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A Framework for Brainstorming Products

Brainstorming artifacts from the future is meant to be both imaginative and useful. To help students thoughtfully consider what objects might fill in their future scenarios, teachers can use this structured framework for brainstorming product ideas. …

Type: Activity
Level: College, Secondary
Subject: Arts, Design
An Educator’s Guide: Realistic and creative tools for thinking about the future

Students’ beliefs about the future often dictate their actions, mindsets, and sense of agency in the world. This activity allows educators and students to explore how they see the future, why they see it that way, and what it might be like to adopt a …

Type: Activity
Level: College, Secondary
Subject: All
Big History Project: The Future

The Big History Project is not your average History course: it begins 13.7 billion years ago and ends in the future. Designed by scholars and educational experts, this free course takes a multi-disciplinary approach and highlights the enormous amount …

Type: Course, Lesson
Level: Secondary
Subject: History, Science, Social Studies
CLA Game

This role-playing game, based on the causal layered analysis framework, allows participants to understand deeper causes of environmental issues and change while also testing the robustness of strategies.

Type: Activity
Level: College
Subject: All, Foresight
College Foundation Lesson 1 — A Model of Change

The future is only different from the present because of change. So to understand possibilities for the future, we must understand the nature of change. This foundation lesson for teaching the future introduces college students to different ways of u …

Type: Lesson
Level: College
Subject: All
College Foundation Lesson 2 — Drivers of Change

When studying history or considering the future, we most often search for the “reason” things turn out the way they do. In reality, the drivers of change are wide and varied. Trends, choices, random events, and careful plans all contribute to the out …

Type: Lesson
Level: College
Subject: All
College Foundation Lesson 3 — Assumptions about Change

In order to consider how the world around us might change, we must first examine our assumptions. What do I believe will always or never be true? Is it possible for that to change? This lesson, one of five foundational lessons for teaching the future …

Type: Lesson
Level: College
Subject: All
College Foundation Lesson 4 — Implications of Change

After learning about the nature of change, its drivers, sources, and the assumptions we make about it, students are ready to begin considering the impacts of change on the future. Futurists use futures wheels to answer the question, “what might happe …

Type: Lesson
Level: College
Subject: All
College Foundation Set

The College Foundation Set includes five foundation lessons for secondary schools.  These lessons are excellent ways of introducing students to change and the future. The set includes the following lessons — Change, the attributes of social change ( …

Type: Lesson Set
Level: College
Subject: All
d.school bootcamp bootleg

This toolkit is a compilation of Stanford d.school’s lauded design thinking process. It includes a specific outline of the process and step-by-step instructions for how to carry it out. Educators can use the entire process for a design thinking proje …

Type: Lesson Set
Level: College, Secondary
Subject: Arts, Design
Defining the Domain

What about the future is worth studying? As educators work with students to think about the future, choosing a domain — or a topic of inquiry — is a crucial step and a process to be carried out with intention and care. This activity provides a stru …

Type: Activity
Level: Secondary
Subject: English / Language Arts, History, Social Studies
Delphi Method

This week-long introduction to the Delphi method, a classic foresight tool that surfaces consensus and assumptions. It can be incorporated into any college course that explores merging the judgments of multiple individuals. This unit includes videos, …

Type: Lesson
Level: College
Subject: All, Foresight
Design Thinking for Educators

Empathy and human-centered design can help create better futures and solve complex problems. Believing that educators and students should be empowered with the skills to do both, world-renowned design firm IDEO has created a toolkit to help both grou …

Type: Lesson Set
Level: College, Secondary
Subject: Arts, Design
Discovering Your Inner Futurist

We all hold assumptions about the future. Examining those assumptions and engaging in informed debate and discussion can enrich students’ understanding about the future and build essential critical thinking skills. This flexible activity poses 10 que …

Type: Activity
Level: Secondary
Subject: English / Language Arts, History, Social Studies
Elementary Foundation Set

This three-lesson set introduces to young learners the fundamental questions that drive foresight: What do you think will happen? What might happen instead? What do you want to happen? These lessons use readaloud, collaborative writing, and visual le …

Type: Activity
Level: Elementary
Subject: Arts, Design, English / Language Arts
Field Guide to Human-Centered Design

As part of their efforts to bring human-centered design to the social sector, IDEO created this resource to provide insight into their processes, mindsets, and approaches for design. This guide includes case studies and design methods and activities …

Type: Lesson Set
Level: College, Secondary
Subject: Arts, Design
Foresight Education

