Futures Literacy is insufficiently anchored in higher education. Especially in times of the ‘wicked challenges’ of the 21st century, there is a need for the systematic development of futures literacy as a fundamental future competence. Futures literacy “empowers the imagination, enhances our ability to prepare, recover and invent as changes occur … and is an essential competency for the 21st century” (UNESCO 2021). This includes the development of desirable images of the future, the assessment of technological consequences, the development of resilience, reflection, leadership skills and design competencies for possible future scenarios. In this context, the research collective explores different formats to counterbalance the increasing ‘future fatigue’ (Ward 2021) of Generation Z.
We aim the establish a continuous working, learning and thinking stream we call the “Futures Education Lab” in which we jointly develop interdisciplinary education formats that are offered at the Munich University of Applied Sciences and are open to students of all 14 faculties. Students work in interdisciplionary groups and jointly explore alternative desirable futures and become trained in futures studies and entrepreneurship. The formats are based on methods from the fields of Speculative Design, Design Futuring, Cultural Anthropology, Foresight, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Besides working with students directly, the collective aims to provide train-the-teacher-assets which help to promote methods such as STEEP analyses, Futures Wheel, Futures Cones or Future Personas which enhance futures literacy, but are still hardly used in higher education.