Session 10 :: Alternative Futures

5 mins: Group Discussion on reflections: Please meet with your comments discussion group.

Please reflect on your post and comments for the question:

Unit 4: you saw how STEEP forces of change affected two American families this past week. What are some examples of how STEEP forces impact you or your family?

(1) Discuss with your group, what are common threads of how STEEP forces played out in your initial posts?

(2) What are some common patterns in your group with how people responded to your initial posts?

10 mins: 60 second reports back from discussion groups.

5 mins: Group Questions on OLI module:

Plan 1: Peter answers the questions:

Plan 2: Group discussions:

3 mins: discussing the prompt your group received. 

10 mins: One minute reports back.

(1) What is the most important criteria to think about before mapping futures thinking?
(2) Sohail Inayatullah uses the word “purchase” a couple of times when talking about used futures. Does he mean literally purchase or more like “bought into”?
(3) I think it might be interesting to see what levels of futures thinking people align with.
(4) Are ‘used future’ adaptations no longer inadequate if the translations consider culture, people, values, etc?
(5) Is there an iteration or feedback system where we can experiment with different futures?
(6) In mapping futures thinking, I’m interested in the graphics/visuals that can be used to illustrate such thinking? (eg. the four quadrants for knowing what to do and knowing how to do it)
(7) Why are our times now “post-normal”? Isn’t the only reason that past times are more “simple” is that we’re viewing them in retrospect, with full context? What makes our times more complex than the past, besides the fact that we’re experiencing them in real time?
(8) There are so many frameworks to choose from. How many time should one spend on defining the method in respect to creating the future itself?

45 mins: Persona Mandala Assignment 

(a) Spend 5 minutes reading 

(b) Report back to class what are the most important ideas in the doc?

(c) Continue working with your teams, on the persona Mandala 

Homework: (a) Unit 5 reflection; (b) OLI page 23 “Why think about futures?” and page 24 “alternative futures scenarios”


You’ve begun to study the work of some prominent futures studies scholars such as Richard Slaughter, Jim Dator, Sohail Inayatullah, and John Sweney. You’ve been creating a persona situated in the future. You are learning how to create credible people in the future by focusing on the core of what it means to be human, what people care about. Next, you will be learning about different types of alternative futures.

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