Session 9 :: Future Signs

20 mins: Activity 1 or Activity 2?

Activity 1: group discussion on questions from OLI homework

Activity 2: Following is the description:

Process :: Five-minute group discussion

  • 5-minute discussion (Links to an external site.) 
  • Each group upload one question, comment, or statement to discuss as a whole class. 
  • Each student votes individually on 3 questions they would like to discuss.
  •  We discuss as a class the most voted upon questions for ten minutes.
    • optional: Peter replies to the other questions via YouTube after class and uploads response.

(a) Week 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?

(b) OLI questions pg 19.

Following are a few sample questions from previous class:

In what ways could minimalism become mainstream if people have been wired to feel satisfied with material goods?
I think that trends of consumerism have been in existence for at least 100 years now. How can we distinguish future signs from continuing trends? Is there an important difference?
Are there any popular methods for taking a step back and recognizing future signs? There can’t always be a documentary available to point something out.
Is it possible for everybody to live a minimalist life? While I think that outright consumerism is incredibly damaging on multiple levels, I think the attachment to objects (especially those we’ve built memories with over time) is something natural that shouldn’t necessarily be overlooked (in other words, I think there’s a level of ownership beyond the things one needs to survive that is healthy).–M0 (Links to an external site.)

Peter’s answers YouTube link  (Links to an external site.)

References: Thomas Piketty Capital (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)

Serge Latouche Farewell to growth.

30 mins: discuss future signs & go over instructions.

Future signs exercise (slides). Download the slide and rename it.

10 mins: Steps 1-2. What is the signal? and what is the issue?

5 mins: Step 3. What is your interpretation?

10 mins: Step 4. What is the design opportunity?

Please submit your revised slide for grading.

Recap:: We had a look at future signs today. You practiced discussing what the three parts of a future sign are: the signal, the issue, and the interpretation. Future signs are important to notice and interpret because it helps you understand clues in the present of what the future might be like. In the previous sections, we’ve discussed alternative futures scenarios. Future signs link the present to a future scenario. 

Homework:: Three items for next class. 

(1) Please make sure to watch the three videos on page 19 (i.e., What would Jesus buy [4 minutes], Fast-Fashion [2:30 minutes], Minimalism [2:44 minutes]) before doing page 20 (you can answer the questions on page 19 over the weekend.)  

(2) Please do OLI page 21. There are many videos for you to watch, schedule enough time to do your OLI homework. Please note that there are two broken video links on the page the working links are below.

Digital Minimalism – Cal Newport

Here is a NYT op-ed article by Jaron Lanier that is definitely worth watching. It explains the content in a much more engaging way than the two links in OLI page 20. 

(3) Please finish your in-class assignment on future signs. Submit it for grading.

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