This full foresight curriculum, developed by expert futurists, helps students innovate solutions that arise from uncertainty. Aligned to 21st Century Skills and Knowledge, Common Core, and AP and IB frameworks, this adaptable program includes activit …

Type: Lesson Set
Level: Secondary
Subject: Foresight
Future in Images

Art can imitate life or imagine what life could be. In this high school lesson, students explore the differences between probable, possible, plausible, and preferable futures and create artistic representations of an imagined future. By using existin …

Type: Lesson
Level: Secondary
Subject: Arts, Design
Future of Globalization

Through this midterm project on globalization, students gain first-hand, direct knowledge about what the average person “on the street” thinks about globalization and its future. By considering what most people’s expected future looks like, students …

Type: Course
Level: College
Subject: Social Studies
Future of Technology

Throughout history, humans have used technology to do more, better. From written language to the plow to the modern Internet, we continue to create new tools, which in turns changes us and changes the world. In this multi-week unit, high school stude …

Type: Unit
Level: Secondary
Subject: Technology
Future of the Brain

“Given that mankind was the first intelligent organism to evolve on this planet…We shouldn’t expect version one of humans to be the final version, any more than we should have expected the Model T to be the fastest car ever built.” — Michael Aniss …

Type: Unit
Level: Secondary
Subject: English / Language Arts, Science
Future of the English Language

From Middle English to emojis, the way we use language and symbols to communicate have changed drastically over time. What might be next for the English language? This 9-day unit for high school English language students explores the various factors …

Type: Unit
Level: Secondary
Subject: English / Language Arts
Future of…

Everything has a future. What might it be? This middle school unit builds on students existing curiosities and interests to expose them to new ideas and possibilities for the future. Students have choice in their topics of exploration and how they ch …

Type: Unit
Level: Secondary
Subject: English / Language Arts
Future Problem Solving Program International

Since 1974, Future Problem Solving has engaged learners in creative and critical thinking to develop a vision for the future and build leadership skills. Their workbooks include activities for identifying and solving complex problems, writing scenari …

Type: Lesson Set
Level: Secondary
Subject: Advisory, Foresight
Future Search

Future Search is a facilitation process that brings groups together to talk about individual and collective pasts, presents, and possible futures. It has been used in workshops across the world and in every sector to help participants develop common …

Type: Activity
Level: College, Secondary
Subject: All, History
Future World

Sometimes writers write about a world that does not yet exist. We do it for a hundred reasons. (Because it’s good to look forward, not back. Because we need to illuminate a path we hope or we fear humanity will take. Because the world of the future s …

Type: Unit
Level: Secondary
Subject: English / Language Arts
Futures Research and Timeline

When we think about research, we generally think about the past. It turns out, we can also research the future. Using futures research techniques developed by a graduate of the master’s in Foresight at the University of Houston, middle or high school …

Type: Lesson
Level: Secondary
Subject: English / Language Arts
Futures Research Methodology CD Version 3.0

The Futures Research Methodology is the largest collection of futures tools and methods ever published. From simple tools to more complex methodologies, this resource features a wide-variety of foresight activities, many of which can be incorporated …

Type: Activity
Level: College
Subject: Foresight
Futures Thinking for Social Foresight

Futures Thinking for Social Foresight is a comprehensive resource that introduces basic principles of futures studies for educators and students. The book, first published in 2005 and revised in 2012, includes a wide array of activities such as timel …

Type: Lesson Set
Level: College, Secondary
Subject: Foresight
Futures Toolkit

The Futures Toolkit provides an accessible introduction to some of key foresight techniques, such as analyzing drivers of change, developing scenarios, and visioning.

Type: Lesson Set
Level: College, Secondary
Subject: Foresight
Game the Future

Thinking about the future requires our brains to work differently than they normally do. Playing games does, too. This unit teaches students how to do both in accessible and engaging ways while building capacity to think strategically and long-term, …

Type: Unit
Level: Secondary
Subject: Arts, Design, English / Language Arts, Foresight
Gapminder

Despite enormous amounts of data about how our world is changing and unprecedented access to it, our society still seems to be blind to what’s happening around us. A professor founded Gapmider to combat this reality and reveal important data in fun a …

Type: Activity
Level: College, Secondary
Subject: History, Mathematics, Social Studies
Generational Chain

We often feel change most acutely when it is sudden and everything seems to change at once. What does change look like from a distance? This middle school unit teaches students to consider multiple perspectives, to understand how context changes our …

