People sitting aroung a table playing a board game

Planning the future of mobility with a board game

“We were very excited for this workshop as it was the first time we had invited a selected group of mobility experts, representing the whole supply chain, to try out our Nordic Urban Mobility 2050 Futures Game. We believe that putting mobility experts in the same room will lead to interesting and valuable insights regarding the future of mobility in the Nordic region, says Ivar Josefsson, Innovation Adviser at Nordic Innovation.

The aim of the workshop was to explore different future scenarios of Nordic mobility and identify concrete areas for Nordic city collaboration needed to reach a desirable future.

“You can’t predict the future, but you can shape it”

Based on research, testing and in-depth interviews with mobility experts, the Nordic Urban Mobility 2050 Futures Game is developed by the Finnish service design company Hellon together with Nordic Innovation. The aim of the game is to generate future mobility scenarios about plausible mobility modalities, impacts and desirability.

“What makes the game very interesting, is the possibility of combining elements that in our society are not normally combined."

– Johanna Taskinen, Founder, CXO, Kyyti Group

The game lets you take a sneak peek into the future and imagine how people live in 2050 and enables an engaging approach and interaction between the participants, resulting in future stories created together. It encourages to solve potential conflicts and suggests that even though you can not predict the future, you can shape it.

The game can be used as a discussion starter to help plan and prepare for the future of mobility in Nordic urban areas.

Enabling broader views

The reactions among the experts were positive and the game was seen to boost creative thinking, and as a useful tool in ideation processes and future planning.

“What makes the game very interesting, is the possibility of combining elements that in our society are not normally combined. So it let's you play with the idea of combining very contradictory things and to think about how these very different elements come together”, says Johanna Taskinen, Founder, CXO, Kyyti Group. 

Board game
Nordic Urban Mobility 2050 Futures Game
Picture: @ Elif Eren

Also Pekka Koponen, Development Director at Forum Virium, found the game enabling broader views.

"I think the game was very useful for triggering conversation and broadening the scope of mobility. I come from a city context, and for us it would be useful to get a broad view around mobility and especially smart mobility”, he says, and adds:

“From a sustainability point of view the way people move plays a key role in cities. Currently, the cities are in the process of trying to tackle the changing environment and thinking about the purpose of bringing smartness to mobility, and the game made me think about what kind of vision we should build in a broader sense."

Engaging the cities

After the game session, the experts gave recommendations for relevant areas for Nordic projects. In general, Nordic collaboration was seen fruitful and desirable. Among the recommendations were mapping the Nordic mobility ecosystem, standardization of the Nordic mobility legislation and social innovations that would, among other things, enhance citizen engagement in decision making.

I think the game was very useful for triggering conversation and broadening the scope of mobility.

Pekka Koponen, Development Director, Forum Virium

In the upcoming months, Nordic Innovation will run a series of workshops across the Nordic region. The first workshops with experts representing the whole supply chain of mobility will work as example cases for the next phase – workshops with cities.

The overall aim with the NUM 2050 Futures Game initiative is to bring together various Nordic cities around the same table to plan a joint vision for 2050. The scenarios and input gathered from the Nordic mobility experts during the initial workshops will enable the cities to discuss common challenges and opportunities while identifying what they need to do in order to reach their vision for the future of mobility. "Facilitating this process is where Nordic Innovation can make a difference”, concludes Ivar Josefsson.


The Nordic Urban Mobility 2050 Futures Game is developed as part of our Nordic Smart Mobility and Connectivity program to contribute to speeding up the transition to a sustainable future where Nordic citizens benefit from innovative mobility and connectivity solutions. The program has a budget of NOK 60 million.


Portrait of Iiris Tarvonen

Iiris Tarvonen

Communication Adviser
Iiris loves to help making a difference through creative communication. Her experience in research communication has made her good in finding and communicating key messages in an understandable way. She has a background in media and cultural studies.
Portrait Ivar Josefsson

Ivar Josefsson

Innovation Adviser
Ivar combines his international experience with an environmental background to identify the most promising Nordic projects for achieving sustainable growth. His main strengths lie within the fields of international relations and environment, and he worked briefly in the international development sector prior to joining Nordic Innovation in 2018.

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Portrait Nina Egeli

Nina Egeli

Senior Innovation Adviser
Internationalization, innovation and business development support, in combination with a strong background in strategy and policy development are main pillars in Nina’s professional life. Through project design and management, she aims to fit market needs with relevant services and opportunities that allows new business partnerships and business projects to prosper.

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