Building Resilience In a Time of Transition: Imaging a Fossil Free Future

Dates: November 17, 2012
Location: The Graduate Institute, Bethany, CT
Conducted by: The Graduate Institute and Pax Educare Consulting
Course Instructors: Mary Lee Morrison
Course fees: $50
NPA Certificate Points: 1 CEUs: .7 NPA Course #: NCP05.2
Spheres of Peace: personal, ecological

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For a sneak peak at the big ideas introduced in this course check out the faculty blog post by course instructor Mary Lee Morrison: Futures-Invention: Imaging a Fossil Free World.

”The rise and fall of images of the future precedes or accompanies the rise and fall of cultures. As long as a society’s image is positive and flourishing, the flower of culture is in full bloom. Once the image begins to decay and lose its vitality, however, the culture does not long survive” (Fred Polak, Dutch futurist, translated by E. Boulding, 1973).“Preferred futuring initiates a large paradigm shift, taking us from being powerless victims to being empowered and connected to our deep passions and motivated to work together to create a future we want. It means we are responsible and cannot blame others.” (Lawrence Lippitt, 1998)

Images of the future motivate behavior in the present, according to historical, cultural and psychological evidence (E Boulding, 1988). We cannot work for a world we cannot imagine. In this time of transition of our global planet, it seems imperative that we develop the capacity to vision a world very different from that we now know and inhabit, and move beyond fear and despair. Based on the work of futurists Elise Boulding, Warren Zeigler and others, participants in this “futures workshop” will work together to construct a positive world 30 years into the future and, through several visualization techniques and analysis, create action steps for the present to work toward this imaged world.

Learning Goals

  • Participants will create a positive vision of a future world based on significantly less use of fossil fuels
  • Participants will leave the workshop empowered to work toward creating this vision
  • Participants will gain an understanding of the concepts and processes involved in a futures workshop

Core Knowledge

  • Concepts related to the academic discipline of futures
  • Practical application of futures theory to peacebuilding
  • Experience with multiple forms of cognitive learning: nonverbal, communicative, cooperative and analytical

Core Skills

  • Imaging
  • Reflective thinking
  • Nonverbal cognition
  • Cooperation
  • Community building