. Communication camp The idea of a Communication camp was developed in 1987, The basic idea of the camps’ activity has been nearly the same since the beginning. A paper is made daily, as well as a video and a radio
  2. 2. 2 programme. Interaction is based on and channelled through daily media. For a comprehensive view and in order to understand the structures of the community, camp members rotate their tasks daily. In this way, everyone makes a paper, a video and a radio programme, takes care of the information desk and the restaurant. This is also a way to learn to appreciate one’s own work and the work others do. There are no outside personnel as cooks or cleaners: these are also tasks of the campers. Communication devices are used to enhance the activities and also for self-expression and interaction. Play is taken seriously. (Luokola 1989). COMMUNICATION CAMPS: A FUTURE STUDIES PERSPECTIVE Future studies is a value-rational field of science, as it includes a goal of preferred futures. It is not an umbrella science for other fields, although it uses results and methods from other fields of science in the problem setting that concerns the future of human communities and information on these communities . Making scenarios and future making are among the methods of future studies. In principle, the methods include not only the methods used within the field, but also all the methods used in other fields of scientific research (Viherä 1999). Communication camp is method of future making. Communication, technology and togetherness are combined in the one week camp Interaction society is a scenario that has been often presented in future studies. Its starting points are in the change in production, brought along by the information society, from industry to services; the idea of rupture. A qualitative change in the multitude of needs takes place in that rupture. The society where traditional agriculture, forestry and animal husbandry were a dominating force of development is referred to by Malaska (1983) as a society of basic needs. The phase that follows basic needs is a society of material needs, with industry as its dominating form of production. Taylorian criteria for efficiency and functionality became dominant in industry, as guiding principles and preconditions of infrastructure, the concept of work, terms of livelihood, family structure and roles, education, health care, as well as agriculture, power and values (Malaska 1983). Meeting material needs requires maximal consumption of the produced goods; this is the only solution for reducing prices to a minimum and launching mass production. In analogy to the earlier rupture, we can now ask what, in the society of material needs, is the “fertiliser” that turns extensive growth into intensive, to produce more from less and save capital, work, raw materials, energy, working space, the environment, and at the same time improve quality and services in order to provide a balanced way of life for people. In an interaction society, additional wealth can be channelled to the fulfilment of new needs, due to a new production potential created by the service sector. Information and the related technologies are as vital in meeting these needs as power engines are in the case of material needs. The needs of the interaction society can only be satisfied together with other people, on different forums. Meeting the needs of interaction is a communication process, and requires communication skills. Interaction in the information society has the potential to initiate creative activity among citizens, “however idealistic that seems” (Malaska 1983). The interaction society leans primarily on the communication abilities of its citizens. By now, there are clear indications of the existence of an
  3. 3. 3 interaction society, such as the strong growth of social media, references to communality and measures taken for making communality possible. The models seek an answer to the question: What is the information society like where all have the right to express themselves and be heard? The first impulses for this idea were given by Erik Ahlman in his book “Ihmisen probleemi” (“The Problem of the Human”, 1953, in Finnish), where he states that the idea of the human person is free self-expression, and Pentti Malaska in his writings about interaction society (Malaska 1983). New communication technologies and respectiveincluded communication services are also among the instruments of self-expression an interaction in the information society. Examining the information society, the notion of digital gap has recently been used to describe a situation where one part of people has been left out of the reach of electronic communication and information services. If Ahlman (1953) is right about the human idea is of self-expression, every individual in a just information society should have the right and possibility also to express themselves through new communication technology. A balanced social development should include the right to remain outside the use of information technology and express oneself in some other way. In this case, the community is faced with requirements of services of a new type to prevent people from being left outside the networks of interaction. Ideas for these services have been developed in the Communication camps, for example an info desk with a network secretary and restaurants using creative problem-solving methods and electronic services. COMMUNICATION SKILLS When communication is understood as an interactive process of all the members of a community, citizens need communication skills. These skills have three components: Figure 1: Communication skills: Access, Know-how and Motivation
  4. 4. 4 In order to be able to send and receive messages, access is the first thing we need – a device or a place. Access can refer to a place where communication takes place face to face, or a telephone, a letter, a fax, a message on a board etc. We may have access in many forms, but that is not enough to make a successful communication event. The other party must have access as well, compatible with ours. Second, we have to be technically able to access, and have the needed communication skills: the skill to produce, send, receive, interpret and understand a message and the meaning of it in a broader context. Third, we must have the will to communicate, to belong, and to contribute in a common culture. Communication meeting basic existential needs Motivation is often examined within the framework of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. However, Maslow’s hierarchy is difficult to apply in communication. What is the significance of communication skills in the human context? What kinds of needs does communication satisfy, what does it threaten? Which needs is communication used for? In the Communication camps, people’s needs have been approached through basic human existential needs: becoming organised through a process of reflection, the feeling of belonging, and doing, that is having a role in life (Turunen 1988). Figure2: Basic existential needs What is the best way to meet the basic existential needs using communication. In contemporary society, basic existential needs are under threat. We can usually state that global information streams are the threat. Becoming organised through reflection is difficult if one does not know the origins of entertainment and news streams, and, for example, distinguish fact from fiction. Self- organisation is not facilitated either by global power structures one has very little influence on. Human communities disintegrate, families become fragmented, work communities change. Local communities wither in the absence of activities and active members. People find it hard to join through emotion and find their own communities. Change is what makes work and activity meaningful. Tasks that were valued in the past are now without value, or can be substituted by machines etc. It is truly time to find solutions for meeting the basic needs of people. Fulfilment of material needs in industrial society does not answer to everyone’s basic existential needs. Our
