Journey to the Future: Three Edinburgh Residents Selected for Futurist Role

Local adventurers set to explore Copenhagen, Helsinki and Dublin for 2050 Edinburgh City Vision

2050 Futurist

Three Edinburgh locals are celebrating after being selected for a most unusual job role. Earlier this month, Marketing Edinburgh launched the search for three inquisitive explorers to become official futurists for the city, part of the 2050 Edinburgh City Vision Campaign. The lucky winners are now prepping for their research trips, which will help inform the final 2050 City Vision.

Eilidh Dunnet, 33, will explore Copenhagen to learn about the ‘Smart Grid’, the integrated system being developed to help the city meet its target of becoming the first carbon neutral capital by 2025. Eilidh will also discover more about the ‘Guide to Copenhagen 2025’ which outlines 14 key principles to strive for, including green space being accessible within 5-10 minutes from all citizens. ‘Cycle-friendly’ is one of the overarching themes that has emerged for the 2050 Edinburgh City Vision, so as part of her trip, Eilidh will explore the city’s bicycle friendly network, and will visit Ostergro, a rooftop farm set in the heart of the city, to see the carbon neutral plan in action.

Carole Bold, 32, who runs a travel blog, will explore Helsinki to learn more about how Finland pioneers health and environmental technology and research, where hundreds of millions of euros have been invested over the years. Helsinki has also been labelled the nature capital of the world, with an expansive range of city parks. With ‘greener’ being one of the main submissions for Edinburgh’s campaign, Carole’s trip will include a trip to Keskuspuisto Central Park - which gives residents the opportunity to experience wilderness right in the green centre of the city.

And finally, 24 year-old Karl Saunders, will explore Dublin’s world famous Guinness Storehouse and Croke Park to understand how Dublin showcases and celebrates the culture of the city, whilst ensuring strong community ties. In 2017 Dublin launched its own project to ask residents what the city will be like in 2050, asking a series of thought provoking questions on ways to make Dublin a better place to work, live and visit. Karl will also visit the old Customs House Quay, to understand how old buildings are being repurposed for new use, with this building now home to a museum, a number of bars and restaurants, and a co-working space.

The futurists will post daily updates with their findings, highlighting learnings from each pioneering city for the benefit of the 2050 Edinburgh City Vision. The video content created by the futurists will be shared on Marketing Edinburgh’s social channels from December.

The City Vision, which is to be revealed in 2019, was launched so that everyone in the Capital can work together to achieve the city’s goals, and to positively influence Edinburgh’s future development. It will combine the views of Edinburgh residents and create a blueprint for the future that everyone in the city, individually or as a business or organisation, can take inspiration from when planning for the next 32 years. 

For those who haven’t yet shared their opinion, it can be done quickly and easily online by visiting the website –

John Donnelly, Chief Executive, Marketing Edinburgh, said: “We received some truly thoughtful and imaginative applications for our futurist vacancies, so it was a tough decision. We’re thrilled to have Eilidh, Carole and Karl on board, and look forward to hearing their learnings, and understanding how these can apply to Edinburgh. They will be visiting some of Europe’s most exciting cities, and we have lined up a host of interesting people to meet and places to see to ensure our futurists are given every opportunity to delve into each city.”