FutureIceland - an association of people who care for Iceland's future - is a politically unbiased pressure group and thinktank that promotes the use of resourcefulness, initiative and creativity in fostering a humane and diverse society in Iceland in harmony with nature and the international community.
FutureIceland was founded at a well-attended conference on June 17, 2006 at Austurbćr theater in Reykjavík. Within the first week, almost three thousand people had registered as members, making this the largest grassroots organization in Iceland.
The incentive to found FutureIceland came from individuals from all sectors of society, who felt the common need for a new force to contribute information, constructive criticism and new ideas for a vision of Iceland's future, and who held a common belief in strengthening democracy and democratic debate, and the cornerstones of society: justice, education and a creative approach to job creation.
At the time, the construction of a large-scale power plant at Kárahnjúkar loomed large and the government's support of large-scale industry offered a grim view of Iceland's future that threatened not only the country's natural wonders but also the very building blocks of society.
From the onset, FutureIceland promoted a lively debate in Icelandic society and sent out a clear message encouraging the people to take the lead in creating a communal vision of Iceland's future with optimism and strong values as their guiding principles.
Since its founding, FutureIceland has organized numerous forums and conferences around the country to promote the organization's ideas. FutureIceland also participated in holding the 2009 National Assembly, where a cross section of society convened to envisage the nation's future.
At a time when Iceland's political system, government structure and political culture are undergoing a thorough re-evaluation, the existence of organizations such as FutureIceland has assumed a new significance. It is therefore vital for FutureIceland to show itself a unified and coherent association.
One way in which FutureIceland has used its influence as a pressure group was by drawing up Iceland's Future Accord at the country's last parliamentary elections, whereby people were encouraged to vote in favor of nature, and politicians were requested to make clear their stand on environmental affairs by stating whether they were green or grey. FutureIceland has worked closely with other grassroots organizations to design advertising campaigns, gather signatures for petitions, and organize major events. FutureIceland has also published detailed reports on the job market, economics and the energy sector as they relate to big industry. For a time, the organization came under pressure to declare itself a political party, but this idea was rejected in a member vote.
FutureIceland has played an important informative role hosting numerous lectures, workshops and discussion forums, and film showings. FutureIceland has furthermore invited renowned international experts in various fields to come to Iceland and contribute to the debate.
What's in a Word? is an ongoing project that aims to examine words and concepts that are commonly used in the debate. The pen is mightier than the sword and the influence of words should never be underestimated. Prominent Icelandic writers that are members of FutureIceland oversee the project.
Arguably the organization's largest project, however, is the Nature Iceland map, where photographers and experts have worked together to make Iceland accessible to the public, simultaneously offering information about the proposed power projects that threaten the country's natural treasures.