  5. 5. 5 environment no longer supports consumption in the western countries. It is time to reflect on the basic existential needs of interaction society. Social media popularity can be attributed to the interaction point of view of society. With social media, a universal possibility for self-expression is becoming a reality, as promised by the information society. Meeting basic existential needs requires new kinds of communication skills. Self-expression and interaction are not possible without the ability for self-expression. A human being does not communicate alone. If we examine communication skills from the perspective of the individual alone, we leave the individual alone, either as a consumer of mass communication or as a hate speech writer on the Internet forums. At the same time we lose the idea of communication as an interaction event between the receiver and sender of the message. In a community, all members participate in the communication process; they all have their significance in the community’s culture. Keeping a community in time and bringing out shared views are essential things (Carey 1989). In this case, the community has to ensure that communication skills are compatible. When methods of communication change, when they are even in a period of transition, the danger is that a part of the people is dropped out of the communication in their own community. For example, in a group of youth, more and more people get information on an event by in the social media. Someone who does not have the possibility to receive these messages can easily be left outside, unless she or he is very popular for some other reason. COMMUNICATION CAMPS Communication camps have not deliberately been made for research purposes, but they have originally been a test, inspired by scenarios (Malaska, Viherä et al. 1982), about how we learn the use of new communication technology and how we use it. The possibilities of an interaction society, once presented as a future utopia. Does redefinition of needs create a new type of community? The first Communication camp was held in summer 1987 and since then the content offered in the camps has grown steadily. The technology used in the camps has evolved with time, but its value for the camp participants has proven to be instrumental. The camps have become places of intellectual growth where social capital accumulates in an atmosphere of trust, life. Technology has adapted to this form of life, although the newest technologies have been tested, but not self- purposefully. Summer camps are the actual Communication camp context, and they are the ground also for new experiments. The model can be applied to school work, but this requires a number of changes in the curriculum. My wish is to have activity in schools according to the Communication camp model where all pupils would have a week’s camp every year. The schools would gain their own daily paper, video, radio, kiosk and their own interactive web pages. Besides communication, the pupils would learn about business life. In case the camp could not be organised in the school premises, communication clubs could work in the same spirit (Härkönen 1994).
  6. 6. 6 Besides mass media – the newspaper, video and radio – targeted communication has always had a special role in the camps. Tests have been made on mobile phones, radio telephones, voicemail, virtual faxes, and a phone in every tent. In order to involve targeted communication in such a way that it facilitates daily life, daily tasks must be done by the camp participants, and they must also get used to the services of the local grocery store and small bakery in order to learn small-scale logistics. Targeted communication has also been used for social relations. At the first camp in 1987 for example, network chat was used (with neighbouring rooms and a few outsiders on the videotex discussion channel), long before social media became popular. This was future making as well. Modes of action of the Communication camps In the beginning, camp participants are divided into five groups. Everyone takes part in and gets familiar with all of the five activities during the camp. Each group has two or three instructors who move along with the group from one task to another. The instructors are called “kultsi” (darling). Darlings have taken part in at least three camps. They are young people with an open, inspiring and caring attitude. Adults who have several camps behind them are, regardless their sex, called “Vanha Rouva” (Old Lady). The camps have only one written rule: people under 18 years old are not allowed to drink alcohol, and those over 18 will only consume beer and wine with meals only. The rhythm of the action is defined by the goal of accomplishing. Camps have their own restaurant, their own money, a kiosk, and a scoring system for invisible work. These are used for learning to perceive structures, learning about entrepreneurship and appreciation towards every kind of work. In the following, I shall explain the different activities in the camps, as well as the technology or access needed. Activity 1: Tietotuutti is published every morning The camp newspaper called Tietotuutti is published daily and the delivery takes place in the early morning hours. The paper has an address sticker and it is delivered in every tent. It is read in the tent and in the coffee table in the morning. The paper has a great importance in the formation of interaction. As it really is published every morning, the themes in each paper can be continued in the next issue. Things are deepened in interaction. The fact alone that the name of the paper has remained the same all these years is a proof of the importance of continuity. A sufficient amount of computers is available for making the paper. All can write their own stories or add a photograph to the paper. There are different sections in the paper, intended for attracting the writers. Examples of these are the opinion column, the editorial, gossip page, a greetings section, practical advice, “Ursula answers”, interviews, serial, horoscope and news. The gossip page has had a special importance. The gossip is good-tempered – although sometimes intimate (who is interested in whom) – and is guaranteed to attract readers. Everyone gets an experience on what it is like to be in publicity. These stories hold the community together and make everyone part of the interaction.
