Page 1

Ju lia

Rose West

Futures Thinking Playbook

g Kin e i kat


Futures Thinking Playbook


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Futures Thinking Playbook The best things in life are accomplished, designed, imagined, and executed in teams. This work is a collaboration between Teach The Future, a non-profit whose mission is to bring futures thinking to classes and schools around the world, and the dedication and effort of Katie King (text), Julia Rose West (design), and Sandy Damashek (consulting) along with the many teachers, specialists and generous donors who made this book possible. We are delighted that you have the book, and we hope that you find it useful in bringing futures thinking to your students. Please let us know what you think at teachthefuture.org/get-in-touch Peter Bishop Executive Director, Teach the Future peter@teachthefuture.org


Contents What might the future be like and what can we do to shape it? Dive into the Futures Thinking Playbook to find out. Four challenges, sixteen plays, and lots of fun!


Challenge:

Define

Challenge:

GAther Gather

1 2

Play 01

Views of the Future

12

Play 02

Views of the Past

24

Play 03

Imagine: The Game

32

Play 04

Choosing a Topic to Explore

38

Play 05

Taking a Deeper Dive

44

Play 06

Finding Trends

58

Play 07

Onward Trends!

66

Play 08

Noticing Trends Related to Your Topic

72

Play 09

Imagining the Future

76


Challenge:

Define Imagine

Challenge:

Define Reflect

3 4

Play 10 "What If?"

88

Play 11

"What If?" On your Topic

94

Play 12

Futures Wheel

98

Play 13

Expanding on the "What If?" Future

104

Play 14 Probable, Possible, Preferred

114

Play 15 A Hero for the Future

124

Play 16 Reflecting on the Future

130


Pro tips for best use: 3

MIN

Get to it! When you see this, put down the book, set the timer, and get working!

Time limits The suggested time limits are just that: suggestions. Feel free to adapt to meet the needs of your group.

Your opinion matters! You will need Gather listed materials to prepare for the upcoming activities.

Facilitator tips Visit ftplaybook.com for facilitator tips. These tips will help you create a fantastic experience. FACILITATOR TIP #

1

Your feedback is welcome and appreciated. Please contact us at: ftplaybook.com


1010 0011 Whic 0 h w desc ords ribes best h abou ow you th t the futur ink e?

Persistent

Determined

Wanderer

Enthusiast

Dreamer

Avoider

Relentless

Lost

Trailblazer

Reliable

Inflexible

Visionary

Tourist

Unsure

Idealist

Pessimist

Focused

Observer

Headstrong

Explorer

Cramped

Rigid

Open-minded

Optimist


Challenge

1

09


1

Define

your point of view of the future and choose a topic for exploration

Play 01

Views of the Future

Play 02

Views of the Past

Play 03

Imagine: The Game

Play 04

Choosing a Topic to Explore

Play 05

Taking a Deeper Dive


11

Welcome to Challenge One of the Futures Thinking Playbook. You might be asking: “What is this futures thinking stuff all about?” Now is your chance to learn – and to choose a special topic to explore! Will you focus on the future of cars and transportation, the future of soccer, the future of medicine, the future of ocean life? The possibilities are limitless!


Challenge One

Play

Define

01 Views of the Future In this play, you’ll be able to understand and explain different ways people view the future.


13

Consider this: When you hear the words: “the future,” what do you think of? What’s going to happen in the next minute, day, week, year, ten years from now, 500 years from now? The future is all of these! Together, we’re going to think about the future so we can understand it better: what might happen, how we can get ready for it, and how each one of us can affect the future.


14

Define / Views of the Future

Imagine traveling 20 years into the future in a time machine, what would you see? There’s no wrong answer; the future doesn’t exist yet, so you can’t be right or wrong. But think about what might happen based on what’s happening in the world today. FACILITATOR TIP #

1

Find your own way to show what you think the future might be like in your school, neighborhood, city, or another place like a hospital, factory, airport, or sports stadium. Draw a picture. Make a collage. Write a story, song, or poem, if you prefer. What will people be doing? How will things look different? What other changes can you imagine?

Draw:

10 MIN


15

Write:

Compare what you've created with the drawing or story of someone near you. What similarities or major differences do you notice in how you two understand the future?

5

MIN


Views of the Future As we discovered, everyone thinks about the future differently. That’s okay, and can even be helpful, because we can learn from others and their ideas can help us think about things in new ways. There are few main points of view about the future, and we’re going to spend some time exploring your view of the future. FACILITATOR TIP #

2

5

MIN

Review the two sets of statements on these pages.

X Check the box next to the statment that you most

agree with. Remember there are no right or wrong answers.

What will happen in the future is mostly set and will follow the path we are already on. (A)

OR The future holds many possibilities and is not yet determined. (B)


17

We each don’t have much individual influence over what the future will be. (C) OR We each have a great deal of individual influence over how the future will be. (D)

5

MIN

After you have chosen the two statements that you most agree with, find the letters at the end of each statement and combine them. On the next pages you will find the combination of letters, which match your view of the future.

AC

AD BC

BD


AC

The Observer Observers watch what is happening around them and see how all the pieces fit together to set us on a path toward the future. People with this future personality type believe that we can notice what will happen if we just pay attention. They believe their role is to watch out for the future but not necessarily to shape it. Observers can often see what is happening around them better than others and are willing to go with the flow.


19

AD

The Navigator Navigators know where the ship is headed, but they also know that we each have to take individual actions to make sure the trip goes smoothly. People with this future personality type believe that the future is not yet determined but that it will unfold on its own; out individual actions don't have much influence on how it turns out. Navigators are often confident and decisive and want to limit the amount of uncertainty in a situation.


BC

The Explorer Explorers see a wide range of possibilities and are willing to go with any that come along. People with this future personality type believe that the future is not yet determined and that our individual actions don't have much influence over how to the future turns out. Explorers are often dreamers and can see the best in many types of situations.


