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PDV 91 — How to Think Like a Futurist: Improve Your Powers of Imagination, Invention, and Capacity for Change

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: On campus
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Sep 26—Oct 24
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Oct 9
Unit(s): 1 Units
Tuition: $240
Status: Open
Fall
On campus
Mondays
7:00—8:50 pm
Date(s)
Sep 26—Oct 24
5 weeks
Drop By
Oct 9
1 Units
Fees
$240
Open
Can you picture the three most important technologies in your life twenty years from today? Could you tell a vivid story about the single biggest challenge you’ll personally face five years from now? What about the biggest challenge the world will face in fifty years? Thinking about the far-off future isn’t just an exercise in intellectual curiosity. It’s a practical skill that, new research reveals, has a direct neurological link to greater creativity, empathy, and optimism. In other words, futurist thinking gives you the ability to create change in your own life and the world around you, today.

In this course, you’ll learn essential habits for thinking about the future that will increase the power of your practical imagination. These futurist habits include counter-factual thinking (imagining how the past could have turned out differently); signals hunting (looking for leading-edge examples of the kind of change you want to see in the world); and autobiographical forecasting. We’ll discuss the scientific research that explains how each habit can have a positive impact on your life, from helping you become a more original thinker to making you a more persuasive communicator. By the end of this course, you will have the playful and practical tools you need to imagine how the world (and your life) could be very different—and to use your newfound imagination to create change today.

Jane McGonigal, Director of Games Research and Development, Institute for the Future

Jane McGonigal created forecasting games for partners like the World Bank, the Rockefeller Foundation, the New York Public Library, and the American Heart Association. Well known for her TED talks on creativity and resilience, she is the author of two New York Times bestselling books, Reality Is Broken and SuperBetter. She received a PhD in performance studies from UC Berkeley.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Kevin Kelly, The Inevitable (ISBN 978-0525428084)
(Recommended) Jane McGonigal, Reality is Broken (ISBN 978-0143120612)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)