World Futures Review features a special issue for September entitled, Foresight Education! How should business schools incorporate foresight education and other topics are addressed. Several abstracts are featured below. Please note that the full articles will be free to read for a limited time.
This article advocates that business schools include a formalized foresight educational experience more widely in their curriculums. As a group charged with educating business leaders of tomorrow, the cultivation of the skill-set and mind-set necessary for anticipating change and positioning organizations for future success and survival should no longer be left to chance. For the past decade, the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame has required all undergraduate students to take a course titled Foresight in Business and Society. During this time, the Mendoza foresight faculty team has gained perspective on the design and value of a futures research learning experience for our students. Five underlying design principles are presented that have shaped the delivery and execution of the course these revolve around: developing great leaders, confronting ambiguous questions, experiential understanding, rigorous exploration, and anticipation as a force for good. As with any design-based perspective, the article concludes with challenges and pitfalls in recognition that the process is not always linear or smooth. But to other educators on this journey, the challenges are manageable and the promise and prospects for students makes it worthwhile.
Most fields of study have introductory textbooks with the word “principles” in the title: “Principles of Economics,” “Principles of Ecology,” and many others. The principles explained in these textbooks are the core unifying and ordering concepts for their respective fields. They provide a frame of reference for students who are new to the field and taking the first steps toward mastering it. The abundance of “principles” textbooks and long history of the use of core principles in education suggest that a clear set of unifying principles may be a useful way to teach students how to productively think about and understand complex topics. This article identifies and describes a set of core principles for thinking about the future based on a review of more than 50 years of published futures research literature. The ten principles are as follows: The future is (1) plural; (2) possible, plausible, probable, and preferable; (3) open; (4) fuzzy; (5) surprising; (6) not surprising; (7) fast; (8) slow; (9) archetypal; and (10) inbound and outbound. The principles are described and their potential educational use is discussed. Core futures principles may be useful for introducing students of all ages to thinking about and preparing for the future.
Schools are better when futures studies are included in the curriculum. This is not common today but can become common with creative and persistent effort. A plan is offered for systematic and sustained promotion in the nation’s K–12 school system. Examples are provided of projects for age appropriate employ throughout K–12 schooling.
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