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Packed with futures teaching activities and materials!

The PDF version of this newsletter can be downloaded from here.

Prepare students for tomorrow. Teach the future today!

We believe that young people of any age can learn to think critically and creatively about the future and develop the agency to influence it. The Teach the Future community is dedicated to bringing futures thinking to schools, educators and students around the world. Here's our latest update!



Here's a sample of activities taking place in our local hubs.

GREECE: Futures Thinking Playbook translated

Epaminondas Christophilopoulos is a futures researcher at PRAXIS/FORTH in Athens. He is also a coordinator for Teach the Future in Greece. PRAXIS/FORTH were so kind to get a 1000 Greek copies printed of the Futures Thinking Playbook. Much appreciated! >> Get your Greek copy over here.


MEXICO: global seminar on 'Future Communities'

For a second consecutive year, TTF members participated in a Futures Studies virtual seminar. This is realized every year as part of the activities from the 'Seminar of Prospective Studies' at FCPyS, UNAM, Mexico City. It is a totally free access event, anyone worldwide can join. On June 26th Epaminondas Christophilopoulos (Greece), Wellington Porto (Brasil), Lourdes Rodríguez (Spain), Rosa Alegria (Brasil), Cristina Pozzi (Italy), Janine Nel (South Africa), Els Dragt (Netherlands), Brenda Herchmer (Campus for Communities of the Future-Canada), Peter Bishop (USA) and Alethia Montero (Mexico-round organizer) provided a virtual lecture each about "Futures Communities. Anticipatory skills for school and life”. You can find all the separate member contributions on our Youtube playlist or watch the streamed seminar integrally via this link. Everything is subtitled in Spanish.


USA: online student workshop during FPSPI competition

Peter Bishop and Kay Strong, a member of the Teach the Future Board of Directors and member of the Ohio FPSPI Board, conducted an online discussion with coaches and students during the Future Problem Solving Program International (FPSPI) competition. This team-competition is an extra-curricular activity for K-12 students in which students identify challenges in a futures scenario they receive, develop solutions for that challenge and select the best solution given a set of criteria they develop. Covid-19 forced the competition to go online. Topics Peter and Kay touched upon during their session:

  • Explanation of Teach the Future,

  • Hear experiences in learning about the future

  • Encourage students to ask their teachers to include more futures thinking in their schools

Kay conducted two polls during the session, asking those attending to describe their life today and in 2040. The images above are the word clouds from their responses. Kay & Peter on the results: "We were surprised and gratified to see how positive the terms were, given the challenges facing the world in June 2020."


BRAZIL: spreading the word

Our Brasilian hub has been very busy in the past months, here's a sample of their activities:

  • Rosa Alegria joined many online webinars and even presented on national TV about teaching the future. She also shared about Teach The Future in the virtual meeting of the Millennium Project, watch this over here.

  • Wellington Porto joined an MIT challenge on Covid-19 on behalf of Teach the Future to explore and prototype innovative solutions to combat Covid19 in Latin America.

  • Lilia Melo was introduced as a new ambassador and was mentioned in the newspapers because she has been nominated for the Best Teacher Award.


Futures Conference Finland

The Futures Conference 2020 with the theme 'Learning Futures | Futures of Learning' is postponed until 2021. But an online pre-conference event was held in June. Erica Bol of Teach the Future was one of the panelists. You can watch her contribution to the discussion on 'future skills in a volatile world' here. All the materials of the pre-conference are available online, such as pdf's of presentations. Check these out. In October there will be another online pre-conference session. Stay tuned!


MEXICO: international webinar cycle on foresight training.

Our Mexican partners are collaborating in an open and free virtual seminar on Futures which is held since 11 years, from the Faculty of Political and Social Science, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico City. Mexico. The goal is to teach and train people in futures thinking (Prospectiva). The webinar cycle runs from Februray 28th to October 30th, 2020. On June 26th the focus will be on teaching the future and the webinar will feature members of Teach the Future worldwide sharing why they feel teaching the future is important. These contributions will be shared after the June 26th. You can check out last years contributions over here.


PRESENTATION: for the Philippines senate Peter Bishop was invited to provide a presentation to the Senate Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, Innovation, and Futures Thinking in the Republic of the Philippines. Peter's input is used to reflect on the future of the education system of the Philippines.