Type: Lesson
Level: Secondary
Subject: English / Language Arts
Governance for the Future

Governance for the Future is a set of cards meant to help us investigate, re-think, design, and prototype new governments and social systems to match the challenges of today. This toolkit leads participants through a governance design process that ca …

Type: Activity
Level: College, Secondary
Subject: Social Studies
Human Augmentation

Will technology change what it means to be human? This course explores this fundamental question — one of the most pressing uncertainties of the future — by introducing students to foresight tools, engaging them in debates about the ethical dilemma …

Type: Course
Level: College
Subject: Social Studies, Technology
Infinite Futures

Wendy Schultz is one of the most accomplished foresight educators today. She has assembled and shared her most useful tools for facilitating foresight sessions.

Type: Activity
Level: College
Subject: Foresight
Institute for the Future: Artifact Engine

The Institute for the Future’s Artifact Engine is a quick and fun activity to help students think creatively about alternative futures and the artifacts we might find in them. The tool includes both analog and digital versions and is an accessible in …

Type: Activity
Level: College, Elementary, Secondary
Subject: Foresight
International Futures

Will the world’s nations uphold the commitments made in the Paris Agreement that set ambitious new targets for limiting global warming? What will be the impact whether they do or don’t?  What direction will the price of oil take and, equally importan …

Type: Course
Level: College
Subject: Foresight, Social Studies
Introduction to Futures Studies

Through iterative lectures, creative visualizations, reflective observations and action learning, case studies and games, this course exposes and engages students to the theory and practice of futures thinking. The course aims to challenge students t …

Type: Course
Level: College
Subject: Foresight
Introduction to Systems Thinking

If we hope to understand, anticipate, and influence change, we must understand how the systems and structures that underlie our society function. Systems thinking is a way of looking at the world that looks for patterns, regularities, and commonaliti …

Type: Lesson
Level: College
Subject: Foresight
LEALA Pedagogical Resources

The World Futures Studies’ Federation’s LEALA Pedagogical Resources is a rich database of books, articles, and videos all meant to help educators bring the future to life with their students. These free resources include materials that build futures …

Type: Lesson Set
Level: College, Secondary
Subject: Foresight
Mobility Integration Vision Project

This card game, which focuses on the future of mobility and transportation, allows participants to envision various combinations of wide-ranging, unpredictable and disparate issues and find opportunities for better futures. The game is available onli …

Type: Activity
Level: College, Secondary
Subject: Arts, Design, Technology
My2050 Toolkit

What would happen if everyone stopped using dryers? What if a government used only renewable energy? This toolkit provides direction for teachers in using an online simulation tool that allows students to explore various scenarios of the future of cl …

Type: Lesson Set
Level: Secondary
Subject: Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Next Chapter in World History

How will we be remembered? This high school history project asks students to research and imagine possible events that could occur in the next 50 years and alter the course of history. Students will analyze a specific region of the world, consider th …

Type: Activity
Level: Secondary
Subject: History
Personal Futures Workbook

Companies and governments use futures thinking to plan for change and make choices; why shouldn’t students do the same? Downloaded more than 30,000 times, this free workbook teaches students futures tools that they can apply to their own lives. By le …

Type: Lesson Set
Level: College, Secondary
Subject: Advisory, Foresight
Problem Solving through Futures Forecasting

The future will surprise us. Whether that wave of surprise will merely hit us or overtake us depends on how much we are willing to think critically about what the future might hold and explore our options. This unit introduces students to scenario pl …

Type: Unit
Level: College
Subject: Foresight
Sarkar Game

What advice would warriors have for workers? Intellectuals for warriors? Capitalists for intellectuals? These questions drive the role-playing Sarkar Game and reveal important social dynamics inherent in society and crucial for understanding change a …

Type: Activity
Level: College
Subject: Social Studies
Secondary Foundation Lesson 1 – Change

The future is only different from the present because of change. So to understand possibilities for the future, we must understand the nature of change. This foundation lesson for teaching the future introduces the attributes of change and asks stude …

Type: Lesson
Level: Secondary
Subject: All
Secondary Foundation Lesson 2 – STEEP

This second foundation lesson for teaching the future dives deeper into one attribute of change to explore where change occurs on a global level. Students will examine changes in society, technology, the environment, the economy, and politics and con …

Type: Lesson
Level: Secondary
Subject: All
Secondary Foundation Lesson 3 – Drivers

