Study Questions
-- a university of arizona course on methods and approaches for studying the future

These questions are to help you study. There will be no formal exams in the class. Questions are grouped by topics in the course modules. Begin your studying by looking over some questions dealing with the environment. The purpose of these questions is to tune up your Internet searching skills. Build your Internet searching skills early so you can use them throughout the course.
1. Getting your bearings
Initial study questions (focused on "environment" to tune up your Internet searching skills)
• Discuss these terms in "anticipating the future": history, vision, image
• What is the role of the long term past in understanding options about the long term future?
• Contrast the following terms
   a. Paradigm shifts vs trends
   b. Fads vs trends
   c. Assumptions vs facts
   d. Wildcards vs facts
   e. Vision vs image
   f. Forecast vs prediction
   g. Extrapolation vs model
   h. Group think vs mindset
   i. Science fiction vs technological forecasting
   j. Backcasting vs forecasting
• Define:
  a. Counter intuitive
  b. Work vs Leisure
  c. Genetically engineered foods
  d. Sustainability
  e. Focus Groups
2. Exploring and learning from others
• Define a "futurist"
• Which of these assumptions or statements are realistic? Why?
   a. World population will level between the years 2050 and 2075.
   b. Advances in genetic engineering will allow new forms of microorganisms, plants and animals to be common by 2025.
   c. Global currencies will be in use in almost all countries by 2025.
   d. Manufactures will offer customers unlimited variety in personalized products by 2025.
   e. Poverty as we know it will disappear from the globe by 2025.
3. Putting it all together
• Define and discuss driving forces of change.
• What are they?
• Why are they useful (if that is the case)?
• How do you use them?
• Identify 2-3 driving forces you believe are important in shaping the future.
• Contrast electronic discussion groups and face-to-face meetings (define your criteria as part of the question)
4. Keeping your eye on the future
• Identify 3-5 non-futures periodicals/journals useful to learn about the future (from your experience)
• Identify 3-5 ways to keep up on future-specific periodicals/journals
• Identify 3-5 friends or colleagues to share discussions about the future
5. Review and summary
• How does "learning about the future" help you in coping the world today? Give some examples.
• Develop an outline of a speech (30 min plus questions and answers) to the following groups:
   a. Community meeting of citizens
   b. University undergraduate class (any discipline)
   c. High school class
   d. Chamber of Commerce
   e. A newly formed futures group in the community
• Assuming you were a "futurist", how would you explain what you do to the following audiences:
   a. Your parents
   b. A stranger at a dinner party
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Prepared by Roger L. Caldwell