  7. 7. 7 There is no censorship or gatekeeper in the paper to black out anyone’s story. The writers may discretely be guided with a discussion on the best ways to make a message understood. If a story exceeds the tolerance of the reader, he or she may reply with a better story. The background idea for the camps is the Greek tradition of humanism: an ideal person is a social and thereby political creature. The person’s own nature determines him or her to serve the community (von Wright 1954). For many, the process of making the paper starts with bringing the news for the paper from around the world. Once they have succeeded in this, the next story can already comment the news. While they choose the news to be brought from the internet to the paper, they learn to get an organised picture of the multitude of news. The paper’s layout design was first made manually and later on with a layout software. There are four or five computers reserved for page layout and everybody gets a chance to layout their own story. A youngster with experience from several camps usually gives the finishing touches to the pages. Making the paper itself is a great experience; it involves everyone and brings feelings of success. Delivering the paper in the tents at night is an exciting and anticipated experience. At the same time, people become familiar with the entire process of making a paper and learn to appreciate every phase of the work. The position of the paper has not changed during the decades. It is still an important medium of communication for the camp participants, not threatened by social media. Examining the future in the light of these experiences, one could say that there should be a demand at least for local papers as they publish news from the world with a familiar perspective. The need for self-organisation and understanding is a guarantee of this. Activity 2: Radio Viekas has a long range The camp radio broadcasts daily from 10 PM till the early morning hours. It has a range of about 10km, and so the camp has a window open to the neighbourhood. The programmes are made by camp participants for each other and they can also be listened to on the internet. The internet radio is popular among former campers. Since 2016, the radio only works via the Internet and loudspeakers. This has been enabled by the development of software and receivers. Also the radio can be used on two levels: campers take turns as reporters, audio control engineers for example in the studio, or they can answer calls from listeners. Everyone has a possibility to call the radio station; there are lots of interactive programmes. There are lots of telephones as well for calling the radio easily. Interactivity is possible also because the programmes are mostly live broadcasts. Interactive radio is perhaps the most collective media in the camp. Activity 3: 10 pm: viewing videos together Videos made in the camp are viewed together at 10 pm. Video programmes imitate real TV broadcasts. Inserts are made during the day, and the programme itself comes live from the next room to a full audience in the hall. The atmosphere is concentrated, even fervent. At its best, video making is the most creative activity in the camps. It has been used in making exciting serial and adventure stories. Erkki (11 years) waited all winter for the camp; he had seen during the previous summer how others had made an adventure story. Now he wanted to play the role of the victim in the story and be filmed with blood all over him – ketchup, that is. Video gives
  8. 8. 8 good experiences for the makers, and the best videos are discussed for a long time. Multimedia has not been as popular as a video programme based on a story. Video is an important media. A statement made on video is remembered. When camp leaders made a mistake and gave the wrong date for the ending of the camp – one day later than the actual date – the message about the mistake and what had to be done about it was best communicated on a live broadcast in the evening news. Nobody missed that information. Other means of communication might have been a lot more inefficient. Some years ago, a small accident happened during the camp. It was not known at first how serious it was. Although we had all the communication devices in use, the young people wanted to have a discussion about the accident, sitting on the floor. Communication began only when it was known that the accident was not really serious and the patient was fine. People went to the hospital and sent messages with pictures, which were then put into the evening TV programme. There were also radio interviews and a story in the paper. All the possibilities of communication were realised. Activity 4: A gamut of options in the restaurants The restaurants in the camps are an example of the social inventions of Communication camps. The camps have no canteens or fixed times for meals, but restaurants instead with several options and menus that are planned with the customers’ interest in mind. In the early days, parents were often surprised: are you cooking for yourselves? – I did not send my child to learn cooking... Today the camps’ own restaurants are self-evident, because of the taste of food, preparation, and the price as well. In this matter as well, the camps have been active in creating future society. “Food is a window to society, the globalising world, production, economy, the environment, one’s own culture and the culture of other countries, health and nutrition”, said Helmi Risku-Norja, researcher of the Finnish Academy of Science SEED project. “Including nutrition education as an essential part of sustainability education, school catering becomes a solid part of education contents and goals”, said Eila Jeronen from the University of Oulu. The same thing has been empirically observed and noted by many researchers, which we in Communication camps have intuitively and empirically done for 25 years now. Restaurants in Communication camps are run by the campers themselves. Orders from the shop were in the past made by fax and email, but now we have to collect the ingredients ourselves, because large chains of stores have become very bureaucratic. In transports, we use logistics-related communication: text queries in the beginning and now text messages and mobile phones. The food group uses guided creative communication and integrating communication. First we make plans in a creative manner, and then take care of the tasks using efficient communication. The principle is “Take along as you come, bring along as you go”. Menus are planned with methods of creative problem-solving: first suggestions and ideas, then evaluation, taking into account the taste, healthiness, easiness, availability etc. of food. By this method we make sure that everyone is committed to the menu, and all are involved in planning and making the food (Viherä 2012). Camp kitchens at schools are small home kitchens, domestic science classrooms or school kitchens. To our disappointment, many school kitchens have turned into delivery kitchens where only a few
