As a result of this process, we as a group have come to several different conclusions:
Within these future scenarios are very prevalent themes, including sustainability, science, society, and systems. We came to these four themes by analyzing the futures and deciding on similarities and trendlines that were apparent. For example, ‘Sustainability’ in the future ‘Living Within Earth’s Carrying Capacity.’ We then identified several sub-themes, including environmental, social, and economic. We were able to break it down even further and establish all the possibilities and what we can do to have a positive impact – climate solutions, responsibility, demographics – to name a few.
Through analyzing these futures, we were also able to identify several characteristics that it would take to not only survive but thrive in these situations. One characteristic, for example, was the ability to adapt – adapt to different circumstances, unknown situations, new ways of thinking and living, etc. We thought it was very important to identify these while trying to be proactive for ourselves and everyone else. If we can realize them now while we still have time, we will only be doing our future selves a favour as we will be prepared.
To conclude this deep dive into the future of students and education, I’d like to bring it back to why we did this in the first place. The reason we did this was to help the students of today better prepare themselves for the future of tomorrow, whether that be by gaining new skills or seeing the world through a new lens. We used the SSHRC trends to identify how our society is changing and what the future might look like someday. We came up with a bunch of different futures, some of which are very Sci-fi but at their core are plausible. I hope that this deep dive was of use to you and you got something out of it!
Thank you to everyone who was a part of this and thanks to the Office of Open Learning for supporting our student endeavors.