The goal of this assignment is to notice forces that shaped the past, present, and hypothesize how the future might be shaped by such forces.  You will work with a normative future such as the WBCSD plan for a sustainable 2050. The benchmark goals in that future are the starting point. Backcast by asking what needs to happen to achieve the stated benchmark goals decade by decade. For this assignment you will create a map from 2014 to 2054 where you explain decade by decade what needs to happen. Each benchmark goal is linked to Future Sign (or Weak Signs) in the present. Future signs are clues present today that enable anticipatory action. A future sign, consists of three dimensions: the signal, the issue, and the interpretation (Hiltunen, 2008). There are three challenges in this assignment: (a) identifying benchmark goals for 2054 in a normative future based on sustainability. (b) Backcasting decade by decade from the normative future to the present day. Identify goals for each decade, barriers, and risks that can derail the milestones along pathways of change. (c) Identify the future signs that support the pathways of change and benchmark goals.

Alternative futures.
From today to 2050.
Future signs: the future is here now, just not evenly distributed.
Future signals.
Benchmark goals.
Forces of change.
Project activities

Step 1

  1. [What] Pick one pathway of change in the World Business Council for Sustainable Development for a design exploration.
  2. [Who] Who is affected by the pathway of change you identified (e.g., individual, group, family, organization, public policy, nation, world, etc).

Step 2

  1. [Where] Identify “early signs” of the future that is relevant to your pathway of change.
  2. What pathways of change in the World Business Council for Sustainable Development relate to the early signs you identified?

Step 3

  1. Identify benchmark goals for 2050 in the World Business Council for Sustainable Development that are linked to your area of interest.
  2. How might intermediate goals and roadblocks by decade affect the domain you are working on?

Step 4. Communicate from the future back. Write a letter from the future, make a video call from the future, storyboard.

Step 5. Reflect on what you learned about the future.

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