  9. 9. 9 kitchenwares are available for cooking. Meals are usually eaten under canopies outside. Outdoor paella pans are popular, also under a shelter in rainy weather. The restaurant serves at least two courses, often more. Practise has shown that smaller amounts are easier to make, and adding spices is more convenient. Everyone finds a favourite food from a variety of options (the rule of thumb is: 1/3 healthy food, 1/3 junk food, 1/3 gourmet food). In this way, there are not many leftovers. A slogan has been adopted in the camps: wasted food is the most expensive food. This happened long before it was common knowledge. Each restaurant takes it as a matter of honour to make such an amount of food that there is plenty for everyone but no leftovers. Campers can of course have snacks anytime. Baking at night is a popular activity that especially boys like. The division of food production now and in the future can also be observed through this model: 1/3 healthy food – emphasis on the health effects – 1/3 junk food – fast food chains, cheap ingredients, the importance of price in decision-making (school) – 1/3 gourmet food: delicacy stores, good restaurants, the best ingredients. The one who is able to combine these three makes the best results, as we can see in the case of organic food and high quality production. Bread orders are made at night to the local baker. Communication camps rely on nearby food production and delivery with the principles of sustainable development. If the activity was constant, the short transport distances would save energy and the local production structure would stay intact (Rajala 1997). In this regard too, the last few years have been difficult; it is becoming hard to find small, adaptable bakeries near the camp site. There is not a single day when something has been forgotten from the list of orders. When campers leave the camp to take pictures or an interview, or goes to the shop, they take a mobile phone along and tell the info desk where they went and which phone they are carrying. The kitchen quite certainly notices that something is missing. A phone call, and the one on the road brings what is missing. The info is the secretary on call of the camp and network secretary. Working in the food group with others is also a good experience. Deciding together what to do, not seeking the easiest solution, but figuring out what others want to eat is also a good way to increase togetherness. Camp participants have often told this is the only place where they can make decisions on what to cook. Even in domestic science at school, only a few options are given. Activity 5: The camp’s heart and blood circulation – info desk and camp money The info desk is particularly challenging. It is used for many supplementary needs in the camp, for bookkeeping on camp money and points given for invisible work, for arranging transport service, finding a camp member when parents come for a visit. It serves as a kiosk, a delivery point of papers for outsiders, and it is used for uploading pictures on web pages. Camp experiences show that organising is the most demanding type of work. The info desk is supposed to “hold all the strings” and make things work smoothly. Another social innovation that helps in organising the camp is camp money or Lecu. Using Lecus, invisible work has for years been made visible. Camp money was invented for practical reasons. In the early years, prizes were competed for during the final cleaning. The one who collected the biggest amount of litter got the best prize. In summer 1990 already, toilet cleaners were rewarded
  10. 10. 10 instead of sports competition winners, the fastest runners. In spring 1992, ideas were gathered together with the campers about how places could be kept in order without “nagging”. Good experiences were remembered and a scoring method for work was chosen among ideas pondered on together, as well as badges given for earned points. The badges came as gifts from different companies. One more of the bubbling ideas fit well the spirit of Communication camps: a briefing is held on the scoring and all the camp media are invited daily. Scoring has been used since then and badges are given for a certain amount of points. A system of noting was developed: people mark their own points on a Filemaker file on computer. The solutions made at the camp clearly show that solving an annoying problem can create a new permanent practice. The camp money innovation has been a success beyond expectations. Lecus have been used in learning the rules of economy, the finesses of finance politics, and the way finances can be used to influence a community. Of the latter, water supply is again an example: the sewerage tank of the camp was full and a disaster was close. Using voice mail voting we asked the opinion of the campers: A) should we use the toilets as before – 1 Lecu and hope for the best, B) remove the fee and prepare for the worst, or C) raise the fee up to 2 Lecu. The voting result was A) 30% B) 17% and C) 52%. It was easy to raise the fee. The importance of open decision-making was a constructive factor in this solution again. In summer 2011, the camp ran out of water. The problem appeared to be the well that could not pump enough water. Very quickly the rule was learned by all: when a text message said the pump was going to be shut down, everyone could keep from using water, until the following message arrived: the pump is working again! There were no protests about the practice, since the reason for the water shortage was commonly known; it had been explained in the evening news and the morning paper. Just banning the use of water without giving a reason, I do not think we would have succeeded. Before printing Lecus, young men were wondering how to prevent forgery. Stamping the Lecus was the solution. In fact, no one ever tried to print false Lecus, but there were many discussions about it. The use of Lecus was taken as seriously as the use of Finnish Marks. Towards the end of the first camp, lecunaires came into the