Assessment of Futures Consciousness

Teach the Future received a grant from the World Futures Studies Federation to study the assessment of futures consciousness. We are validating a scale developed at the Finland Futures Research Center. We will be administering the scale via our worldwide partners to sites in Canada (Summit Micro School), South Africa (Teach the Future SA), Italy (Impactscool), the US (FPSPI) and others. We are very happy to be able to collaborate in bringing the study on futures consciousness forward!


DESIGNING A TOOLBOX: What do teachers want?

What are needs of primary school teachers with regards to innovative education methods? TTF is a partner in Erasmus+ funded project in the EU on creating a Design Thinking toolkit for primary school teachers. We have recently finished the discovery and exploration phase and published a report about the needs of teachers. You can read it here. TTF's part is to share futures skills within this toolkit and project process and activate our network to participate. Erica Bol and Els Dragt of TTF are taking part from 2019- 2022 with partners from Spain, Belgium, Lithuania and Norway. We are now in the midst of the first prototyping cycle with teachers. Want to know more? Check the project website and sign up for the newsletter.



STUDY: effects of futures learning

Researchers from Taiwan (Tamkang University & Lunghwa University of Science and Technology) studied the effects of futures learning in students. They observed that educators and researchers rarely assess the outcomes of foresight education. To fill this gap, their research conducted an empirical examination to evaluate the outcomes and impacts of Tamkang University’s future-oriented education; with a quantitative survey of 578 valid samples collected. The results indicate that students who have taken futures courses demonstrate statistically significant higher performance in two dimensions of futures thinking, namely transdisciplinary system and openness to alternatives. Read more about the effects in the full research paper as published in the Journal of Futures Studies, June 2020, 24(4): 103–116.



Toolkit for secondary students

A bachelor thesis of Belgian students of Vives applied university in Kortrijk culminated into a fully fledged futures thinking toolbox for secondary students. Guided by trend researcher and teacher Thomas d’Hooge these students delivered a wonderful platform with a futures module that any secondary teacher can use in their classroom to enhance futures thinking skills of teens. You can download all materials for free in Dutch or English. Teach the Future will also share these materials in our library soon.

// Do you have any materials you want to add to our library? Let us know!


TTF YOUTUBE: Why does the school system needs teaching foresight? TTF founder Peter Bishops explains why school systems should include futures thinking. Watch the short clip above (00:40) and get inspired! Teach the Future has a YouTube channel with all kinds of videos for you to get inspired by. Do you have any relevant videos to add to our channel? Drop us a message!



Lourdes Rodriguez

Teach the Future has many advocators in hubs worldwide. Let's take a closer look at Lourdes Rodriguez, our advocator in Spain. My background is in psychology. Since 2010 I work as a trends researcher & analyst for leading companies in Spain and Latin America where I develop and implement reports and strategies for companies from different sectors. I also teach and speak at conferences, seminars and training courses on innovation and trend analysis for C-level, public agencies and governments. 2 years ago I started learning more about futures studies, speculative design and system change. Next to being an advocator for TTF in Spain and a network coordinator for TTF Global, I’m also part of Speculative Futures Madrid and helped with organising the PRIMER EU conference last October. What drives you in life? I have been always passionate about knowing what the next big thing is. I am constantly learning about new social, cultural, philosophical and artistic movements. Above all, I am interested in the study and analysis of people as social beings, capable of the best but also of the worst. My wish, perhaps utopian, is that the light gradually overcomes the darkness, that we become more aware of our weaknesses as a species. And that we actively work, both individually and as a group, to build regenerative and inclusive futures. Why do you feel teaching the future is important? Kids and young adults are the future, it’s important that they are prepared to thrive in a world full of challenges, constant change and disruption. Why is teaching the future important specifically in Spain? In Spain the field of futures studies is not very widespread. I feel that, as in other countries, Spain is suffering a resurgence of polarisation and lack of critical thinking. It is crucial that our younger generations look for ways to become active futures makers, and find ways to connect with each other despite our growing differences in political ideas and beliefs. What do you think the world will look like if teaching the future becomes the default? I think we will have a more critical world, where people are more conscious about the wholeness and our role in a greater system, which we need to take care of and regenerate. Thank you for inspiration and dedication Lourdes! Connect with Lourdes via LinkedIN.


Thanks for reading!

// Are you inspired and do you want to start a Teach the Future hub in your country? Please contact Peter Bishop. // Do you have any news, events or resources to share related to Teach the Future for the next newsletter? Please contact Els Dragt.


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