Back from the Future We Want: Backcasting as a pedagogical practice towards sustainable futures
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)
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.
United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development series, 5
future visions, envisioning, higher education, education for sustainable development, student-led education
Research subject Education
IdentifiersURN: 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