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BUS 294 W — Seeing the Future in the Present: Learning to Think Three Steps Ahead

Quarter: Winter
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Feb 5—Mar 8
Refund Deadline: Feb 8
Unit: 1
Tuition: $530
Instructor(s): Christopher Ireland, Lee Shupp
Limit: 45
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Flex Online(About Formats)
Feb 5—Mar 8
5 weeks
Refund Date
Feb 8
1 Unit
Christopher Ireland, Lee Shupp
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Foreseeing the future is a power typically associated with fairy tales or mythology. In reality, it’s a learnable skill with practical benefits for business and personal decision-making. By understanding the dynamics of change, examining our assumptions about how the world works, and improving our capacity for critical foresight, we can better identify emerging opportunities or competitive threats before they impact our businesses. We can also see new possibilities and uncover points of intervention, leading toward better outcomes for our customers, our employees, or our planet. In addition, learning to anticipate potential futures enhances our openness, our systems thinking skills, even our creativity.

Rather than being a vague or unknown variable, the future emerges from patterns observable in the present, and this course teaches students to identify and accurately interpret those patterns. Through lectures, readings, and exercises, we will explore the practice of futures thinking, how it is used by businesses and organizations, and why disruptive innovations like blockchain, artificial intelligence, and the metaverse are likely to change the world. Students will gain an appreciation for the role future studies plays in strategic planning, product development, risk analysis, and more.

This course is appropriate for any student with an interest in understanding future studies and its application in a business or personal context.

Adjunct Professor, Design, California College of the Arts; Co-Founder, Cheskin

Christopher Ireland is the co-author of Changemakers: How Leaders Can Design Change in an Insanely Complex World and Rise of the DEO: Leadership by Design. She was a founding partner and CEO of Cheskin, a consultancy focused on design innovation that supported Microsoft, Google, Apple, Ford, and PepsiCo, among others. Ireland received an MBA from UCLA.

Futurist, Innovation Leader, and Design Researcher; Founding Member of the Association of Professional Futurists

Lee Shupp is an applied futurist who helps companies better understand how to achieve their optimal future. He has 20 years of consulting experience guiding companies like Microsoft, Apple, Google, Intel, and many others. Shupp teaches master’s-level foresight classes, most recently at California College of the Arts.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.