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Teach the Future - Start the decade with future inspiration!


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.

EU: Design Thinking in Primary Schools / D-TIPS

Teach the Future Netherlands is a partner in a two-year EU funded Erasmus+ project called ‘D-TIPS’. The aim is to inspire primary school teachers to use Design Thinking in their classes. Teach the Future is involved to incorporate futures thinking skills into this project and because of our wide network of educators. Find more information and sign up for the newsletter on this project over here.


GREECE: In the media

Teach the Future was mentioned in the Greek media about the Futures Thinking Playbook being translated into Greek. Check the article in Greek over here.


BRASIL: Teacher Course

On two consecutive Saturdays in November TTF Brasil organised a course in Sao Paulo for 30 teachers from various Brasilian cities. This group of teachers were selected by education ambassador Josias Silva. They are nationally recognized and awarded teachers. These teachers got an introduction into futures thinking and were very positive about this new experience: "The course broadened my reflection on the future from a much more purposeful new perspective and with the conviction that putting it into practice can greatly broaden the horizon of education." Lucilia Guerra - Paula Souza Center Watch what teachers Mariana and Arabelle have to share on following the course (in Portuguese).


CANADA: new lesson unit

The Summit Micro School in Toronto conducted its second lesson unit on the future of technology during the Fall semester. Summit Micro is an independent K-8 school with a highly project-oriented approach. They use the Futures Thinking Playbook in their sessions. The culminating event was a TED-ED type presentation by each student in the school. Peter Bishop was privileged to see the presentations remotely.


SPAIN: spreading the future virus! TTF has been quite active in Spain lately. We visited Primer Madrid, which is part of a series of biannual conferences conducted in the U.S. and Europe by the Design Futures Initiative. The theme this year was “Futures for All”. The conference in Spain was organized by Mindset, a design consultancy in Madrid. The organisers invited Peter Bishop to deliver one of the presentations. Of course, given the opportunity, Peter pointed out that the “All” in “Futures for All” should also include youth, particularly in school, where they spend most of their time. As a result Mindset is working with TTF to introduce futures thinking to schools in Spain! Read this Spanish blog of participant Eva Teba on her experiences.



Futures Festival Video

Teach the Future appeared in the fifth Futures Festival sponsored by the Association of Professional Futurists (APF). The Futures Festival is a 12-hour online conference sponsored by APF members in Canada and involving presenters from around the world. The theme was Radical Transformations. This year, Peter Bishop (US), Alethia Montero (Mexico), and Janine Nel (South Africa) briefed the participants on the latest TTF achievements in their part of the world. Check the video compilation for their experiences and learnings.


UNESCO Futures Literacy Forum

In December TTF was invited to Paris for the UNESCO Global Futures Literacy Design Forum in December. Some 150 futurists attended the two-day event organised by Riel Miller, head of Futures Literacy at UNESCO. The first day was a demonstration of Futures Literacy in action with many workshops. TTF partners from Germany and Finland were providing workshops too. These sessions were about various topics, for example what a Futures Literacy Laboratory in operations looks like by Tanja Hichert (South Africa), Roberto Poli (Italy) and Lydia Garrido (Uruguay) or about a high school curriculum for the future led by TTF's Finnish partners Markku Wilennius and Laura Pouru from the Finnish Futures Research Centre (FFRC). The second day was devoted to discussing a possible catalog of Futures Literacy materials in preparation for a UN Ministers Meeting later this year. Peter Bishop assembled a working group from the participants to work on educational materials for the catalogue. The first delivery is scheduled in June at the Learning Futures conference in Finland. Stay tuned!


Save the dates // MARCH 6, 2020 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 Day materials made by our Finnish partners are available for free in the Teach the Future Library, download them now. // JUNE 9, 2020 Teach the Future will host a meet up on June 9 in Finland as a pre-conference activity for the Futures Conference (see below). Save the date, more info will follow in our Spring newsletter. // JUNE 10 & 11, 2020 Futures Conference: On June 10 and 11 the Futures Conference will be held in Turku, Finland. The conference is a cross-disciplinary platform where participants can meet, share, and discuss new ideas concerning futures. This years' topic is Learning Futures.