21

BD

The Mapmaker Mapmakers have the entire ocean in front of them and make decisions that will determine where the ship ends up. People with this future personality type believe that the future is wide open with possibilities, and that our decisions and actions determine how the future turns out. Mapmakers are often imaginative, optimistic, and strong leaders. ready to take charge.


22

Define / What's Your Future Point of View?

3

MIN

5

MIN

Look at your view of the future and compare it to the other views. It is important to remember that there are many differnt perspectives regarding the future and not everyone will have the same point of view as you. Just like some people are outgoing while others are more shy; and some people are funny while others are more serious, we all have different points of views about the future.

Consider how your view of the future might be helpful to you as you get older and make choices about the future. What about it might be helpful?


5

MIN

Choose one view that is different from your own. Tell how it might also be helpful in the future.

rammed I was prog iew. I point of v e n o e e s nt to ny differe a how ma e id o n e d th a h bout ple think a ways peo 01101 t robots!). u o b a d n future (a 01101 00101101


Challenge One

Play

Define

02 Views of the Past In this play, you’ll look back at the past and think about how life is different today.


25

Thinking about how the future might be different from today is not always easy! Since we are so used to how life is today, it’s often hard to believe that things could change very much.

YO U WILL NEED

It can help to look back at the past to the time when your grandparents or other older people were your age, and realize how much things have changed since then.

Sticky notes

Writing utensils Chart paper or a whiteboard divided into 5 rows, each one labeled with the following: Society, Technology, Economy, Environment, Politics (see page 30 and 31 for an example).


A View of the Past These pictures from the past give us clues into what life was once like. Use them to help you understand what has changed since then. FACILITATOR TIP #

15 MIN

3

Notice the differences between lives today and back then. Write five changes on a separate sticky note.

How has transportaion changeD?

th Heal ged... han there c s a h en, h t k bac lot of a was mental i exper ents. m treat


How hAve Hospitals and Health changed?

How haVE sports changed?

How have schools changed?


28

Gather / What's Changed?

What Has Changed Most? To help us think about what has changed in the past and what might change in the future, we use a checklist to make sure we don’t miss anything. It’s called the STEEP Checklist. STEEP stands for Society, Technology, Economics, Environment, and Politics. These categories represent areas of our lives where things have changed a lot in the past and are likely to change a lot in the future. Using the STEEP Checklist reminds us to think about the many different kinds of change that might happen in the future. Before we think about what’s changed in each category, let’s explore the areas that make up each one. FACILITATOR TIP #

4


5

MIN

29 Match the words in the box with the category in which they fit.

Society Technology Economics Environment Politics

Society

Jobs

Technology

Climate change

Economics

Elections

Environment

Traditions

Politics

Inventions

Some words may fit into more than one category.

5

MIN

Look back at your sticky notes. In which STEEP category does each one fit best? Organize the sticky notes into the STEEP categories with your partner and post them on the STEEP chart. Some may fit in more than one category, and that’s okay. Choose the one that makes the most sense to you.


Spo rts have chan ged.

Society Technology Economics Environment Politics

..

Health has changed...


10 MIN

31 Look at where you and others placed your sticky notes. Respond to the following questions and discuss them with the group. In which STEEP category does it seem like things have changed the most?

The least?

Can you think of any other changes in the category that had the least number of sticky notes?

Based on what you know today, which STEEP categories seem most likely to drastically change in ten years?


Challenge One

Play

03

Define

Imagine: The Game In this play, you’ll create a future story!


33

Thinking about the future can be difficult sometimes because it’s not always easy to envision things that haven’t happened yet. To help ourselves and others think about the future, we write scenarios, or stories about the future, so that we can all imagine what might happen more clearly than if we simply tried to think about it. You will write a few different scenarios as you complete the Playbook, and we are going to start now!

This game will help us come up with creative stories about the future and help you practice for when you write future stories on your own topic. FACILITATOR TIP #

5

YO U WILL NEED

IMAGINE cards Lined paper Writing utensils


34

Define / Imagine: The Game

8

MIN

Understand the game. You have six types of cards: Category Cards - this card explains what kind of story you will write. For example, it will tell you whether you will write a story that is funny, scary, or one that is very likely to happen. Year Cards - this card will tell you what year your story takes place in. For example, it will tell you whether your story takes place in 2025 or 2050. STEEP Cards - this card will tell you one category of everyday life that you need to include in your story. For example, it will tell you whether you will write a story about society and people, technology, the economy, the environment, or politics. Change Cards - this card will tell you a change that influences your future story. For example, it may ask you to consider what happens if “the use of virtual reality has been increasing” or ask you to think about “what if certain species of animals go extinct?” People or Place Cards - this card will tell you a person or a place to include in your story. For example, it may tell you to include soldiers or the planet Mars.


35

01

To begin, lay out the cards in their individual stacks and select a Referee. The Referee will decide the Winner of the round.

02

The cards will tell the players what CATEGORY of story they are writing, the YEAR in which their story takes place, the STEEP category their story should include, the CHANGE that has occurred to shape the future, and the PERSON or PLACE that should be featured in the story.

03

Players write their story on lined paper, using all the elements from the cards.

04

Each Player reads his or her story, and the Referee decides which best fits the CATEGORY for that round and declares that person the Winner.

05

The Winner assumes the role of Referee and the next round begins.


36

Define / Imagine: The Game

Sample Stories It is 2027, and our politics has changed a lot since the past. We never realized that the government and technology companies were trying to make robots

Year Card: 2027 STEEP Card: Politics

that would replace people in the military. On one hand, fewer people are getting injured in wars, but the robots have also gotten hacked and a lot of people have lost jobs and had to go back to work in factories. People are arguing over whether we should continue!

Change Card: What if robots replaced people in the military? People or Place Card: Factories


In the year 2020, yoga is popular in societies around Year Card: 2020

the world. Schools have realized that it helps enhance students' concentration and helps them remain calm

STEEP Card: Society

and focused, so it is now required each day in school. They originally introduced yoga into schools to help

Change Card: What if yoga was regularly practiced in school. People or Place Card: Communication devices

students remain calm and focused, but they found that it also helped students disconnect from their communication devices and rely on other sources of entertainment. They even organized an International Headstand Day with other schools around the world!

