The second book-writing collaboration between Peter Bishop and myself has produced a new textbook, Teaching about the Future: The Basics of Foresight Education, published by Palgrave MacMillan. This book brings together more than thirty-five years of experience in teaching about the future from the University of Houston’s Graduate Program in Futures Studies.
In addition to serving as a text for the UH foresight program, we hope to spread the practice of teaching futures studies and strategic foresight to the rest of the academic world by showing how it’s done at UH. We believe that students at all levels of education would benefit from instruction on how to think about and indeed influence the future. Our goal is that educators teach as much about the future as they do about the past. After all, the future is where we are all going to live!
We would like to thank all of the extended Houston Futures community for being a part of this textbook. The program today is the result of countless contributions over the years that have adjusted, changed, modified, added and subtracted to the current curriculum. Our job with this book was to “get it on paper” and share it with the world.
The curriculum is summarized in a comprehensive fashion, so that those seeking to introduce foresight to their schools have a conceptual guide from which to select and design curricula or classes of their own. The book is organized into three parts:
- Part One, Understanding, contains the conceptual backdrop to thinking about the future.
- Part Two, Mapping, describes how to construct forecasts of potential future outcomes or alternative futures.
- Part Three, Influencing, explores how to take action to shape the future.
Individual topics range from the basics of scanning, forecasting, visioning, and planning to social change, systems thinking, and alternative perspectives. Andy Hines