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Teach the Future - Autumn 2019 News

News from our worldwide hubs

Teach the Future is a community and our hubs of educators and advocators are located throughout the world. Here's a sample of activities taking place in our local hubs.

  • Greece: What do unaccompanied asylum seeking minors think about the future? How does their cultural identity and their past traumatic experiences reflect on their anticipatory assumptions? What can we learn from them?

A Futures Literacy Theatre Lab was organized by UNESCO Chair on Futures Research (FORTH/PRAXI Network), who are also part of the TTF network and non-profit organisation Iliaktida on the Greek island of Lesvos on 13 & 14 July, 2019. Read and watch more on what happened in this blog.

  • Canada: The Summit Micro school in Toronto is using the Futures Thinking Playbook in their lesson unit on the future of water. Learn more on how they integrated futures thinking and check their lesson plan in this blog.

// Are you inspired and do you want to start a Teach the Future hub in your country? Please contact Peter Bishop. // Already participating in a hub and want news from your hub featured in the next newsletter? Please contact Els Dragt.


Teach the Future Mexico Meet-Up

19 members of Teach the Future from 8 countries (Mexico, Brasil, Colombia, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the U.S.) met at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) on September 10. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss to two important components of teaching the future: What we teach about the future and How we advocate for teaching the future. This Meet-up was the first face-to-face meeting of members of Teach the Future in the Americas. It was held in conjunction with the 23rd International Conference of the World Futures Studies Federation. The set up of the meeting was:

  • Members shared experiences on how futures studies was really a different way of looking at the future.

  • Peter Bishop shared a study in which he counted the most frequent words in 25 college syllabi he had collected over the years. Based on that, members developed suitable learning objectives for a general introduction to the future.

  • Members shared what they believed would be good ways to promote teaching the future in their organizations and countries.

  • Alethia Montero (TTFMX) and Rosa Alegria (TTFBR) contributed what had been accomplished in the Americas.

  • Finally, we discussed what strategies could be employed to promote teaching the future.

Peter Bishop is writing a full report on the meeting which he will share via the Teach the Future network. You can find more pictures of the meet up and the WFSF conference over here.

Watch this short compilation of the Teach the Future Meet Up in Mexico. A big thanks to our Brazilian advocators for creating this video.


Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd Center for Futuristic Studies The Prince Mohamed Bin FahdUniversity is creating a Center for Futuristic Studies near Al-Khober in Saudi Arabia. Two representatives from the university attended the first part of the Teach the Future Meet-up. They must have liked what they saw because they asked Dr. Bishop for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Teach the Future to assist in introducing foresight into the University curriculum. Dr. Bishop and the representatives signed the MOU on September 12. Stay tuned for news about foresight in Saudi Arabia!


Save the dates The Finnish advocators of teaching the future like to share the following dates with you: // Futures Day Celebrations: Celebrate International Futures Day on Friday March 6, 2020. (Normally it's celebrated on March 1, but since this day will be a Sunday in 2020, we have chosen to celebrate it on the next Friday) // Futures Conference: In the week of June 8th-12th, 2020 the Futures Conference will be held in Turku, Finland. This conference is a cross-disciplinary platform where participants can meet, share, and discuss new ideas concerning futures. The conference will consist of keynote lectures, parallel sessions, participatory workshops and chaired poster sessions. You can check the website of the previous edition for more info and we will share more on the 2020 edition asap.


New board member: Alethia Baena Montero

We would like to introduce Alethia Montero as the newest member of the Board of Directors for Teach the Future. Alethia has been tireless in promoting teaching the future in Mexico, particularly the National Autonomous University in Mexico (UNAM). Most importantly, she conducted a training course for teachers there. She also hosted the Federation meeting and supported the first Teach the Future Meet-up associated with that meeting. Welcome to the Board, Alethia!


Futures Playbook: translations available

One of the teaching materials that we developed is the Futures Thinking Playbook. It is now available to purchase on Amazon in Dutch and Italian. A big thank you for our Italian advocator Impactscool and our Dutch advocator Linda Hofman for the translations! Our colleagues in Brazil are reviewing the translation into Portuguese, and we have a translated text from Greece to insert. 5 more partners have agreed to translate the book into their languages, so there's more on the way. Are you interested in organising a translation of the playbook into your native language? Please contact Peter Bishop for more information.


Foresight in museums

Teach the Future is continuing to promote putting futures materials in museum exhibits. We believe they can teach the future as well as or perhaps. even better than schools. At least, they are a lot of fun! We returned to the annual meeting of the Association of Science and Tech Centers (ASTC) in Toronto, where we were allowed to conduct a half-day pre-conference session. This session had some explanation of foresight, but the key feature was museum directors and exhibitors designing a futures exhibit for one of their museums. Participants were happy, even delighted, with the content and the activity. One participant said: “This was nothing like what I expected, but I loved it.” We are proposing even more extensive sessions for museum conferences ASTC and Ecsite next year.


In the spotlight: Janine Nel

Teach the Future has many advocators in hubs worldwide. Let's take a closer look at Janine Nel, our hub director in South Africa. Janine has a BCom Marketing Degree and has diverse experience in international companies as well as SMME's as a communications and marketing leader and manager. Her skills and expertise lie in delivering high-impact strategies and plans that are in tune with the market, aligned across the organisation and created to influence. Recently Janine received a postgraduate Diploma in Futures Studies from the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) and she is currently working towards her master's degree in Futures Studies at USB. What drives you in life? I believe in fairness and equal opportunities for everyone. I also strive to live a quiet and peaceful life, ideally in the countryside someday soon! Why do you feel teaching the future is important? It is absolutely critical in ensuring that we create a sustainable earth and economy. Our young people need to know how to approach life and to create opportunities for themselves, they simply cannot sit back and wait for ‘life to happen’ to them. Why is teaching the future important specifically in South Africa? The world has changed, life has changed. Essentially we are all competing for the same jobs regardless of where you are located. And when you couple that with South Africa’s history of exclusion and unequal access to opportunities, you have the makings of a potential disaster. Economic growth in South Africa is dismal, and because of that, new jobs are now being created. We have an unemployment rate of about 54% amongst the youth, a potential youthquake! We have no choice, we have to teach our youth how to navigate this new world and how to create opportunities for themselves – because no-one else is going to do it or them. What do you think the world will look like if teaching the future becomes the default? I would like to think we would have a cohort of active, engaged and enterprising young people who are solving societal challenges, in their own communities. Ultimately this is a big part of Teach the Future in South Africa. We need our youth to look at the issues in their communities and find enterprising ways to solve these problems. Thank you for inspiration and dedication Janine! // Find more info on the website of TTF SA.


TTF wishes you a colourful Autumn!


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