45 MIN

Get to it! Go and play the game!


Challenge One

Play

04

Define

Choosing a Topic to Explore In this play, you’ll choose a topic to focus your exploration of the future.


YO U WILL NEED

People often ask: “What might the future be like?” That’s a big question, and we’re here to learn how to answer it better together. One reason it’s challenging to think about the future is that the future is huge! It includes every part of our lives. So, instead of taking on everything at once, it’s easier and more useful to focus on the future of a specific topic. Which topic will you choose? It’s up to you!

39

A ball that can be easily and safely tossed (e.g. beach ball, rubber ball, soccer ball, etc.) that has the following questions written on it in permanent marker. What wild thing do you hope technology can do in the future? What might the future look like if all computers and phones were banned? How would you connect with people? What's a problem you think could be solved in 20 years if people worked hard enough? What new invention do you think could make the world a better place? If in the future you could help set up a new society on a new planet, what kinds of rules would you put in place to make sure it was a good place to live? In 20 years, how old will you be? What do you think will still be the same about you and what might be different?


40

Define / Choosing a Topic to Explore

On the Ball You can explore the future of almost anything. Since you’ll be spending a lot of time researching your topic, helping the rest of us understand it, and thinking of different possible futures, it’s important to choose a topic that you care about and that sparks your curiosity. This game will help us all think of topic ideas. FACILITATOR TIP #

6

15 MIN

Gather in a circle and assign one note taker. Take out the question ball you created, and toss the ball from one person to the next, with each person answering the question that is closest to his or her right thumb. The note taker should keep a list of all ideas that are shared. Keep going until everyone has answered 1-2 questions.


41

10 MIN

Look at the list of ideas that came from the game. Discuss as a group what topics might have interesting futures to explore.


42

Define / Choosing a Topic to Explore

15 MIN

Complete this chart by writing at least two potential topics that interest you for each category. For instance, in the Society row, you might write, "the future of online education." In the Technology row, you might write, "the future of space travel."

Society Technology Economics

The future of Online Education

The future of Space Travel

The Future of Health Care Carrers

7

FACILITATOR TIP #

Environment Politics

The future of Disaster Prepardness

The future of Youth Activism


43

5

MIN

Review your list and select the topic that you want to explore. Circle that topic in your list.


Challenge One

Play

05

Define

Taking a Deeper Dive In this play, you will research key facts about your topic and consider some of the questions you have about it.


45

You will learn so much about your topic once you begin researching, but you probably know quite a bit already. Before you amp up your learning, let’s dig in to what you already know by creating a word cloud.

15 MIN

Write your topic in the center of the blank cloud on pages 48 and 49. Around it, write other words, ideas, and questions related to the topic. Let your mind wander and don’t judge your ideas. The challenge is to get as many ideas out on one page as quickly as possible. Organize the words to form a cloud shape around the center. (See the example on the next page.) FACILITATOR TIP #

8

YO U WILL NEED

Internet for research


Less Dirty Parachute Gravity

parachute Express

Landing

Drive through Windows

AirBus

Flying

Safety Tall buildings

Bad Pilot Weather? Auto Difficult


Air Traffic Control?

Clean Streets

Floating Traffic Lights

More Freedom

Fast

Transportation

Cars

Big DATA

How are robots involved?

47

Vertical Take off

Wings Self Driving

Floating cities?


49

10 MIN

Compare your word cloud with a partner's. Tell each other what you thought about as your wrote your ideas, what new questions you have about your topic, and any interesting connections you discovered when creating your cloud.


50

Define / Taking a Deeper Dive

Explore to Learn More The word cloud you created is filled with what you know about your topic. Now it’s time to expand your knowledge. Even though the future hasn’t happened yet, we can explore what has happened in the past on that topic and what is happening today. FACILITATOR TIP #

9

01 MIN

Draw the PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE framework on a seprate peice of paper. For this exercise we will be focusing on the PAST section.

We’re just beginning our exploration, and you won’t learn everything about your topic today. The idea is to start to understand some basic facts about the past of your topic and to generate new ideas that will help you in your research later.


Framework

30 MIN

T

FUTURE

EN

Your Topic

ES

PA

of your topic. Fill in the PAST section of your PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE framework with a few important reserch results.

PR

ST

Do research on the Internet to find information about the history

Try searching these phrases: your topic

Historical innovations and your topic your topic

failures history


52

Define / Taking a Deeper Dive

Pause your research to reflect on what you've learned so far. 5

MIN

Write 2-3 important facts about your topic.

5

MIN

Write 2-3 questions you have about your topic.:


53

Gather with a group (people who are exploring a different topic than you are, if you can!). Discuss what you've all learned so far. 2

MIN

Share 2-3 interesting facts you have learned so far and one question you still have about your topic. After sharing your ideas, ask your group what they found most interesting about your topic. Write their questions below, so you can think about them as you continue researching.


101 000 Whi 110 des c h wor crib d e ho w y s best ou t the hi futu re n nk abo ut ow?

Persistent

Determined

Wanderer

Enthusiast

Dreamer

Avoider

Relentless

Lost

Trailblazer

Reliable

Inflexible

Visionary

Tourist

Unsure

Idealist

Pessimist

Focused

Observer

Headstrong

Explorer

Cramped

Rigid

Open-minded

Optimist


Challenge

2

55


2

information about how things change and uncover possible changes that might affect the future

Play 06

Finding Trends

Play 07

Onward Trends!

Play 08

Noticing Trends in Your Topic

Play 09

Imagining the Future

Gather


57

Challenge Two of the Futures Thinking Playbook is all about change. We’ll explore ways to look for different kinds of changes in the world that might affect the future.


Challenge Two

Play

06

Gather

Finding Trends In this play, you’ll practice noticing trends that might affect the future.


