Alternative Perspectives on the Future

I’m pleased to be able to offer a new elective this fall called “Alternative Perspectives on the Future.” It will bring together “different” concepts and methods for understanding, mapping, and influencing the future. We will focus some on students’ personal development as a futurist, exploring values, worldviews, styles, etc. We will explore two newer perspectives/methods in some depth — Causal Layered Analysis and Integral Futures — giving them fuller and more focused attention. We’ll also look at some visionary thinking tools, such as Future Time Travel, Appreciative Inquiry, and Presencing. Many alum might remember Oliver Markley’s Visionary Futures class — we’ll bring back some elements from that.

The course also gives us a greater opportunity to discuss the philosophical implications of studying the future. We’ll apply these tools to some “big questions” about the future. At the same time, we’ll maintain a focus on application, looking at “newer” approaches such as Action Research (not really all that new!)

You know you have a good topic when people want to help! One of grad students, Dennis Coffey, is helping me to build the course as part of his Master’s Project this summer. Dennis is already an accomplished scholar and university professor, who is doing the futures degree because it’s interesting. He has really taken an interest in Integral/CLA/creativity and has helped our program grow into these areas. And a former grad student, Terry Collins, now an Adjunct with us at UH, has emerged as an Integral Futures scholar and is going to help me teach the class this fall. Now that’s teamwork. Really excited about this! Andy Hines

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