picture, those who had Lecus beyond their own needs, and there was a black market as well. This was also a lesson on the change of the value of Lecu. With Lecu, the campers had already gotten used to the Euro before it was introduced! The way I see it, villages and other communities, such as communal habitations, could use the model of the Lecu experiment and design their own village ecus or local ecus, Lecus. This could be the first step towards interaction and interactive growth. There are examples of testing local currencies around the world, but the idea may not have been applied to such ”ordinary” things as it has been in the camps. Lecu-based activity was a success in one camp for a village community. It motivated mothers in making crepes, young boys in cleaning, men in taking care of heating etc. Local money expands the principle of reciprocity to a wider community. It serves the growth of social income (Volkman 2011). Life management with Chaos Day One of the social innovations of Communication camps is ”Chaos Day”. It was initiated by Heikki Malaska (Pentti’s son) during the Hankasalmi camp in 1994: ”It would be nice to see if we could add to all this self-advocacy and joy of making the option for everyone to choose their group when
  11. 11. 11 the day starts!” These words remained in the air, and after a few years, perhaps in the summer of 1998, the idea of Chaos Day was implemented. The rhythm of the camp was then changed so that there was one extra day to use, and it was agreed that the last day would be Chaos Day. Everyone chooses a task freely on that day. Chaos Day has proven to be a good invention. People can express themselves on the last day choosing the task they like the most. During the week, someone may have had the idea “I wish I had written about this or that, made a video on this topic, cooked something else etc.” Chaos Day has come to stay. Chaos Day teaches all the campers community spirit and control over situations: these are talents that have been mentioned also as important skills in future management. (Kirves 2002) EVALUATION Principles of Communication camp activity In the information society, it is important to consider also the position of children; how are children raised as subjects and active actors in an information society where they too are constantly bombarded with information streams? To answer this question, it is not enough to learn the use of technology, to have an user-friendly interface or good virtual study material. If learning technology user skills is separated from the actual situation and need, technology becomes the purpose itself, the master, instead of a servant that helps in something more important. The use of technology is a natural part of Communication camp activity. Technology is the object of play, a toy. The use of it is a happy thing. What is said, how people act, and how others are taken care of are more important things than technology. Communication has a major role in all these actions. Communication cannot be learned in books only, through knowledge on the communication devices available. Learning takes place in live situations, when things are taken care of and organised, that is through experience. Communication camps are examples of situations in which one can learn communication in interactive situations and through action. In talks about communication and evaluating communication skills, the skills of getting to work and using technology in daily business are often left unmentioned. All of these are learned in the Communication camp context without paying special attention. The use of communication devices in the Communication camps is part of the process towards interaction society. In the adaptable environment the camp participants themselves shape their environment and make it meaningful by their actions, their habits and their active communication. When a camper perceives – even unconsciously – the effect of his or her messages, new things and meanings are learned. Active participation of parents creates models as well. Decision-making, practices and attitudes towards other people have a greater influence than for example lectures or presentations (Lonka 1999). A lecture on the subject “How to communicate” is a waste of time, Lonka says. The listener
  12. 12. 12 finds it hard to find motivation in an abstract topic, and communication is not only a technical skill; it has to be put into practice. Practices are what the Communication camps are formed of. Since the camps have more democratic and unprompted practices than elsewhere in the surroundings, camp participants also learn to observe things in a new way and question existing practices. They learn to compare the environment with a vision of the future, based on a future interest of knowledge. Knowledge and know-how are shared by all to others during the camps, for the productions would never be accomplished without collaboration. Nobody can make it only working alone, but everyone has a possibility to act independently. Camps are places of growth towards independence, communality and management of one's own life. Good camp spirit is based on openness and mutual trust between the campers. Trust and openness emerge from an atmosphere of appreciation. Others are not criticised in the camps, they are appreciated ever more. Even in the camp's media, criticism has an appreciating tone. Power and structures are openly displayed in Communication camps (“Old Ladies”, grown-ups, resources, Darlings, campers, first-timers), but the titles only take some of the power away. With the social invention of earning badges and camp money by activities such as cleaning, a new power structure is created; the best cleaners are rewarded with badges and applauses. In the camps, all talks are contributions to a common debate. The Communication camp has formed a theory: access, know- how, motivation, and the basic existential skills, self-organisation, belonging and doing. In this manner, a small-scale reform in activity and structures has resulted to a strong theory. (Nurmela, 2002). Operating principles The main principles are based on sociability and togetherness. They can be presented as follows:  learning by doing  accomplishing tasks  initiativeness  taking care of others  taking and showing responsibility  everyone is a teacher and a student in relation to others  independence in collaboration  teamwork  perceiving and understanding the overall process  appreciation towards the work of others With these principles, people in the information society grow to be subjects who manage their own lives and cooperate with others. There is a progression in the camps from self to world community (belonging), from concrete to abstract (self-organisation), and from a close distance to a long distance (doing). The Communication camp meeting the basic human needs in the interaction society