59

We’ve started by thinking about what has changed in the past. But we’re here to talk about the future! It’s much easier to look at what’s changed in the past because it’s already happened. Even though it’s difficult, it's also possible to investigate, like a detective, what might happen in the future. One word is going to be very important as we begin to think about the future: trend.

2

MIN

Discuss: What is a trend?

Some things about the future are actually kind of easy to know because they change according to a trend. Not everything follows a trend and not all trends will continue. Still, if we can notice the trends, we have a better chance of anticipating what the future might hold. FACILITATOR TIP #

10

YO U WILL NEED

Many small, everyday objects that can be picked up and moved around the room (for example, pencils, pens, pipe cleaners, pieces of cardboard, non-fragile toys or trinkets).


60

Gather / Finding Trends

A trend is a change that happens in a consistent way over time. Noticing trends can be tricky. Not everything that's changing is a trend. To help us notice trends and make sure they are actually trends, we use a sentence pattern to describe trends: Since (date or event when trend started), (what's changing) has been (increasing, dereasing). Since I got an iPhone, the amount of time I spend with my family has been decreasing. Since the election, the amount of political conversations I hear have been increasing. Since Tesla popularized the electric car, the amount of gas purchased has been decreasing.

5

MIN

Partner up and think of a few examples of trends in real life. Fill in the blanks: Since

2016, the number of VR Headsets Sold

have / has been

Since

have / has been

Since

have / has been

increasing.


Trends, Trends Everywhere! Is it likely that all of the trends will continue forever? No. Is it still useful to look for the trends, think about whether they will continue, and how they might shape the future? Yes! Just because we can’t know everything doesn’t mean we should ignore anything. Everything has the potential to impact the future! FACILITATOR TIP #

1

MIN

11

Partner up and quickly find three objects around the room and bring them back.

3

MIN

Decide what each object represents. If you grabbed a pencil, maybe you and your partner decide it’s just a pencil. Or, maybe you decide it represents a walking stick or a tree branch or a telephone pole. Feel free to get creative, but make sure each object represents something that exists in real life.

61


62

Gather / Finding Trends

5

MIN

Write a trend statement with your partner that relates to your object. Your trend statement can be a guess, but try to come up with something that you believe to be true based on real facts that you know. Remember to use the sentence pattern to describe your trend.

Since the introduction of computers in classrooms the number of pencils purchased by teachers has been decreasing.

5

MIN

Share at least one of your trend statements with the group. Keep going until each group has shared.


63

Noticing Trends We’ve looked at trends in the world around us. Now let’s do more detective work to see if we can notice trends in what we read. FACILITATOR TIP #

12

4

MIN

Review, definitions and keywords.

Trend: Change that happens in a consistent way over time. Here are some tips to help you notice trends.

Ask yourself: What is changing? Is it increasing or decreasing? How long has the trend gone on? Is the change happening in a consistent way over time?

Look for keywords like: Continue

Expect Likely Ongoing

Trend Increasing Decreasing

Repeating


64

Gather / Finding Trends

10 MIN

Review, these examples, then write a trend statement.

The world population increased from 3 billion in 1959 to 6 billion by 1999, a doubling that occurred over 40 years. The Census Bureau's latest projections imply that population growth will continue into the 21st century, although more slowly.

Worldwide, illiteracy has decreased from 32% of the world population to 15% of the world population in 2014. According to the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, by 2050 China is projected to have 1% of it's total population illiterate, down from 5% in 2010.

In the last ten years‌ the U.S. health care sector has grown more than ten-times faster than the rest of the economy, adding 2.6 million jobs.


65

Since

1959 the world population

have / has been

(time trend has been going on)(what's changing)

Since

(increasing or decreasing)

have / has been

(time trend has been going on)(what's changing)

Since

Increasing.

(increasing or decreasing)

have / has been

(time trend has been going on)(what's changing)

EXTRA CHALLENGE Which STEEP category does each pattern fit?

(increasing or decreasing)


Challenge Two

Play

07

Gather

Onward Trends! In this play, you’ll work your creativity muscles and practice imagining what possible futures might be like if certain trends continue.


67

What happens when a trend continues? Will the future look like the present? No! When a trend continues, change happens because something keeps on increasing or decreasing over time. We can’t know for sure what the future might look like, but we can use what we know, get creative, and imagine!

To help us practice thinking about how patterns might affect the future, we will use Trend Cards and think about how continuing some trends might affect people's lives. FACILITATOR TIP #

13

YO U WILL NEED

Trend Cards


68

Gather / Onward Patterns!

5

MIN

Choose one Trend Card and discuss the questions with a partner.

ST E E P

e Mor le p peo ing k ta are tests DNA

This is a future in which DNA tests have become as common as taking ones temperature. Unlike a thermometer, which tells you if your body temperature is elevated, DNA tests have the ability to inform us about a variety of aspects of our lives: foods we should be eating and ones we should avoid, who we are related to, diseases we might get in the future to name a few. DNA testing is so commonplace that DNA is required for college and job applications and is shared across a variety of social media sites. We all know to whom we are related to and the genetic make-up of not only closest friends but also acquaintances.


69

2

MIN

With your partner, write a short paragraph that describes the future if that trend continued. Use the questions on the card to help you describe the future! This is a future in which. . .

5

MIN

Share your description with the rest of the group. Continue until everyone has shared their description.


70

Gather / Onward Patterns!

The Great Trend Mix-up Thinking about the future if one trend continues is useful. But the world is a messy place, and many trends are happening at once. What kind of future might we imagine if we think of many trends continuing at the same time? This takes a lot of creativity, so turn on your imagination! FACILITATOR TIP #

2

MIN

14

Find another pair that has a different Trend Card.

10 MIN

Discuss as a group of four: How do these two trends work together or against one another? Then answer the question on the Trend Card.


71

5

MIN

Together, create a skit or draw a scene that illustrates a possible future if both of those trends continued. This is a future in which. . .

5

MIN

Share your description with the rest of the group. Continue until everyone has shared their description.

