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Teaching the Future is even more essential now!

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!


 

NEWS FROM OUR WORLD WIDE 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.



GERMANY: #missionutopia

Die Zukunfstbauer are our German partners and they are on Mission Utopia. They already collaborate with 20(!) schools on this mission to integrate futures thinking skills into regular education. Last November they held a teachers event to make them future ready and they hope to present results and ideas in Summer at the Museum for Futures in Berlin. More info (in German) on their beautifully designed website.


 


SPAIN: school orientation days

Our Spanish partners 'Mindset' were invited by Joyfe College in Madrid to share about futures thinking during orientation days for secondary and high school students. Our new Teach the Future Network Coordinator, Lourdes Rodriguez, is part of Mindset. Check out the setup and some pictures over here.


 


USA: futures coding game

Our teacher advocator Bess Pitman Baldwin teamed up with Tom Rau of Code the Dream to design a game to generate stories about the future. It is part of an extracurricular weekly Futures Club offering for 6th and 7th graders at Durham Nativity School, an independent, tuition-free school for boys from financially disadvantaged families.


"We wanted to give the students a closer look at coding while helping them imagine possible (and often preposterous) futures. Using the Institute for the Futures Artifacts from the Future engine as a starting point, we designed a game to generate the setting (i.e., the 'once upon a time' idea) for a story about the future. After brainstorming ideas about the key setting parameters to fuel the idea engine, the students helped Tom edit the code to add background videos and other style enhancements to the program. Please visit this link to explore the game Tom and our Futures Club students developed."


 


BRAZIL: how to hack the current covid and post-coved scenario?

Our Brazilian hub organised a hackathinking event to explore this topic. It was initially designed to be a listening space for students but ended up being an open space for students and educators. In addition to questions, inquiries and provocations, word clouds were used to gather the participants' perception regarding the post-covid scenario in education. It was held on April 28 with 112 registered participants, mostly educators from high school and higher education. Mediation was in the hands of the TTF Brazil ambassadors Lidia Zuin, Josias Silva and Carlos Piazza. The entire event was broadcast on Microsoft Teams, which together with CORE Educação and Centro Paula Souza supported the event. The event was recorded and will be available soon on the TTF Brasil channel.


 


THE NETHERLANDS: Children's Trend Speech

Teach the Future is a collaborator in an event where children share their future visions to the board of their municipality. This is normally a live event where the mayor and/or eldermen are present too. Due to of Covid-19 measurements the April event in the municipality of Breda was held online: check the video (in Dutch). There is also a 'Kinder Trend Redes' planned in Spring and Fall in the municipalities of Eindhoven and Hilvarenbeek. Stay tuned via the website.


 


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.


 

EVENTS




Global Foresight Summit


Teach the Future appeared in the Global Foresight Summit, a not-for-profit virtual conference with the goal of raising awareness in futures literacy, strategic foresight, and futures thinking. It was started in March 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns by FFWD, a global Futures Intelligence & Strategic Foresight consultancy, as a pro-bono initiative to help educate people around the globe during this time of global confinement. Peter Bishop shared Teach the Future's mission of educating futures thinking in schools worldwide. Recordings will be available soon via the GFS website.


 


Futures Conference Finland


The Futures Conference 2020 with the theme 'Learning Futures | Futures of Learning' was scheduled in June in Finland and postponed until 2021. But you won't have to wait to meet your fellow futurists. The organisers host an online pre-conference event on June 11. Erica Bol of Teach the Future will be one of the panelists in this online event. Stay updated for timings and program via their website.



 

INSPIRATION




Bright Spots


Amidst the darkness, BrightSpots are shining through. Teach the Future is collaborating with We Create Futures, Chris Clay and Tanja Hichert in collecting Bright Spots.


Covid-19 has made many of us feel like we’ve been plunged into a real life disaster movie. However, among all these dystopian headlines there are bright spots; pockets of positivity, new projects, community initiatives, or technologies that have emerged from this crisis.


Join us as we embark on an online quest to identify BrightSpots. This quest will give us all a dose of much needed positivity and begin opening our minds to new and incredible future possibilities that might have been hard to imagine before.


// Teachers: The website contains videos with fun activities to do for elementary students.


Submit your BrightSpots or check the submitted ones: https://www.bright-spots.org


 


VIDEO PANEL: The future of education Our South African advocators Janine and Zanne were featured on an episode about the Future of Education and SDG 4 - Education for all by USB, Stellenbosch University.