  13. 13. 13 The founding idea of Communication camps is to meet the basic human existential needs: doing, connecting and self-organisation. In the following, I will examine the way in which the basic needs have been taken into account in the camps. Does the camp meet the expectations in this regard? Although doing is play in the camps, it is also goal-oriented doing. During the activity, the idea of accomplishing is always in the mind, especially so in the case of products people are familiar with. Everyone has an image of a paper, the camp paper in particular. Likewise, making video programmes, earlier attempts are in the memory, earlier programmes, and TV programmes in particular. Interviews follow a well-known pattern. Making something new and different starts by getting experience first. People connect through emotion. The camp offers many possibilities for connecting. Basic-level connecting is based on the fact that all are accepted as they are which creates a feeling of belonging in the group. Campers change from one point to another, switching tasks daily. In this way, everyone belongs to the whole camp and not only his or her own group. The group also includes an instructor of young children or an adult sponsor whose duty is to see that no one is left outside. One of the basic existential needs is self-organisation through a process of thought. The camps have in many ways provided motivation through self-organisation. When “mass communication” has been produced independently, it has been understood better. Rotating from one group to another provides an overall understanding of things. By creating a “concrete utopia of the information society”, the campers get a grip of the future. Using different communication services they understand their significance. A step towards network literacy is taken; technology becomes an instrument, not an end in itself. Camp money and invisible work are ways to learn to understand operating mechanisms and the value of work The importance of a community's own communication has been proved in the Communication camps. Communication creates the community and its own receiving audience motivates communication. Camp media contains well-known stories of familiar people (gossip, opinions, events, camp news, interviews etc.), which gives it a label as the camp's own media. Communication with one's own audience is continued, which creates a chain of communication. The Communication camp proves that an interaction society is possible, at least momentarily, in small communities. Yet, there is no reason to assume the interaction society would not be possible on a broader scale. It preconceives a redefinition of human needs, for instance in economic and political decision-making. It is not enough that fulfilling basic existential needs is only possible for some part of humanity. In a democratic society everybody must have a possibility to this. Communication camps among for example mentally impaired, blind, deaf and elderly people have indicated that the model works for all people. Communication camps give a spark to seize and develop small new and traditional media. It is worth noting that local communication offers a lot to do and a lot of content to communities (housing organisations, NGOs, associations, hobby groups, quarters, villages etc.). As communication is facilitated, it also refreshes interaction in an existing community and thus keeps the community alive. Without a balanced communication structure, in relation to time and space, a nation's existence may be threatened. Such a structure is a blessing for the whole community. (Varis 1995) Communication technology does not necessarily require large investments.
  14. 14. 14 In Communication camps one can, through a positive feedback to basic existential needs, feel joy and find enjoyment in activity, have an experience of growing towards citizenship of information society. The idea of the Communication camp in society and as a developer of social and digital capital (independently produced content) is explained in figure 3. The paradigm of learning the Communication camp model and the collaboration process can be traced back to constructivism. The paradigm in the camps has not been a conscious choice but a practice based on intuition. Constructivism is not a new doctrine; it is based on the basic theories on learning in our history of ideas. The essential view in constructivism is that both learning and teaching are active human processes, phases in the same process. The starting point is the learner's own activity and motivation. A camper is excited about his doings and has a high motivation. Active action has to start from personal interest. We learn as we do. It is essential to combine one's acquired know-how and understanding with observations in the camp, whether it is about emotion, cognition or skill (Jäntti, Suonperä, 1999.) Communication camps are not only dealing with learning, but with the overall process of collaboration where all are teachers to each other – according to the Greek concept paideia. Any work today requires comprehension and consciousness of one's own expectations and conceptions. This has been attempted to achieve in the camps, fading the hierarchical concept teacher/student to the background. The reason for doing so is simply that faced with the new customs and devices of the information society, we were all students in the early times, and the practice adopted then has prevailed. A future studies perspective, future making, has allowed us to work intuitively according to the idea of constructivism since 1987. Cooperation and interaction contribute to the social capital of camp participants: common goals, norms, values and trust. Along with their products, their digital capital grows as well – papers, videos, pictures, radio broadcasts, member databases, the discussion group, travel accounts, all saved in a network – allowing the accumulation of common understanding through interaction. I see and I feel that the Communication camps are steps towards a future where all people have the right to express themselves also with communication devices, where a local community grows to become an international actor for the good a common, sustainable world.
