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Futureportal… an ezine on the future, April 2014

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Welcome to Futureportal, an ezine of the Institute for the Future at Anne Arundel Community College (IF @ AACC), April 2014, volume 10, issue 4...We study the future to help build a better tomorrow.   

Inside this issue...

  • futures thinking... looking ahead
  • applied foresight... using the perspective
  • on the horizon... learning opportunities & events - local, regional and global

futures thinking ... looking ahead

The sobering, recently-released climate change report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) focuses on risks. The report is organized in three sections: A) “Observed impacts, vulnerability and adaptions”, B) “Future risks and opportunities for adaption”, and C) “Managing future risks and building resilience”. The report identifies eight key risks, categorized with high confidence due to the magnitude of related scholarly research. Among these key risks are systemic risks leading to the breakdown of infrastructure networks and critical services, risk of food insecurity and the breakdown of food systems, and disrupted livelihoods in low-lying coastal zones. Unfortunately, the problems leading to these risks are already manifesting themselves. Droughts and heat waves are becoming more intense and frequent, corn and wheat yields are decreasing, animals are migrating to cooler regions, among many other indicators. Here is the link to the report’s summary for policy makers.

applied foresight ... using the perspective

Understanding the causes of climate change, as presented on this U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) webpage, serves as a driver for the urgency to implement low impact energy sources. This Stanford University Mechanical Engineering Department site presents the need for alternatives to fossil fuels. An innovative space-based solar power system is in a preliminary stage of research, as described on this U.S. Department of Energy site. Other, more well-developed low impact energy sources include conventional solar energy, wind energy, and ocean wave energy.

on the horizon... learning opportunities & events

The Brown Bag Lunch Seminar for April is:

"Genomics and the Individual:
How Much Do You Want to Know?"

by Dr. Tammy Domanski
Professor of Biology, AACC
Wednesday, April 16, 1 - 1:50 PM
Careers Building (CRSC) 155, AACC Arnold campus
This event is free and open to the public  (map)

Interested in a course on the future for college credit?
Check our Exploring the Future (FTR /BPA /SOC /PSY 105) course listing. This is a 3 credit-hour General Education course which also satisfies the diversity requirement, and it is offered in either online or face-to-face formats. Registration will open soon  for the Fall Term of 2014.

Registration is now open for the WorldFuture 2014 Conference, "What If". The conference will be in Orlando, Florida, USA, July 11 - 13, 2014.

The Futureportal supports the spirit of community among colleagues and the synergy of working together.