5

MIN

Discuss as an entire group: Explain what a trend is, in your own words. Explain how trends relate to the future.


Challenge Two

Play

08

Gather

Noticing Trends in Your Topic Each of you has chosen to investigate the future of a topic that is important to you. In this play, you’ll discover clues that can help you notice trends related to your topic.


73

You have chosen to investigate the future of a topic that is important to you. In this play, you'll look for trends related to your topic. You can find these trends just like you did when you read about population growth, car sales, and health care jobs. It’s important to notice these trends in our topics because we will better understand the direction things are going and how things are already changing. In the examples, the trends were easy to spot. But when you do research about your topic, trends might not be so obvious. Luckily, we’ve got some more tips that can help you spot trends as you do research. FACILITATOR TIP #

15

YO U WILL NEED

Internet Access


74

Gather / Noticing Trends in Your Topic

45 MIN

Do research on the Internet to find information that explains trends related to your topic. Write a trend statement on your PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE framework each time you notice a new trend in your research. Write a minimum of five trend statements in the PRESENT BOX.

Try searching these phrases: your topic

Trends and your topic

and change over time

your topic

and patterns

Additional search tips: Look for graphs that show change over time! Look for patterns Look for keywords (Continue, Expect, Likely, Ongoing, Trend, Increasing, Decreasing, Repeating) A pattern doesn’t have to have been going on for decades to be a trend, but look for evidence that it will continue!


Framework

Trend Statement

T

FUTURE

EN

Your Topic

(what's changing)

ES

PA

(time trend has been going on)

PR

ST

Since

have / has been (increasing or decreasing)


Challenge Two

Play

09

Gather

Imagining the Future In this play, you’ll start to imagine what the future might be like if some of the trends you found related to your topic continue in their current direction.


77

You’ve already found trends in your topic, now it’s time to combine them and get creative to imagine what kind of future they might create! Just like we did with the Trend Cards, you'll imagine how people's lives might change and how the different trends might work together. You have done a lot of research about your topic. To help you choose what’s most important, think about these questions: Which trends seem strongest or have the potential to make the most change? Which trends are most interesting to you? Which trends might people fail to notice or think about when they imagine the future? Use your answers to decide which trends you will choose for the next step. FACILITATOR TIP #

16


78

Gather / The Patterned Future

5

MIN

Choose four trends from your

Trend 1

Trend 2

Trend 3

Trend 4

earlier research and add them here:

15 MIN

Describe the different futures that might happen when two trends cross. Fill in as many futures as you can. Remember to think about: How do the two trends work together or against each other? How would a person your age’s life be different than it is today? How might the way we live our daily lives - learning, working, communicating, voting, being outdoors, traveling, hanging out - change? What might be good about that trend continuing? What might be bad about it?


In these futures... Trends 1+2

Trends 1+3

Trends 1+4

Trends 2+3

Trends 2+4

Trends 3+4


80

Gather / The Patterned Future

Bringing the Future to Life You have so many ideas about the future. Now it's time to make them come to life and turn them into a story. By making possible futures come to life through stories, we make them easier to understand and more fun to think about. FACILITATOR TIP #

20 MIN

17

Choose at least two futures from the previous page to turn into a story, place an X in the box next to them

X . The more combinations you make, the more interesting your story will be; challenge yourself!

01

Create a character that lives in this future. What is their name? How old are they? Describe a few key details about the character.


02

What happens to the character in this future? Imagine at least two events that will happen in the story. Event one: Event two:

03

How do the details from your futures affect the character’s life? Think about: How would this character’s life be different than if he or she lived today?

What's happening in the world around the character? Remember STEEP!

What does the character like about this world? What is a struggle?

How does your character overcome the problems he or she faces in the future?


82

Gather / The Patterned Future

15 MIN

Complete the story arc.

Title:

Story arc

life is normal

One event happens to upset life

Life is Unpleasant


Be ready to present your future to the group!

83

Check yourself! Does your story... ... explain what the future of your topic would be like if the trends continued? ... include details about what's happening in multiple STEEP categories? ... follow the story arc?

... have a title? Life returns to a new normal Another event happens and the character overcomes bad stuff.

45 MIN

Write out your story of the future on a separate sheet of paper. Use the story arc to guide you. Then, draw a scene from your future that will help people visualize what might happen if the trends continue.


101 000 Tak 1 ea mom 10 on h ow e nt to you the refle are futu ct f eeli re. C des n g ab ircle crib ou e ho w w yo ords th t at u fe el n ow.

Persistent

Determined

Wanderer

Enthusiast

Dreamer

Avoider

Relentless

Lost

Trailblazer

Reliable

Inflexible

Visionary

Tourist

Unsure

Idealist

Pessimist

Focused

Observer

Headstrong

Explorer

Cramped

Rigid

Open-minded

Optimist


Challenge

3

85


3

Imagine

possible futures based on “What If?”

Play 10

"What If?"

Play 11

"What If?" on Your Topic

Play 12

Futures Wheel

Play 13

Expanding on the "What If?" Future


87

In Challenge Three of the Futures Thinking Playbook, we'll look at what kinds of futures might emerge if we ask ourselves “What If?”


Challenge Three

Play

10

Imagine

"What If?" In this play, you’ll develop “what if?” questions that might lead you to imagine a different future.


89

You did it! You imagined one possible future! That’s great, but… what if the trends you’re counting on don’t continue? What if a world event or a new discovery changes the course of the future? Futures are many, not one, and unexpected things happen all the time. That is why it’s important for us to imagine the “What If?” Futures, too. A “What If?” Future is an alternative future that might occur if the patterns we found don’t continue; it’s something else that could happen if things don’t go as we expect… which they often don’t!


90

Imagine / "What If?"

Part of what’s challenging about thinking about the future is that even though we can notice trends, we don’t know what we don’t know! There are always uncertainties about what will happen, and some events are difficult to anticipate. But we have to persist! If we didn’t think about the “What If?” alternatives, we would be ignoring some important possibilities for the future. FACILITATOR TIP #

5

MIN

18

Imagine if someone told you: “In the future, everyone will use virtual reality every day, and most people won’t spend a lot of time in the real world.” Discuss: What trends might make a person think that’s what the future of virtual reality holds?

