First future research course hopes to contribute to tomorrow’s world

Summary

Students at Erasmus university college in Brussels will teach students to focus on the future and consider the impact of their assumptions and expectations

Futures and foresight

A Brussels university college has introduced the country’s first course on future research. In strategic futures orientation, third-year students in the Idea & Innovation Management study stream at Erasmus university college will learn to “think of the future”.

The course is an introduction to the methods and approaches of future research and is part of an international programme for exchange students.

“For some time there have been courses on ‘futures’ and ‘foresight’ in the curricula of higher education institutions in our neighbouring countries, Scandinavia, the US and Taiwan,” lecturer Maya Van Leemput told Bruzz. “Increasingly, governments, companies, organisations and other groups want to look ahead in a systematic and thorough way and devote attention to long-term evolutions and transformation.”

Students will learn to think systematically about the future in order to orient themselves better in the present. “You may not control the future completely, but we all contribute to this future,” Van Leemput said. “We all think about it, and these projections influence our actions in the present. Our assumptions and expectations have an impact on our life.”

Last year the college set up the Applied Futures Research knowledge centre, which has a team of 230 students, lecturers and researchers. “We want to contribute to the world of tomorrow from Brussels,” said Katy Vancoillie, head of Idea & Innovation Management.