future: that potentiality which makes us aware of the creative possibilities of the present
s: a knot; the link between individual and society
evocative: calling forth; perhaps the siren’s song or the hope we dare not speak
Thinking of studying Futures?
I lead the Futures Studies Graduate Program at the University of the Sunshine Coast. It is an exciting and constantly evolving program designed for educators, consultants, social change agents, business and institutional innovators and entrepreneurs and also those interested in entering the Masters and PhD programs. It is a fully on line program and for international students it only incurs local (ie Australian fees).
The following clip gives an insight into what we are up to.
The future is alive and well in us all today! Just as we are products of the past so we - through our choices, values, actions and assumptions - bring the future into being. We are currently on the brink of major shifts in how we as a species and as members of a planet understand ourselves. More and more people a becoming reflective agents with a futures consciousness. Futures thinking is one example of how this awakening to ourselves is being expressed socially and institutionally. Life means growth and that means learning. The best part of futures thinking for me is that which focuses on learning to be connected. Much of this website is about that learning.
Here is a recent paper on how concepts have effects in the world and in how we do things. I hope you enjoy it.
A Futures Critique of Education
Education is something we should all be passionate about! Not because it will help us build bright futures in the capitalist culture we inhabit today but because it has the potential to challenge the values that strip learning back to information management and life back to self gratification and passive consumption.
Futures thinking and practice within education brings alternative visions into the classroom and university. It enables students and teachers alike to exerience the power of possibility: what we can do when creatively and critically engaged in developing thinking and practice around alternatives. Importantly futurews thinking allows us to step back, distance ourselves from the present context and slow down, take a breath and see the world and our connections to it as a rich tapestry of possibility.
In this chapter I map out a way of thinking about education beyond crisis management and the educ-anxiety it causes.
Why study the Future?
We study the future because assumptions about the future have effects in the present. Or to put it another way: our assumptions about the future inform our decisions and actions today. Just as the past no longer exists but has effects in the present so the future, which is in no way tangible, works in the present through our own beliefs, values and expectations. Futures work is an attempt to become contextually aware of the world around us and of our relationship with the 'reality' out there.
See my Six Futures Premises
See: Concepts and Effects
See my Spiritual Pragmatics