101000110 are I see trends where robots ies companions and budd to humans.


91

Many people assume that today's trends will continue and will shape the future. That's partially true, but by thinking of "What If?" questions, we can be open to the possibility that something else might happen instead. The "What If?" game will help us build our "what if?" muscles. FACILITATOR TIP #

19

10 MIN

Let's play the "What If?" game and build on each other's futures. Gather in groups of four. One person begins by asking a "What If?" question. the next person builds on that first future possibility by saying, "Yes! And what if...?" Keep going around the circle, adding new "What If?" questions that build on the ones before.

Example What If virtual reality turns out to make a lot of people nauseous so they don’t want to use it? Yes and What If someone came up with a pill you could take that would not prevent nausea when experiencing virtual reality? Yes and What If this pill allowed people to experience virtual reality in active environments likes on roller coaster or while on a trampoline?

5

MIN

Discuss: How many different futures do you think you imagined? What two futures did you hear in the game that were the most different from one another?


92

Imagine / "What if?"

Finding Evidence for What If?”Questions Asking “What If?” helps us imagine some pretty wild possibilities. That’s important because sometimes people simply imagine that the future will be mostly like today, or have a hard time thinking of other futures. But the future doesn’t arrive totally unannounced: If we look closely, we can usually find evidence -- supporting information or facts -- to help us know whether our “What If?” questions are really possible. FACILITATOR TIP #

5

MIN

20

Discuss with the group: Can you think of any evidence that would lead you to believe that any of the "What If?" questions from the game might actually happen?


What if? What if?

What if?

What if?

What if?

93


Challenge Three

Play

11

Imagine

"What If?" on Your Topic In this play, you’ll think about different possibilities for the future based on your “What If?” questions.


95

Asking "What If?" questions about your topic will help you envision possible futures that are quite different from the one you created in Challenge Two. By asking "What If?" and finding evidence to support those possibilities, you can imagine a wide range of futures. FACILITATOR TIP #

21

YO U WILL NEED

Internet access


Imagine / "What If?" on Your Topic

MIN

Write at least four "What If?" questions about your topic.

Framework

Using your PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE framework to fill in the final section, FUTURE, of your paper with "What If?" questions and evidence.

T

FUTURE

EN

22

Your Topic

ES

FACILITATOR TIP #

PR

Think of something else that could happen instead of your trends continuing. “What if [something else] happened instead?” Think of big events that might affect your topic. “What if [major event] happened?” Think of other things happening in the world that people are talking about. What are people worried about, hoping will OR won’t happen in Society, in Technology, in the Environment, in the Economy, in Politics. Would any of them influence your topic? Ask yourself “What if?”

ST

15

PA

96


30 MIN

Find evidence! Now that you have "What If?" questions on your topic, you need evidence! Search the Internet for evidence that the “What If?” futures you imagined are possible. As you search, look for “What If?” questions on your topic that others might have asked.

Your "What if?" question

Try searching these phrases: your topic your topic

and and

major possible event current concern

Your "What if?" question Could _____________________________________________________________ happen?

2

MIN

Circle one "What If?" question that has supporting evidence that you think could lead to an interesting future.


Challenge Three

Play

12

Imagine

Futures Wheel In this play we will explore what might happen if our "What If?" questions came to life.


99

Just like events in our everyday lives have consequences, the events we imagined in our “What If?” questions would have consequences, too. You can use a tool called a Futures Wheel to think about the consequences of the “What If?” questions and generation ideas about what might happen next. This will help us better imagine the future if our “What If?” questions came true.

YO U WILL NEED

Chart paper Markers or chalk


100

Imagine / Futures Wheel

Futures Wheel on Your Topic Complete one or more Futures Wheel(s) about a "What if?" from your topic. FACILITATOR TIP #

23

5

Gather in groups of four with markers and chart paper or with

MIN

chalk on the sidewalk!

30

Start with the "What If?" question you chose in the last play. Ask

MIN

yourself: What might happen next? Working with your group, come up with 3-4 possible consequences and write each one in a bubble that connects to the center. Then ask yourself: What happens as a result of the first set of consequences? Write those consequences in another layer of bubbles. Continue until you have at least four layers of consequences. Remember to add positive and negative consequences in one branch. To check yourself, write - or + and the related STEEP category next to each bubble. Add more bubbles if you have too many of one kind of consequence.


101

5

MIN

Choose the consequences you think are most interesting or represent the biggest change from the future you originally imagined. Possible Consequences: 01

02

03


What if I robots h could be best friends wit and humans? Would people robots be less lonely?

New technologies become expensive to buy

Other types of technologies will have to boost security

Write one "What If?" question

Jails become over populated

Hackers are treated like serious criminals

Tech companies join forces to find hackers


103

People will lose trust in VR security

VR sales will go down

Jobs losses

Tech industry changes its focus What if hackers make virtual reality (VR) worlds very unpleasant to be in? Users of VR gain interest in these unpleasant worlds

People bring unpleasant experiences into the real world Actual reality changes


Challenge Three

Play

13

Imagine

Expanding on the "What If?" Future In this play, you’ll think about different possibilities for the future based on your “What If?” questions.


105

Now that you’ve thought about your “What If?” questions and some of the consequences of them, you have a great start to write a new future on your topic! Just like you did with your first future story you will write a story to represent the “What If?” Future, which should be very different than the first one. As we know, the future isn’t yet decided, so thinking about a range of possibilities helps us get ready for what might be in store. FACILITATOR TIP #

24


106

Imagine / Expanding on the "What If?"

20 MIN

Just like you did with the first future story, expand on your “What If?� ideas to create a real future world. Start by thinking about a character, you can use the same character from your other story or start with someone new and answer the following questions: 01

Create a character that lives in this future. What is their name? How old are they? Describe as much as you can think of about the character.

