Please read and reflect on the following executive summary for this proposal,
or even better, the full proposal given here: FuturesThinkingProposal.pdf
Then please read and contribute to the commentary for this proposal.
In his Charge to the Class of 2011, President Lambert laid out challenges to the generation we are now educating, including remaking public education, facing the debt issue, the need to find practical solutions for energy and environmental problems and to find our way to a resilient and vigorous practice of religious tolerance. This QEP proposes that Elon embrace the project of teaching students the necessary skills to think in distinctively critical, creative, and constructive new ways – in short, Futures Thinking (FT) – at a whole new level of deliberate aspiration and specificity.
Suppose that in ten years all Elon graduates were able to:
Develop and implement a futures-oriented curricular initiative systematically integrated into GST110. On the upper level, mandate a futures component in senior seminars, and/or a separate course (“Chemistry: Past, Present, Future”, “The Future of History”, etc.) in each major. Create Immersion Semesters for students interested in taking carefully-coordinated clusters of futures-oriented courses in various disciplines, with a coordinated travel component. Create a Futures Studies minor with affiliated faculty from across the University.
Create an independent office of diverse Futures Advocates to challenge and diversify our usual operating assumptions and practices in regard to the future, including establishing a series of invited Visiting Futures Visionary/Scholars who will speak both to Elon’s situation and to the region’s. Commit to funding at least one major new future-oriented regional or global initiative per year, designed from the start to be able to spin off into independent, on-going projects (that might also employ and showcase our students and graduates). Initiate a "funding best futures project," which involves students led by faculty filtering foundation requests for philanthropy, with the possibility of developing a global reputation for philanthropic futuring. Create and “brand” a futures studies curriculum for K-12 educators. Establish a campus-wide foresight unit to monitor emerging-futures scenarios. Launch highly visible and carefully thought-through small–scale pilot projects on or near campus, such as incubators for new technologies, projects to revivify locally degraded economies/ecologies, and arts initiatives with a distinctive futures focus. Make Elon a visible generative node both for new programs and for new ideas in the area.
The full proposal given here: FuturesThinkingProposal.pdf