  15. 15. 15 Figure 3. The communication camp heading towards interaction society FUTHER DEVELOPMENT: FUTURE-LABORATORY MOTIVATING FUTURES THINKING The Future-laboratory, a kind of miniature camp, is a model for motivating futures thinking, developed on the basis of experiences from Communication camps, and of course future studies. The laboratory event begins with a brief lecture on futures thinking and the methods of future studies, especially the futures matrix method (Seppälä 2017) It is very interesting to create different scenarios for different areas with the laboratory participants, and to get familiar with their different ways of thinking. Searching for the desired, non-desired, and probable scenarios in the matrix is always fascinating. Since food is the yeast of communality that raises the community spirit, it is prepared also at a Future-laboratory event. But here we think about what would be eaten in the future, according to each scenario. When there are a lot of participants, we form groups and prepare all of these foods. With a smaller group of participants we figure out together what to make and which scenario the food in question represents. During a common meal we reflect on the kind of everyday life each scenario facilitates, we draw role straws to see our roles (character, profession, distinctive features) and divide into groups according to each scenario. Each group makes a drama on daily life in the scenario, from the point of view of the given role figure. The dramas are presented either as written stories or as an audio or video play. In the ending discussion we exchange views on how the dramas, everyday life that is, differ from each other, and what has been learned. Without involving everyday life, the whole futures thinking would be standing on nothing. Now we are forced to really think about it.
  16. 16. 16 The lot-drawn role characters have a great importance. According to my experience, we would maintain to our usual stereotypes without them. The role characters are a way of externalising everyday life as well. Possible uses of Future laboratory  This method is especially suitable for developers of future services, technical and other. Many new ways of using technology on the one hand (desired future), and on the other hand, what possible negative effects the use of it might have (non-desired and probable scenarios). It is really important to examine the use of technology also from the perspective of the desired future way of life! This is one option in starting to de-construct the problem that is based on different ways of presenting problems by technology developers, public administration and the civil society. (Viukari 2010.  Future-laboratory is a cognitively, socially and economically effective way of starting studies. It deepens the students' futures thinking and thus expands comprehension on one's own goals and possibilities. Future-laboratory also helps the student in group-formation with other students.  Future-laboratory is a quick, efficient and cost-efficient model for planning the future of communes. The model gives a tool for creating a common basis of ideas for communal elected persons and functionaries. Future-laboratory raises a spirit of cooperation, genuine interaction between the participants, because talkoot events are not consultations or PowerPoint presentations. There is no supervision by outsiders either in the events since pilots are there as ordinary participants. CONCLUSION What is the desired future from the point of view of Communication camps? In the summer 2011 Communication camp there were first-timers of all ages, experienced campers, visitors, those who stayed for a longer time and those who were there the whole time. All went well, the older guiding the younger and vice versa. Visitors were a supplement to the camp's strength while others were for example taking an exam. Lauri, a high school student, said: “The Communication camp is a fine place in the sense that one can come here for a shorter period of time, one can discuss here with older people and play with children. It is not like this anywhere else.” Could this be a possible desired future way of life? If it is, it requires also the adaptation of information technology services to people's desired way of life in order to change social structures. It requires giving up on the idea of age class in education, and the removal of various administrative and geographical boundaries. Communication camps help us clarify our ideas on future hopes. Once this is done, we find solutions for today's actions from the perspective of knowing the future – the perspective of desired future. This is our way of giving a chance to the desired future way of life
  17. 17. 17 Figure 4: Futures thinking as a guide to desired future Memory is aimed at the past, comprehension to the present, and care is aimed at the future, said Mikael Wexionius, Professor of philosophy, in 1640. We cannot change the past, but the future is open before us, full of optional possibilities some of which will come true. At the founding ceremony of the Academy, Wexionius set a goal: side by side with industriousness and modesty, such cultural achievements will emerge that in the future, no nation shall have more merits than the Finnish. (Niiniluoto, 2001). Has Wexionius's wish come true? Almost, if not completely. This has demanded understanding and conscious goal-orientation in striving for good life from our forefathers. Ritva-Sini Merilampi (2012), Counsellor of Education emerita, M.Sc. (education), has made an evaluation of Communication camp from a pedagogic perspective. In her final report she states that the goal of Communication Camp is not to train media professionals, but to foster general media- related education in the civil society – media literacy! This is also true in the context of Communication camps. “Education is a more demanding task than teaching”, Merilampi says. Education is creative and unpredictable, and it belongs to all active citizens. Relying solely on science and technology in society makes it a factory-like society, even though this is efficient and economical. Education is needed to create a spiritually rich human culture. “The basis of our culture has always been a majority conscious of its past”, says Merilampi in the spirit of Wexionius. Dialogue is possible when people have shared knowledge. Good media literacy teaches us to be open-minded, tolerant, and gives us the ability to cope with uncertainty. The Comminication camp project is in the centre of media literacy. It attempts to take into account all three branches of the human ability of culture creation: science, art and philosophy. This reveals the conception of man in the background of the project: a knowing, feeling individual, equipped with a will (Merilampi 2012), an individual that cooperates with others; individuals take care of each other, teach each other and build a common future.
