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Futureportal… an ezine on the future, January 2012

Welcome to Futureportal, an ezine of the Institute for the Future at Anne Arundel Community College (IF @ AACC), January 2012, volume 8, issue 1...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

Wind farms may offer a lifeline for future energy needs. This database for offshore wind farms throughout the world gives status information and data linked to satellite maps. While there are concerns about adverse affects for wildlife, this recent report of a scientific study of the environment around a Dutch North Sea windfarm finds mostly favorable affects.

  • applied foresight ... using the perspective 

What is the economic future of the United States? Initially, it is useful to investigate current economic and financial trends as revealed in such sources as a graph of the Gross Domestic Product per Citizen of the US & Selected Countries, 1960 - present; the graph of  Monthly US Unemployment Rate, 1948 - present; the chart of Monthly US Consumer Price Index, 1913 - present; and the graph of Monthly US Balance of Trade, 1992 - present. Additionally, it is useful to review information from such groups as the Congressional Budget Office and the US Department of the Treasury. However, in terms of shaping desirable future economic outcomes, the scenario planning method promotes foresight-informed actions. These Global Business Network sites give insights to the purpose and process of scenario planning. Generally, several different scenarios are developed and investigated. The process must account for key assumptions, unknowns and unknowables, and wild cards. Stakeholders of this economic scenario planning include the government at all levels, the private sector, civic organizations, and individual citizens.The process should specifically target education and innovation -- arguably two of the most important elements of any economic plan. A successful scenarios process will give stakeholders a launch pad for measurable, results-based strategies and action plans.

  • on the horizon... learning opportunities & events - local, regional and global
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 is open  for the Spring 2012 term.

Create the future... today at the blog of the international futures ezine, Futuretakes. The blog can be a learning resource, or just a great mind-expander. Many of the questions are cross-cutting and trans-disciplinary. They are organized into categories readers' convenience.

Registration is now open for the WorldFuture 2012 Conference, July 27-29, in Toronto, Canada. This is the annual conference of the World Future Society.

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