Read The Latest Issue of World Futures Review!

Read The Latest Issue of World Futures Review!

World Futures Review (WFR) is the top forum for all who are professionally involved in exploring trends and alternatives for society. This dynamic quarterly publication offers valuable insight on the theoretical, research and practical issues confronting those interested in futures research. Along with interviews with leading futures practitioners, WFR publishes important new foresight literature.

This issue features special research on foresight education and features research inter sectional research with history, tourism, and education. Below are some abstracts from the issue:

Teaching the Future of Technology in the History Classroom: A Case Study

This article will describe how historians can teach the future of technology. Historians need not alter their traditional methods of historical inquiry to teach the future, and indeed the history classroom is a natural site for foresight education. Historical inquiry begins with questions, and futuring similarly begins with asking the right questions. The historian seeks out evidence, and futurists as well identify drivers and blockers, considering how these drivers and blockers will interact with each other. In contrast to social scientists, historians work with imperfect or incomplete information, an apt description of the state of our evidence about the future. In a manner similar to historians, futurists interpret and draw inferences from evidence. After the research an analysis of the evidence is complete, the historian/futurist writes representations. This article will describe how I employed the historical method to teach the future of technology in a history research seminar, the results produced by the students, and ways that the study of the future can be situated in the history classroom.

Beyond Futures: Designing Futures by Educating Future Designers

The goal in design is to plan and create artifacts, including objects, communication, and services. These are meant to be used or applied in an unknown future. Therefore, design is part of a process shaping the future, yet implications are rarely considered and become blind spots. The essay is a pledge to integrate the concept of futures and foresight methododology into the education of designers to give them a better understanding of how to deal with change and uncertainty. It may increase designers’ sensitivity of the impact their work may have in the future and push their creativity by broadening their view looking at different future scenarios. The essay starts by presenting the facets that design encompasses, putting it into a historical context, and explaining some educational concepts. Ultimately, the author suggests a didactic approach that she has applied in a futures studies introductory course for graduate students of architecture at the Münster School of Architecture (MSA) in Germany. It is based mainly on practice-oriented exercises and assignments. This includes an approach based on the author’s approach to combine the generic design process used in research through design – involving the phases of analysis, projection and synthesis (APS) – with the concept of futures and tools used in foresight methodology.

Reflective Thoughts on Teaching the Future of Tourism

This reflective paper considers how Dr. Ian Yeoman teaches futures studies and scenario planning to tourism students across several undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. It is based on his teaching philosophy of visualization, authenticity, problem-based learning, scaffolding, and his understanding of how students negotiate their own learning. The paper examines the approach taken in three papers, where Yeoman is the primary lecturer. As part of the bachelor of tourism management degree, two papers are taught. TOUR104 is a first-year introductory paper addressing how the drivers and trends in the macro-environment influence tourism from a political, economic, social, technology, and environmental perspective. TOUR301 is a third-year paper that aims to help students develop the skills and knowledge necessary to understand and critically analyze tourism public policy, planning, and processes primarily within New Zealand. TOUR413 is a scenario planning paper, applied in a tourism context and taught to students in postgraduate programs. The contribution this paper makes is in its demonstration of the link between teaching philosophy and student learning, the challenges students encounter with futures thinking in a problem-based learning environment and the evolution of the papers.

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