02

What happens to the character in this future? Imagine at least two events that will happen in the story. Event one: Event two:


107

03

How do the details from your futures affect the character’s life? Think about: How would this character’s life be different than if he or she lived today?

What's happening in the world around the character? Remember STEEP!

What does the character like about this world? What is a struggle?

How does your character overcome the problems he or she faces in the future?

How do the 3 consequences you chose from your Futures Wheel affect this character?"


108

15 MIN

Imagine / Expanding on the "What If?"

Complete the story arc.

Title:

Story arc

life is normal

One event happens to upset life

Life is Unpleasant


Be ready to present your "What If?" Future to the group!

Check yourself! Does your story... ... explain what the future of your topic would be like if your "What If?" questions came true. ... include details about what's happening in multiple STEEP categories? ... follow the story arc?

... have a title?

Life returns to a new normal Another event happens and the character overcomes bad stuff.

45 MIN

Write out your new story of the future on a separate sheet of paper. Use that story arc to guide you. Then, draw a scene from your future that will help people visualize what might happen if your "What If?" question comes true.


101 000 1 Whi des ch w 10 crib o r ds b e ho es w yo u th t the ink futu a re n ow? bout

Persistent

Determined

Wanderer

Enthusiast

Dreamer

Avoider

Relentless

Lost

Trailblazer

Reliable

Inflexible

Visionary

Tourist

Unsure

Idealist

Pessimist

Focused

Observer

Headstrong

Explorer

Cramped

Rigid

Open-minded

Optimist


Challenge

4

111


4

Reflect

on our role in shaping the future

Play 14

Probable, Possible, Preferred

Play 15

The Hero for the Future

Play 16

Reflecting on the Future


113

Welcome to Challenge Four of the Futures Thinking Playbook. This is where we understand what type of future we want to see and commit to taking action to make it happen.


Challenge Four Reflect

Play

14 Probable, Possible, Preferred In this play, you will take stock of all of the possible futures and decide which ones are probable, possible, and preferable.


115

Just think: many people still believe that there is only one future and that we can’t know very much about it. Using your new Futures Thinking skills, you have just proven them wrong! By imagining different futures in The Futures Thinking Playbook, you've shown that there are many possibilities for change – and how interesting and useful it can be to think about them.

YO U WILL N EED

All “What If?” future story boards posted around the room. All future stories posted around the room.


116

Reflect / Probable, Possible, Preferred

Futures Show and Tell Some of the futures you and others have written about may seem very far-fetched. Others may seem like nightmare or dream scenarios. After thinking about the future, it’s important to stop and ask yourself:

What do I think is really going to happen? What might happen instead? Which future do I want to happen?

Asking these three questions will help you make decisions in your own life and work to bring about the future you want. As you walk around the room, reading about the futures others have imagined and looking at the stories they have created, keep the questions in mind. FACILITATOR TIP #

25

15 MIN

Gather in small groups. Present both of your future stories or your favorite of the two. As you listen to others' presentations, take notes on the chart to the right.


Titles of futures that stand out to me:

Title of the future story that seems most likely to actually happen:

Title of a future story that seems less likely but is still possible:

Title of the future story I would most like to live in:


118

Reflect / Probable, Possible, Preferred

Your Preferred Future You have a sense of the different futures you and others imagined. Now it’s time to think about your own preferences and opinions about these futures. FACILITATOR TIP #

26

2

MIN

5

MIN

Probable = likely Possible = not as likely, but not impossible Preferred = what I want

Compare your notes to others in your group. Choose one future that several people believed was most likely.

Discuss with your group: What makes this future probable? What about this future seems positive? Is it positive for everyone or just for some? What about this future seems negative? Is it negative for everyone or just for some? Overall, would you like to see this future come about?


119

2

Choose one future that several people believed was preferred.

5

Discuss with your group:

MIN

MIN

What makes this future preferable? What about this future seems positive? Is it positive for everyone or just for some? What about this future seems negative? Is it negative for everyone or just for some? Overall, why would you like to see this future come about?


120

Reflect / Probable, Possible, Preferred

Probable = likely Possible = not as likely, but not impossible Preferred = what I want

5

MIN

Individually, think about your group's discussion. What's one thing you would like to see happen in the future?


121

Individually, write down one thing you would like to stop from happening in the future?


122

Reflect / Probable, Possible, Preferable

10 MIN

Line up in two lines - Line A and Line B - so that each person is facing someone else. Take 2 minutes to tell the person across from you what you would stand up for and what you would try to stop in any of the futures you read about. After you have each shared your views, the people in Line B will move over one person to the right and repeat the sharing (the person at the end of the line will move to the beginning). Repeat at least three times.


123

Line A

Line B After you have each shared your views, the people in Line B will move over one person to the right and repeat the sharing (the person at the end of the line will move to the beginning). Repeat at least three times.


Challenge Four Reflect

Play

15 A Hero For the Future

In this play, you will decide what a hero for the future would do to bring about the future you’d like to see.


125

You have thought critically and creatively about what the future might hold. You have told others what you will take a stand for and against. So what’s next? How do we create the future we want? We need a hero for that! And that hero is you. FACILITATOR TIP #

27

YO U WILL N EED

Many small, everyday objects (pencils, pens, pipe cleaners, pieces of cardboard, non-fragile toys or trinkets) that can be picked up and moved around the room. The greater variety of objects, the better!


126

Reflect / A Hero for the Future

Hero for the Future Manifesto The future is uncertain. Many things go into shaping it, and many of them are out of my control. But I have thought about the future in ways that few people have thought about it. I have researched, discussed, imagined, created, and decided what futures I prefer. Now, it is my responsibility and my right to take whatever steps I can to make that future happen. I pledge to use that responsibility wisely, to take actions that are good not only for me but for others, to maintain my integrity as I help shape the future, and to always use the skills I’ve learned when making decision that will affect my future and the futures of others. Shaping the future requires knowledge, integrity, courage, and a sense of humor. You will use all four as you become a Hero for the Futures, setting the path for your journey as you influence tomorrow.

