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Back from the Future We Want: Backcasting as a pedagogical practice towards sustainable futures
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala Centre for Sustainable Development, CSD Uppsala, Centre for Environment and Development Studies.
2017 (English)In: Envisioning futures for environmental and sustainability education / [ed] Peter Blaze Corcoran, Joseph P. Weakland and Arjen E.J. Wals, Wageningen Academic Publishers: Wageningen Academic Publishers, 2017Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

How can education train imagination and creativity to think about ‘the future we want?’ How can we create learning experiences to head towards these desirable futures? In this chapter, we explore backcasting as a pedagogical practice in the group project ‘Back from the Future We Want’, as a part of the interdisciplinary student-led course ‘Global Challenges and Sustainable Futures’. In small groups, students were asked to choose a specific city/village in the world and: (1) describe their visions of a ‘sustainable and desirable future’ for the region in year 2100; (2) develop a transition strategy to reach the described future written as a fictional ‘history’ between 2015 and 2100; and (3) form concrete recommendations for today. Overall, this assignment gave students the opportunity to think and discuss what a ‘sustainable and desirable future’ would include, and provided new ways of looking at the present from a future perspective. Their visions suggested new normativity in each region, which expressed critiques towards present society in various forms, and the process allowed students to think of solutions and how to transform society. The assignment holds further potential as material to have critical discussions about societal directions, including technological, cultural, and ideological assumptions. This chapter intends to inspire further development of sustainable futures education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wageningen Academic Publishers: Wageningen Academic Publishers, 2017.
Series
United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development series, 5
Keyword [en]
future visions, envisioning, higher education, education for sustainable development, student-led education
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-316588DOI: 10.3920/978-90-8686-846-9ISBN: 978-90-8686-303-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-316588DiVA: diva2:1078425
Available from: 2017-03-03 Created: 2017-03-03 Last updated: 2017-03-09

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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Output format
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