The Foresight Project begins with choosing a topic and framing it in the following question: What is the future of (changing business/technological/sociological domain) as it relates to trends and change in (X, Y and/or Z categories)? By filling in the parentheses, Foresight students begin to articulate the critical and complex interrelationship between business and society, and how their interplay shapes our collective futures. Gender equity, global convergence of IT, sustainable development and healthcare issues are just a few of the subject categories students choose to address. The semester-long project requires students to work in teams on the following steps to create their final report:
- selecting a topic;
- researching the history and systems involved in their topic;
- analyzing data of the most significant trends and drivers of change;
- determining a baseline future from projections of the data analyzed;
- creating plausible alternative scenarios; and
- discussing the potential business and ethical implications.
Over the course of the semester, students learn to apply foresight techniques, such as systematic trend analysis and scenario development, to their topic areas. Since much of what they are studying involves emerging trends and evolving philosophies, critical and creative thinking about these issues is also absolutely necessary.
The culmination of the Foresight Project is a research paper documenting their findings, projections and recommendations, and presenting their project in class and at an end of semester event. Through the project, students emerge with a better understanding of how business is addressing global trends and issues, and how they as future business leaders can utilize the power of business for societal good.