Session 13 :: Futures Thinking

20 mins: Discussion of  Week 6 :: Personal futures & CLA

20 mins: OLI questions.

  • Submit group comment/question.
  • 1-minute. Each student votes individually on 3 questions they would like to discuss here (link). 
  •  We discuss as a class the most voted upon questions for nine minutes.

Following are sample questions from the previous class:

  • I didn’t finish watching either of the videos – instead want to drop this – Feminism constantly struggles to find the ‘we’ – as each time we define feminism and who it’s for, we always add an exhausted ‘etc.’ at the end of who qualifies as woman (white, asian, hispanic, black, rich, poor, … etc.) The original feminists were racist and classist, and they still are today. This thought can be attributed to Judith Butler’s book Gender Trouble. Another piece of text I would recommend checking out – Maybe more relevant. In the Queer Art of Failure by Jack Halberstam, he discusses (I forget what chapter, and I’m forgetting the exact author whose primary work he was referencing) how feminism works in support of colonization. Much of the rhetoric around invading Middle Eastern countries after 9/11 and before was SUPPORTED by feminists – as the war efforts were “liberating women by freeing them from their oppression” & specifically non-Western, ‘woman-friendly’ culture. All in all, two books to check out – Judith Butler, Gender Trouble Jack Halberstam, the Queer Art of Failure
  • One of the benchmark goals for People, Values, Behaviors, and Development is “Rapid, cheap worldwide communication for almost everybody.” How can this be feasibly done without the privacy concerns that existing large-scale free services, like Facebook and WhatsApp, embody? What protections do we have against governments intercepting all global communications and using them for mass surveillance?
  • For normative scenarios, at what point is it clear that society is straying too far from the benchmarks for the goal to be achievable? Does it just depend on the situation in a case by case basis?
Questions and responses 2017
What are the examples of normative scenarios, measurable benchmark goals, and pathways of change in real designers’ world and industry? 
How do we create realistic benchmarks for the scenarios we want to approach? What do we compare the timeline of benchmarks against for reference so that they are grounded in some way? If we just make benchmarks however we want, won’t there be a high chance things won’t go as expected, and will take more or less time than expected?
How can we structure conversations about the sticky floor in a manner that is compelling and ted talkable? 
There is an aspect to normative scenarios that is “prescriptive”, meaning somewhat like a recommendation for improvement. What are some ways that the recommenders understand the issues the targeted population faces? Sohail Inayatullah describes going from Alternative scenarios to normative scenarios. How it has to be collaborative co-construction of the the futures exercises with multiple perspectives present. Adam Kahane, described the process of creating alternative scenario that involve opposing factions working together to bring their voices to the scenario building process.  
 For measurable benchmark goals, when should these change together with priorities changing? In the WBCSD normative scenario, there are benchmark goals for 2050, and decade by decade milestones to be met. There also are barriers within the pathways of change. These risks and goals need to change as time passes. If a barrier blocks something the whole plan needs to be reassessed.

35 mins: Imagining the future of education based  the WBCSD benchmark goals are set in 2050 and how they are connected to the present times. Use this google slide to do your work.

(5 minute discussion)
Step 1. The WBCSD plan is based on global forces of change. It should be describing something true anywhere in the planet. Based on the expertise in your team, pick one zipcode where you would like to work.

(15 minutes = 3 minutes per goal)
Step 2. Check the goals for the WBCSD plan for 2050 with the statistics from zip atlas for your zip code. Pick five benchmark goals linked to education and gender equality.

Where is your zipcode on the dimensions that you can easily discern according to the  “People, Values, Behaviors, and Development,” we find the following benchmark goals for 2050:

  • Basic needs for all people are met with regards to food, clean water, sanitation, shelter, and universal access to lifelong education.
  • Education and economic empowerment of females accomplished in most places.
  • Most primary and secondary school children now in school most of the year.
  • Most adults can now read and write.
  • Rapid, cheap worldwide communication for almost everybody.
  • Customers no longer have to choose between “green” products and the ones that meet their consumer needs.
  • World public health has learned to cope with diseases spread by climate change.
  • Abject poverty reduced to minimal amounts.
  • Aging population engaged in society.

Write where you imagine your zip code is in meeting the five 2050 education and gender equality benchmark goals?

(10 minutes discussion)
Step 3. What might the future of education be like in the zip code you chose in 2050?

(a) Sketch a written description of the scenario. What would the day in a life look like for your persona from the 3 generation persona?

(b) draw a storyboard of what the future of education would feel like for your persona. Use the whiteboard to sketch and upload a picture to the google slide. Stick figures or Baskinger people are fine.

(c) What learning tools might your persona use in 2050?

Recap :: We began normative futures today. You practiced unpacking benchmark goals in the present and future for a particular zip code. We focused on education and gender equality today.

Homework :: OLI page 27 due before class.

Homework :: OLI page 26 due before class.


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