 


PODCASTS


Teach the Future has been participating in two podcasts recently. Have a listen!

  • Futures Intelligent Leadership: Innovative Wisdom for Future-Ready Leadership // Peter Bishop is featured in Episode 9: Uncertainty in History, Teaching Futures, digital Information vs tech skills, Why we need more uncertain leadership.

  • FuturePod: Peter Bishop is participating in the episode on Foresight in a time of Coronavirus.


 


DOCUMENTARY: Toward Singularity. From our amazing brain and its inspiring design for artificial neural networks to the hope of artificial general intelligence (AGI), this feature film covers the science of emulating the power of our own brains. Will such technology surpass our own intelligence? Will we reach “The Singularity”? And what will this mean for humanity? Peter Bishop is interviewed and featured in this documentary. You can purchase or hire the full documentary over here.


 

RESOURCES



TTF LIBRARY: elementary foundation set


In the Teach the Future Library you can find many materials to teach futures thinking in your classroom. Are you homeschooling your kids right now and looking for materials to keep them busy? We are featuring an elementary foundation set made by Nida Alavi from Missouri City, USA. This set introduces young learners to the fundamental questions that drive foresight: What do you think will happen? What might happen instead? What do you want to happen? These lessons use read-aloud, collaborative writing, and visual learning strategies. They can supplement or be incorporated into any literacy program. The facilitator’s guide and a set of images is distributed free of charge under a Creative Commons license. // Do you have any materials you want to add to our library? Let us know!


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TTF YOUTUBE: Teacher training experiences Students in a teacher training program of Windesheim Applied University are engaging in a Futures Week. During this week these future teachers train their future thinking skills and engage in activities like scenario planning. After this module a group of teacher trainees created this video to share their experience on learning about the future. Watch 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!


 

IN THE SPOTLIGHT



Chris Clay


Teach the Future has many advocators in hubs worldwide. Let's take a closer look at Chris Clay, our advocator in New Zealand. I left the UK 15 years ago and moved to New Zealand and have become a fully-fledged Kiwi. My professional life has been varied: I am a recovering high school science teacher :) In 2011 Microsoft named me Global Innovative Educator of the year. By 2013 I had left the classroom and began working as an education consultant whilst also co-founding successful education startup The Mind Lab. Over the last 6 years I have spent a lot of time supporting innovation in a range of areas (also beyond education). Such as leading Youth projects for organisations like Singularity University and founding an education consultancy called Education Unleashed which focuses on teaching collective individual intelligence. I am also a partner at consultancy agency We Create Futures. Most recently I have co-founded a non-profit initiative called Bright-Spots and created videos for elementary students which are aired on national tv. What drives you in life? I am very aware that we are at a point in time where our planetary and social health face immense threats. I am hugely motivated to explore ways that we can use our collective imaginations to develop ways to live, work and play in ways that promote regeneration. I am very interested in how the way we frame our circumstances can change how we feel about change. Why do you feel teaching the future is important? I feel strongly that compulsory education systems have been used predominantly to colonise (people's or imaginations in general). Teaching the future provides an invitation to think beyond the narratives in which we are enculturated and imagine something new and better. I think this is a critical part of resetting the systems that are threatening our social and planetary health. Why is teaching the future important specifically in New Zealand? We are a small country known for a range of world firsts including granting women the vote, the 8-hour working day, and even flight (yes before the Wright brothers!). As Kiwis we pride ourselves on our ingenuity and our size allows us to be relatively agile as a nation. However, we are not without our challenges with the impact of colonisation being very obvious (including significant equity gaps between indigenous and non-indigenous groups), an environment struggling to cope with the impacts of industrialised agriculture and house prices that are some of the most expensive in the world. All this provides many reasons for us to place the future as a very important subject indeed. We're also already in the future relative to pretty much every other nation! What do you think the world will look like if teaching the future becomes the default? I do not think that simply adding "the future" as a new subject in our existing education systems is likely to be transformational. However, I think we can find new formats and opportunities for teaching the future which could be. While this will not become any kind of "default", teaching and learning about the future could begin to take new forms and support an increasingly wide range of people. With the rise in climate change strikes and impacts related to our recent Covid-19 crisis; teaching the future may relate to activism at least as much as pedagogy. Thank you for inspiration and dedication Chris! Connect with Chris via LinkedIN and don't forget to upload your Bright Spots!


 


TTF wishes you and your loved ones lots of health. Take care of each other. <3

// 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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