True Digital creates “Million Futures” website for Department of Children Schools and Families

True Digital, the leading digital design and online marketing agency, has created an innovative new website to support ‘Beyond Current Horizons’ a consultation project conducted by FutureLab for the Department for Children, Schools and Families. There are several strands to the project, but a key part is gathering opinions from the general public as well as from experts about what they want from education in the year 2025. True Digital was asked to devise, design and build a website where both children and adults would enjoy sharing their hopes, concerns and dreams for the future. It is hoped that the site will secure at least a million responses over the next six months. Findings from the site and from the broader programme will help guide the government’s long term plans for future education in the UK. True Digital’s interactive website www.millionfutures.org.uk launches w/c 15 September.

True Digital chose the simplicity and universal appeal of paper planes as a device to carry visitors’ thoughts on the future. Prompted by a series of questions including “What do you want your country to be like?” and “What should education be like for our grandchildren?” views are written on virtual paper planes which fold before your eyes and fly to join circles of others in a blue sky dotted with picture book clouds, all to a soundtrack inspired by summer days. Each plane is given a flight number so visitors can track their own planes or search by flight number, question or keyword. There are random surprises built in to the flight patterns and the site includes lesson plans (for teachers who want to use the site as part of a classroom activity) and instructions on making real paper planes.

Tim Jones, True Digital’s Head of Planning and Strategy, comments:
“Traditional surveys have their place as pure research tools, but we needed something which would inspire users to express and share their views and opinions. The core idea we developed was based on casting your wishes, hopes and fears into the atmosphere. Million Futures, is a simple, elegant and fun site, with a bright, bold, and playful interface. There’s even ambient bird and wind noises to really help transport the user for a few moments to a more serene environment where they’ll feel encouraged to express themselves.”

The responses gathered on Million Futures will contribute to a report on views about education in the future to be published on the Beyond Current Horizons website (www.beyondcurrenthorizons.org.uk) in Spring 2009. This report, and other findings from the programme, will be used to inform the Government’s long term planning for children, schools and families.
To have your say on the future, go to www.millionfutures.org.uk.
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For further information please contact:

Anton Rush
Zebra PR
020 7228 5500
anton@zebrapost.com

Notes to Editors

True Digital: is a digital marketing agency founded in 2004. The company expanded rapidly following contract wins with a range of leading brands, among them the AA, BBC Worldwide, Dolby, Furniture Village and Wickes. In December 2007, the company took over the first floor at the Royal London Buildings, in Baldwin Street, central Bristol. True Digital now employs 20 people.

Futurelab: is a specialist education innovation company, part government, and part privately funded. Their main aim is to work with government and commercial organisations to help transform the way people learn and interact through technology.

Beyond Current Horizons: ‘Technology, children, schools and families – Beyond Current Horizons’ is a research programme launched in January 2008 by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and education innovators Futurelab. It will investigate a range of social, technological and cultural future scenarios in order to help the government to develop the means to support the country’s children and families. ‘Beyond Current Horizons’ is divided into four strands. Futurelab (www.futurelab.org.uk) will undertake the Scientific and Technical Programme of research with leading technology, scientific and social scientific experts to provide examples of future scenarios. The DCSF will elaborate on these possibilities through Thematic Research. In the third strand of the programme a series of public events for parents, children and teachers will enable Futurelab to examine the social and ethical implications of these scenarios. The DCSF will develop the findings into policy briefings and planning for the future provision of educational services.

Published on: 12:00AM on 15th September 2008