  18. 18. 18 As we now take as our goal a media-literate, industrious and modest people, the future shows us all a hopeful, balanced and positive face. Communication camps and Future-laboratory, as methods of future making, help us reach this goal. Media literacy is care for the future. REFERENCES Ahlman Erik (1953): Ihmisen probleemi. Gummerus, Jyväskylä Carey James W. (1989): Communication as Culture. Essays on Media and Society. Boston, Unwin Hakkarainen K, Lonka K, Lipponen L. (1999): Tutkiva oppiminen – älykkään toiminnan rajat ja niiden ylittäminen. WSOY Härkönen Ritva-Sini (1994): Viestintäkasvatuksen ulottuvuudet. Helsingin yliopiston opettajankoulutuslaitos, Yliopistopaino, Helsinki Jarva Vuokko (2017): Skenaariodraama, miten kirjoittaa vaikuttavia tulevaisuustarinoita? In (manuscript): Miten tutkimme tulevaisuutta? Tulevaisuuden tutkimuksen seura ry Jäntti Lauri & Suonperä Matti (1999): Oppivan organisaation salaisuus – Taso Oy:n tie menestykseen. Educons Oy, Gummerus, Jyväskylä Kirves Liisa (2008): Tulevaisuuden mediamaisema viestintäleiriläisten silmin, Tampereen yliopisto Lintulangas Seija, Palojoki Päivi (2012): Kouluruokailu kutsuu nauttimaan ja oppimaan – vastuullista yhteistyötä yli toimialojen. MMM Luokola Tuula (1989): Kertomus viestintäleiristä –tutkimusraportti. Viestintäkasvatuksen seura ry. Painatuskeskus, Helsinki Luokola Tuula (1991): The Story of the Communication Camp. Hakapaino, Helsinki Luokola Tuula (1993): Viestintäleiri – konkreettinen utopia. Viestintäkasvatuksen seura ry. Painatuskeskus, Helsinki Malaska Pentti (1983): Tulevaisuuspoliittinen hahmotelma. PTT-katsaus 4/1983 Merilampi Ritva-Sini (2012): Mediasivistystä vahvistamassa – tietotaitotalkoot pedagogisena mallina, Kyriiri Oy, Helsinki Niiniluoto Ilkka (2000): Huolenpito tulevaisuudesta, Futura 2000/4 Nurmela Juha (2002): Keynote speech in the study group of Viestintäkasvatuksen seura 30.9.2002 (in Finnish) Nurmela Juha (2017): Tulevaisuusverstas ja uusia ”verstashenkisiä” tulevaisuuden muovaamisen menetelmiä. In (manuscript): Miten tutkimme tulevaisuutta? Tulevaisuuden tutkimuksen seura ry Rajala J. (1997): Lähiruoka on viisas valinta. Tietoyhteiskuntafoorumi 4, 31-35. Turunen K.E. (1988): Ihmisen kasvatus. Atena. Gummerus, Jyväskylä
  19. 19. 19 Risku-Norja Helmi, Jeronen Eila, Kurppa Sirpa, Mikkola Minna & Uitto Hanna (eds.) (2012): Ruoka – oppimisen edellytys ja opetuksen voimavara. Helsingin ylipisto Seppälä Yrjö (2017): Tulevaisuustaulukkomenetelmä. Sovelluksena vanhustenhuolto (Afterword by Osmo Kuusi) In (manuscript): Miten tutkimme tulevaisuutta? Tulevaisuuden tutkimuksen seura ry Turunen K.E. (1989): Mieli ja sielu. Arator oy, Helsinki Varis T. (1995): Tiedon ajan media. Yliopistopaino, Helsinki Viherä M-L, Kyyrö H, Luokola T & Rönkä T. (1982): Tietoliikenteen uudet haasteet yhteiskunnassa – kansalaisten viestintävalmiudet kansalaisyhteiskunnan mahdollistajana. Turun kauppakorkeakoulu, Turku Viherä M-L. (2000): Digitaalisen arjen viestintä – miksi, millä ja miten. Edita, Helsinki Viherä M-L. (2012): Avoimella päätöksenteolle toiminnan muutokseen, In: Sihvonen Mika & Saloniemi Kirsi (eds.): Apuja aktiivisuuteen, välineitä verkostoihin. Hämeen ammatitikorkeakoulu Viukari Leena (2010): Kolme diskurssia. Jyväskylän yliopisto Volkmann Krister (2011): Paikallisraha tulevaisuusmallina? Futura 1/2011 von Wright G.H. (1954): Ajatus ja julistus. WSOY, Helsinki