When studying history or considering the future, we most often search for the “reason” things turn out the way they do. In reality, the drivers of change are wide and varied. Trends, choices, random events, and careful plans all contribute to the out …

Type: Lesson
Level: Secondary
Subject: All
Secondary Foundation Lesson 4 – Assumptions

In order to consider how the world around us might change, we must first examine our assumptions. What do I believe will always or never be true? Is it possible for that to change? This lesson, one of five foundation lessons for teaching the future, …

Type: Lesson
Level: Secondary
Subject: All
Secondary Foundation Lesson 5 – Futures Wheel

After learning about the nature of change, its drivers, sources, and the assumptions we make about it, students are ready to begin considering possibilities for the future. Futurists use futuers wheels to answer the question, “what might happen if…?” …

Type: Lesson
Level: Secondary
Subject: All
Secondary Foundation Set

The Secondary Foundation Set includes five foundational lessons for secondary schools.  These lessons are excellent ways of introducing students to change and the future. The set includes the following lessons — Change, the attributes of social chan …

Type: Lesson Set
Level: Secondary
Subject: All
Shaping Our Future

This curriculum came from arose from a decade of sustainability education and the resulting realization that most young adults do not have the necessary future time frame of reference to understand global challenges and solutions. This set of tools a …

Type: Lesson Set
Level: College, Secondary
Subject: Foresight
Systems Thinking in Schools

Waters Foundation has been teaching educators and students to think in systems for decades, and this set of web resources allows both teachers and more advanced students to learn and practice the fundamentals of systems thinking. This resources featu …

Type: Lesson Set
Level: College, Secondary
Subject: Mathematics, Social Studies
TED-Ed “Future” Lessons

TED-Ed lessons pair TED talks and animated videos with discussion questions, and teachers have the opportunity to modify them and create their own. This collection of future-oriented lessons includes explorations of how sci-fi can help us think about …

Type: Activity
Level: Secondary
Subject: All
Telling My Story – Personal Futures

Scenario writing is a popular and powerful technique in business to explore possibilities for the future and uncover assumptions about what we think will happen. This unit teaches students how to use this tool and apply it to their own lives, resulti …

Type: Unit
Level: Secondary
Subject: Advisory, English / Language Arts
The Future is in Your Hands

Telling stories about the future helps us ask important questions about today. In this unit, students will research an important topic for the future, create a story to address possible futures for that topic, and identify the critical questions we s …

Type: Unit
Level: Secondary
Subject: All, Foresight
The Future of the American Dream

How does change affect our culture’s most deeply held beliefs? In this unit, students examine the story of the American Dream, how it might be changing, and what it might look like in 2035. Aligned with Common Core reading and writing standards and c …

Type: Unit
Level: Secondary
Subject: English / Language Arts, History, Social Studies
The Thing from the Future

The Thing From The Future is a card game with a deck of 108 cards  playable by individuals or teams of two to six people. The object of the game is to come up with the most entertaining and thought-provoking descriptions of hypothetical objects from …

Type: Activity
Level: College, Secondary
Subject: Arts, Design, Foresight
Three Horizons

Three Horizons is a simple and intuitive framework for thinking about the future. At its simplest we can see it as describing three patterns of activity and how their interactions play out over time. The framework maps a shift from the established pa …

Type: Activity
Level: College, Secondary
Subject: Foresight
Values and Public Policy

Before we can define our visions and preferred futures, we need to understand the values that underlie them. This lesson asks students to explore their own values, engage in constructive dialogue around a wide array of values, and analyze how values …

Type: Activity
Level: College, Secondary
Subject: Social Studies
View from the Past

We think about our futures all the time, but rarely look back at what others thought their futures would be like. This 1-2 day middle school lesson takes students on a journey back to the 1980s and 90s to explore what the experts of yesterday predict …

Type: Lesson
Level: Secondary
Subject: English / Language Arts
WOOP Goal Setting

As young people begin to imagine their own futures, goal setting can be a powerful activity. As they consider the multiple inputs to any future outcome, they consider their own wishes and outcomes and the potential obstacles and plans that might cont …

Type: Activity
Level: Elementary, Secondary
Subject: Advisory
World Game

Called “the game that helps us build the world we need,” “The World Game” convenes a group around a common challenge, allows them to consider possible solutions, and consider their utility in the context of possible global events. Meant to build coll …

Type: Activity
Level: College
Subject: Science, Social Studies, Technology