Foresight in Business and Society became a required course in the Fall semester of 2009 for all junior-level students at the Mendoza College of Business. Designed to dissolve the line between academic study and the real world, the course features guest lecturers, use of alternative class space and activities, a mentorship program, class discussions, and teaching by a team of instructors with diverse backgrounds. The semester-long, deep-dive Foresight Project tests research and analytical skills as student teams identify and research issues that have personal interest and far reaching impact.
The Foresight course begins with an introduction to "futuring" and an overview of global challenges and mega-trends from a variety of authoritative sources. It then examines methodologies and research techniques used in forecasting and analyzing probable future scenarios. Throughout the course students are challenged to develop and apply critical, creative and systems thinking in the context of specific issues.
- Develop an awareness of important issues and trends affecting society, including issues related to sustainability.
- Develop an understanding of the methodologies and tools used by organizations to identify trends, to consider the implications of change, to plan for alternative futures, and to suggest solutions leading to preferred futures.
- Develop various thinking and visionary skills, including critical/analytical thinking, systems thinking and creative thinking to effectively address complex problems.
- Explore specific responses and interventions to these issues and trends by government, business, NGOs, think-tanks, and other organizations.
- Produce well-reasoned research studies that address major societal issues, consider trends and future implications for society and business, and suggest appropriate solutions, in light of moral and ethical concerns.
Abbreviated Syllabus (PDF 18KB)