Houston Futures
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Research Projects
Creating new paths for futures discovery

Our faculty is regularly involved in speaking, workshopping, and consulting in addition to teaching. Some of our publicly available work is below.

Research & Training Projects

The Houston Foresight Program launched a concerted effort to develop a research capability as part of its strategic planning back in 2014. Thanks to the generous sponsor of Kiki Suarez and Lumina Foundation, we were able to kick the program off that year.

Research project: This is a formal project run through the university research office. They would typically involve 3-6 or up to a dozen students with my oversight. We can also bring in other faculty and alums as desired. The timing is flexible -- it can range from a semester to six months to a year! This is a good option when you want a wide range of perspectives and inputs; and/or want support and do something nice for the Foresight program or universities. While students are relatively cheap, the university requires their cut, so while projects might cost less than typical, see above on “being nice to Foresight” as a motivation. The ideal project here is one without severe time or deadline pressure; ideally one of those projects you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t had the time or people to do it.

They take a fair bit of time to set up -- think of at least couple of months, and dealing  with contracts and lawyers….thus, those without time pressure are best.

Custom Certificate training. We can arrange 2-3 day training courses based on our week-long Certificate “boot camp” on your site. We provide instructor(s), workbook, and textbook. You provide the setup: location, flipcharts, AV, food, etc.

Internships: This is a single student(s) on a topic of interest for roughly a semester -- ballpark is 150 hours (15 hours a week for 10 week). This can range from scanning to doing a “future of____” research project to just being a part of your team in whatever capacity supports your foresight work. These are best set up to coincide with the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. Ideally we set it up before the semester starts to student can sign up for credit (late august, early January, or late may). But there are ways to handle an internship at any point. The internships can be paid or not -- a bit easier to recruit for the paid ones. These days most of them are done remotely; if in-person is desired, we just need a little more lead time.

Class visit: This can be a lecture or class-based workshop session. It is great to have guest lectures “from the real world.” We can sometimes arrange a workshop-type session if it fits with a topic we want to cover in class (or gets close, at least, we do have some leeway). For instance, we had a firm exploring the future of the urban landscape visit our classroom and go through a facilitated ideation session with students. Keep in mind that most of our students are online, so any session in class needs to accommodate this.

Sample research projects

We have been working with the US Forest Service on setting up a Horizon Scanning system. You can check out blog posts highlight key scan hits on our blog. We also just produced our first collaborative Forest Futures newsletter.

network of faculty, alums, and, of course, the students.

We completed a project on “The Future of Work for NASA’s Langley Research Center.” The project used scenario planning to create long-term views of the future of work. The scenarios will be used to “wind tunnel” the current plans and activities of NASA, and enable them to make the appropriate adjustments to their current strategy. The goal was to stretch thinking out to the world of work in 2050 and then “bring it back” to a strategic approach and initiatives that could be started in the present. The Houston Foresight team consisted of Andy Hines (PI), alum Maria Romero (Project Manager), and students Tim Morgan, George Paap, and Mathew Palubicki.

We also completed a project with Kimberly Clark Corporation on “Technology in Baby and Childcare Products To 2030” that we are briefing at their headquarters this month. It is currently confidential, so we are not yet able to share it. The five-month study focused on consumer attitudes, highlighting parents and the growing subcategory known as “baby tech.” The findings offer specifically long-term strategic insights with respect to the use of technology in products for babies and young children. The foresight methodologies used included Horizon Scanning, Three Horizons, and Causal Layered Analysis as well as pieces of Houston Foresight’s Framework Foresight approach. The Houston Foresight team consisted of Andy Hines (PI), faculty Alex Whittington (Project Manager), and students Tim Morgan, Justin Ochs, Cindi Stuebner, and Mathew Palubicki.

We explored  the future of Student Needs 2025 and Beyond for Lumina Foundation, a leading higher education foundation with a goal of raising higher educational attainment levels from 40% today to 60% in 2025. We were tasked with providing Lumina a view of how student needs are evolving over the next dozen or so years. Put simply, could changes in student needs alter the equation of what higher education will need to providing by 2025 and beyond?
To do this, we assembled a team of two dozen faculty, alums, and students organized around six teams exploring evolving student needs related to living, learning, working, playing, connecting, and participating. We used Houston’s Framework Foresight process to produce forecasts of student needs and identify the implications and issues they suggest for higher education.

Check out the final report and a series of blog posts reporting on project findings and a microsite on the Lumina Foundation home page.


Bishop & Hines, Teaching about the Future, which was awarded first prize in the “methodology and practice” category in this year’s Association of Professional Futurists “Most Significant Futures Works” competition.

Hines & Bishop, Thinking about the Future, Guidelines for Strategic Foresight, 2nd edition,

Hines, ConsumerShift: How Changing Values Are Reshaping the Consumer Landscape

Hines, 2025: Scenarios of U.S. and Global Society Reshaped by Science and Technology


Bishop, Hines & Collins compiled an annotated bibliography of foresight works.

Bishop, "Thinking Like a Futurist"

Bishop, "Teaching Systems Thinking"

Bishop, Hines & Collins, "The Current State of Scenario Development"

Bishop, "A Case for the Future in the Gifted and Talented Classroom"

Grim, "Foresight Maturity Model(FMM): Achieving Best Practices in the Foresight Field"

Hines, "How Accurate Are Your Forecasts?"

Hines, "An Audit for Organizational Futurists"

Oliver Markley, "Research and Action toward the Upside of Down"

Videos & Web

A Futurist Journey, Dr. Hines's Ted Talk on his career as a futurist.

Interview With Dr Peter Bishop - A Futures Studies Workshop - A explanation on why we look to the future.

Mapping Our Future - Dr. Bishop speaks at a futures strategy conference in New Zealand.

Is Houston Ready for the Future? - Hines speaking with Houston PBS' Ernie Manouse on future of Houston, Texas.

Foresight Maturity Model - Terry Grim developed this tool for assessing an organization's foresight capabilities (with some help from Hines & Bishop).