I signed up recently to be a member of the Foresight Education wiki (no longer active) which has as its vision "To teach as much about the future as we teach about the past." It's early days for the wiki which was set up by a group of futures educators who are working to increase teaching about the future in education across the board. Their vision highlights the biggest challenge to those of us who work in the futures field - convincing people that relying only on the past and present to inform decisions in an environment of rapid, complex and discontinuous change no longer works. Because the future might evolve over a range of possible pathways, you need to think strategically about what might happen in those plausible and alternative futures before you decide on what you will do today.

You can't predict the future, but you sure can think clearly about what might happen, and it's that sort of 'strategic thinking' skill that we need to be promoting and working to develop - not only in education, but in business and in our personal lives. It's about thinking differently and questioning some of the 'business-as-usual" assumptions that underpin our decision making processes.

As an example, some students of the University of Houston futures studies program have set up a wiki around "The Futures of the US". Designed as a resource for teachers in the context of the current US presidential elections, it's an example of how informed and systematic thinking about a range of issues can help to generate questions we might not have thought about if we do not consider the future implications of decisions we are making today.

You might say that you think about the future every day, but it's usually an unconscious skill that most of us don't recognise we have. Teaching foresight in schools and universities will help people recognise their inate foreisght capability, and how to use that skill to make more informed decisions today that contribute to a sustainable future for us all.

So, head over to the wiki to have a look, and let's you and I take up the challenge posed by the Foresight Education group:

Nurture the Future!
Become an Advocate of Foresight Education