New teaching materials

Our Finnish partners pointed out this inspiring future material to us. Art-filled journeys into the future is a method of futures education for children in lower stage comprehensive school. It offers tools for studying futures and developing futures thinking. The learning materials have been created by the arts teachers of Annantalo and Futures School/Tulevaisuuskoulury as a part of the Futures Laboratory concept. Download the materials in English for free.

New book: After Shock

After Shock marks the 50-year anniversary of Alvin Toffler’s, Future Shock. This book is a compendium of essays offering insightful reflections on the classic text and presenting compelling and surprising views of the future—through the very unique lenses of more than 100 of the world’s foremost futurists. Teach the Future contributed with an essay titled “Prepare students for tomorrow, teach the future today" which includes thoughts on futures education, the role of the teacher and future readiness. The book will be available from February 4 onwards via Amazon


TTF LIBRARY: Shaping Our Future

In the Teach the Future Library you can find many materials to teach futures thinking in your classroom. Shaping Our Future is a facilitator's guidebook for high school students who want to develop scenarios and plans for the future. It is similar to the Futures Thinking Playbook, but more suited to older students and even adults. Teach the Future has updated and republished this workshop for students, first developed by graduates of the University of Houston in collaboration with the Foundation For Our Future. The facilitator’s guide and video are distributed free of charge under a Creative Commons license. Download your copy for free. Do you have any materials you want to add to our library? Let us know!



TTF YOUTUBE: Teens workshop video Teach the Future has a YouTube channel with all kinds of videos for you to get inspired by. For example this video on how to do a short workshop with teens on scenario planning. This video was created by Teach the Future Netherlands. Do you have any relevant videos to add to our channel? Drop us a message!



Otto Tähkäpää

Teach the Future has many advocators in hubs worldwide. Let's take a closer look at Otto Tähkäpää, our advocator in Finland. Currently Otto works as futures specialist for Children and Youth Foundation where he also runs Futures Schools which he has co-founded in 2016. Additionally, Otto is a senior advisor for a strategic communications agency as well as running his own consulting practice. In his spare time, Otto has been one of the founders of the Finnish Futures Day and he is a member of the core team for Futures Specialists Helsinki. Despite being futurist, Otto’s background is in historical research. He has studied economic and social history and he holds a master’s degree in social sciences. Otto is also a student at the Master's Degree Programme in Futures Studies in Finland Futures Research Centre and a PhD student at the University of Helsinki. What drives you in life? My mission personally and professionally is to make the future great again. My goal is to help individuals, communities and companies to envision and act towards better and more sustainable futures. Why do you feel teaching the future is important? There are two main reasons. Firstly, the pace of the change is accelerating which is something that we humans are not equipped to deal with very well. Children and young people of today are living in an era which is characterized by fast changes and uncertainty, which is why they need to learn how to make decision based on future. Secondly, the escalating ecological crisis is a historically unique environmental problem, whose solution cannot be reduced to a single component. It is necessary to envision alternative, completely different and more sustainable futures. Why is teaching the future important specifically in Finland? Several studies and surveys conducted in Finland over the last few years suggest that young people have lost their confidence in the future. According to an annual youth barometer (2017), only 25 % of young people in Finland feel optimistic about the future of the world. In our own survey (2019), only 6 % of youngsters felt confident that we will succeed in mitigating climate change. Confidence in the future is crucial for all human well-being and it is linked to many aspects of physical and mental coping. I feel that the main objective for our futures work in Finland is to strengthen young people's confidence in the future and their ability to influence how it is shaped. Furthermore, I argue, that this is not only important but our moral duty as adults and educators. What do you think the world will look like if teaching the future becomes the default? Flourishing and sustainable. Our capacity to envision alternatives is crucial as the future of human societies must be adapted within the limits one planet. But our way of thinking and using the future is often too limited and vague to be useful. Consequently, teaching futures enables individuals to use the full potential of their futures imagination and act towards desired, sustainable futures.

Thank you for inspiration and dedication Otto! Connect with Otto via LinkedIN.


TTF wishes you a colourful and inspring new decade!

// 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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