5

MIN

Choose two objects form the pile


127

10 MIN

Complete the following story, using your knowledge about what you’ve learned about the future, your integrity to think of others, your courage to take action, and your sense of humor to create a hero’s journey! Imagine that you have reached your future goal and are looking back at the path you took.

Bracer I am a hero for the future! My name is _______________________________ and I am here to take a stand.

2027 Today, it is the year ______________________________, and we have achieved _____________________________. respect for rob ots equality It wasn’t easy! I had to stand up for _________________________________. I faced many obstacles such b est friends Long held b eliefs as ___________________________. Thankfully, I had my ____________________________ to help me along the

the makers of rob ots way. My first step was to talk to _____________________________________________ and persuade them to A rob ot factory re-Program me for friendship Then, I had to travel to _______________________________ __________________________________________. and

sell a different future I had no idea I would run into ______________________________________ More rob ots That Look like me and ______________________________. re-program them for friendship to finish my journey. In the end, I was able to _______ have to ________________________________________

de____________________________________________________________________________________________ sign the future by releasing into the world rob ots who are programed for _________________________________________. friendship and nOt for work


128

Reflect / A Hero for the Future

I am a hero for the future! My name is __________________________________ and I am here to take a stand. Today, it is the year ______________________________, and we have achieved __________________________. (description of preferred future) It wasn’t easy! I had to stand up for __________________________________________________________________ (what you took a stand for in last play) _____________________________________________. I faced many obstacles such as _______________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________. (obstacle to achieve the preferred future) Thankfully, I had my _______________________________________________________________________ to help me (imaginative use for Object #1) along the way. My first step was to talk to ____________________________________________________________ (person who can influence the future that you can access)


129 ______________________________ and persuade them to _________________________________________________ (action step) ______________________________________________________________________________________________________. Then, I had to travel to (location) ____________________________________ and _____________________________________________________________ (action step) _________________________________________________________________________. I had no idea I would run into __________________________________________________________________________________________ and have to (obstacle) ____________________________________________________________ finish my journey. In the end, I was able to (imaginative use for Object #2) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _.

5

(final action step!)

MIN

.

Gather the entire group or small groups together and have everyone perform their stories, getting into the role of the hero for the future!


Challenge Four Reflect

Play

16 Reflecting on the Future In this play, you’ll commit to three things you can do that will help bring about your preferred future.


131

Thinking about the future is important. Acting to shape the future is also important. As a final challenge, you will commit to a few things you want to do to help shape the future based on what you’ve learned. You will also decide what your next journey into the future will be about.

Now, it's time to ask yourself, "What have I learned from all of this?" Let’s play “On the Ball” again to share some ideas we’ve learned from The Futures Thinking Playbook. FACILITATOR TIP #

28

YO U WILL N EED

A ball with the following questions on it: What have you learned about the future that you didn’t know before? What have you learned about the present that you didn’t know before? What’s an action you could take today that would help bring about your preferred future? What do you wish other people knew or thought about when making decisions about the future?


132

Reflect / Reflecting on the Future

15 MIN

Gather in a circle and assign one note taker. Toss the ball from one person to the next, Each time you catch the ball, answer the question closest to your right thumb.


133

Our work has only just begun. If we hope to shape the future and make it better for ourselves, others, and the world, we need to think about that future not once or twice but regularly, looking back at our future stories and exploring new topics. The future is always coming, and the time to make our future dreams happen is now.


134

Reflect / Reflecting on the Future

5

MIN

Write three things you could do today or in the very near future to bring about your preferred future: 01 02 03

Who seems to have a lot of control over whether or not your preferred future happens? Do you have any influence over that person or people? How might you gain more influence?


135

Complete this sentence: Thinking about the future is _____________________________________________________________. Complete this sentence: The next time I work through the Futures Thinking Playbook, I might want to explore the future of _____________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________.

Next month... Take out this Playbook one month in the future: Look back through your work in The Futures Thinking Playbook. Describe any new insights or ideas you have now that you didn’t have when you created this book. Have your ideas about the preferred future or the necessary steps to get there changed?


1010 0011 Whic 0 h wo desc rds b ribe how est you think the f uture abou now t 1010 ? 0011 0


137

Persistent

Determined

Wanderer

Enthusiast

Dreamer

Escapist

Relentless

Lost

Pilgrim

Infallible

Inflexible

Visionary

Tourist

Unsure

Idealist

Pessimist

Focused

Observer

Headstrong

Explorer

Cramped

Rigid

Grand view

Optimist


Alysia Lohman

Jonetta Richard Yonck Roquemore Peter Hayward Kate Zuelke

Sarah Rebar

Matthew Henry

Kamilah Holmes Anisa Khandwalla

Vashon Lewis

Sunny Bell-de la Garza

Amber Boston

Pamela Price

Abby Priest

Erica Perez Duane Masergill

Morton Rose

Thank ! u o y Ikram

Maree Conway

Alma Diaz-Wu

Kirt Callaway

Theresa Quintanilla

Azam

Riel Miller rd az a u o d E uk o Mariann h K e Crystal Duran

Georgette Bubar

Charles Brass

Solomon

Pamela Johnson


Daniel Peter C. Riveong Francisco Bishop Jeffry Abrams Gonzalez

Deana DynisDeana Dynis

rza KathrynEdGoua ard Khou

Eduardo de la Paz

kaz

David Jarvis

Joel Barker

Brian Tucker

Mikko Dufva

Kimberly Cain Jason Siko William Cosgrove

Ramon Cruz-Lima

Many thanks to the donors and contributors who made the playbook possible and to the students, teachers and staff at Fort Bend Independent School District, Spring Branch Independent School District and Coppell Independent School District for bringing the playbook to life. ...Oh, and the future thanks you too.

Sandy Renell Green Molly Nipper Damashek Jennifer Chadwick

Kyle Dutton Joel Ticknor


Futures Thinking Playbook  
Futures Thinking Playbook