Brainstorm – Topics

During the brainstorm process of this futures activity, ideas and situations were put together in a list. These futures aligned with the trends outlined by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) that ultimately lead to the sci-fi futures listed below. During the beginning of this process, each coop student picked a few trends that interested them and looked more into the topic. From there we individually brain stormed what we envision a future to look like if the trend was followed. Similarly, we imaged some impacts on individuals, the schooling system and what we believe school would look like. The SSHRC trends that were the original inspiration and interest was ‘Working in a Digital Economy’, ‘The Emerging Asocial Society’ and ‘Living Within Earth’s Carrying Capacity’.

As a group we then took a deeper dive to see if our imaginations had similar ideas and to see if connections could be made. By incorporating these three trends into other emerging SSHRC trends, a total of 8 ideas of issues/worlds were created.

List of SSHRC Trends
Where our world could be heading described by SSHRC Trends

Company Town

This idea follows the SSHRC trend of ‘Envisioning Governance Systems That Work’. Similar to that of the movie “The Lorax”, the town is controlled by the company it surrounds.

Journey to Space

This idea follows the trend of ‘Inhabiting Challenging Environments’ but can closely be related to both ‘Living within Earth’s Carrying Capacity’ and ‘The Persuasive Contamination of Nature’. The idea is this planet could no longer be habitable and a new planet would be colonized.

Metaverse

Following the trend of ‘Working in The Digital Economy’, the idea would be that everything is online. This includes clothes or grocery shopping, socializing, entertaining oneself, and even healthcare.

Waste Overproduction

This trend follows ‘Living Within Earth’s Carrying Capacity’ in a destructive way that disturbs the planet and creates a planet that is overcrowded with garbage.

Following this idea is the idea that the garbage would pollute the oceans destroying fish and restricting access to food.

Further building off this idea, a world with no water was visioned. This was due to contamination, consumption, or evaporation.

Restricted Knowledge 

This trend follows ‘truth under fire in a post-fact world’. Focusing on the idea that social media can be restricted and controlled.

Lab-Grown Food

Following the trend of ‘Living Within Earth’s Carrying Capacity’, this idea follows the assumption that with the growing population, food would become scarce and other options of production would be explored.

Social Hierarchy 

Following the trend of ‘The Evolving Bio-Age’, this topic’s idea is that advancing technology such as DNA splicing would create a divide between the population.

Continuing off this and adding in aspects of ‘humanity +’, the hierarchy again evolves into a divide between individuals with chip implantation and those without.

Digital Monitoring

The last idea follows the trend of ‘the changing nature of security and conflict’. The concept is that every move of every individual is being watched. This includes both inside and outside the house, privacy would cease to exist.

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Future Activity by Office of Open Learning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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