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Best of Houston Foresight at WFS

Katie King, The Future of School Structures and Spaces

Adam Cowart, The Future of Identity

Johann Schutte, The Future of First Contact


Adam Cowart, Alternative Currencies: The Future of Societal Transaction

Justin Kugler, The Future of Industrial Activity in Space

Omar Sahi, The Future of News Media


Jim Breaux, "Future of Emergency Preparedness"

Kurt Callaway, "The Harvesting of Space Resources"

Laura Schlehuber, "The Future of National Performance 2030"


Heather Schlegel, "Success: The Human Problem"

Jim Breaux, "The Future of Weather-Related Disaster Recovery"

Sean Daken, "The Future of Cause Marketing"


Jason Swanson, "Learning Management Systems" Machines That Think"

Josh Lindenger, "Locative Media: The Internet Always Knows Where you Are"

Heather Schlegel & Emily Empel, "The Demographic Transition"


Sara Robinson, "The Future of the Progressive Movement in the United States"

Heather Schlegel, "The Value Exchange"

Emily Empel, "The Future of the Sex Industry"


Carlos Lobo, "The Futures of Neuroscience"

Martin Siebold, "The Future of Nanotechnology"

Morgan Kauffman, "Biofuels: Growing Power form Algae"

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The latest news about developments in our Houston Foresight community can be found in our event listings, the newsletter, and our blog.


2019 Spring Gathering on Scanning the Fringe April 12-13

2018 Spring Gathering on Scanning the Fringe April 13-14

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2017 Spring Gathering on Good Futures Work

The annual Foresight Spring Gathering was held over the weekend of April 21-22 and was a blast! It was a terrific way for students, faculty, alumni and friends to get together, network, socialize, and learn. On Friday night, a dinner was held at our old favorite, Goode’s Taqueria…great tacos and margaritas. Then, the party moved on to Axelrad’s Beer Garden, suggesting that we futurists are tapped into the scene – a big crowd, live bands, hammocks, fire breathing – a little bit of everything!

We regrouped on Saturday at the UH Cameron Building for a day of “Good Futures Work.” The morning featured a demonstration/exercise on “Working with Systems Scenarios” by Christian Crews of Kalypso Foresight. Christian first developed this technique with fellow alum Sandy Burchsted, when he was a student in the program. He has been refining it with alum Laura Schlehuber at Kalypso. Small groups picked a topic and worked through the various steps, including developing third order impacts and looking at how the various impacts influenced one another. It was great to experience this technique firsthand – many of us had heard about it, but not tried it out.

After lunch, our sponsor at the US Forest Service, Dave Bengston, led the group through an Implications Wheel exercise. Before the gathering, Dave chose a topic from our current scanning and scenario project, got some input, and the participants generated implications at the workshop that we hope to use in the project.

The remainder of the afternoon featured a series of 15-minute sessions of tools, projects, and cases:

  • Eric Kingbsury described the Foresight Game concepts for youth in Tajikistan that he and fellow students, Mina McBride and Daniel Riveong, recently presented to UNICEF.
  • Professor Emeritus, Oliver Markley, shared some insight from his ongoing work on “Intuition in Foresight” for which he was recognized by the APF Most Significant Futures Work program.
  • Student, Mark Sackler, described his experience in putting together an awesome series of futures podcasts on his Seeking Delphi site.
  • Alum, Sean Daken, shared his experience on “Foresight & Entrepreneurship”, based on his experience in launching startups since he graduated from the program.
  • Bo Roe, a student and member of the Forest project team, shared his experience in developing a custom approach to scanning source identification for the forest scanning team.
  • Alum, Lee Shupp, teaching at the CCA program, shared some cool project work that a team of his students put together this spring.
  • Katherine Prince and Jason Swanson, Certificate and Master’s alums respectively, talked about how they have adapted the Framework Foresight approach in their project work at Knowledge Works.
  • Finally, Dr. Peter Bishop of Teach the Future, shared a new technique he is developing for combining uncertainties into a manageable number of scenarios.

After a stimulating day, we capped off the weekend with a pool party. One of these years, someone will actually go in the pool! The challenge has been issued!

2016 Spring Gathering on Blockchain

The 2016 annual Spring Gathering began at the Cadillac Bar & Grill on the Kemah boardwalk with Mexican food and margaritas, and then took on the "Boardwalk Bullet" rollercoaster. Saturday's day-long meeting centered on the future of Blockchain in was held a wonderful house on the Marina generously hosted by Mike and Quyen Courtney of Aperio Insights.

1. KnowledgeWorks: Meet Blockchain and its implications for education The day started with Alumni Katie King, Jason Swanson and Mike Courtney sharing with us the potential of Blockchain technology for education. They presented a forecast entitled "Learning on the Block: Can Smart Transactional Models Power Personalized Learning?" which is a KnowledgeWorks and Aperio Insights collaboration.

2. Teachur, the Blockchain and Decentralized Education Closely connected to the theme from KnowledgeWorks, we had Josh Stanley and Ben Blair of Teachurdiscuss their experience using the Blockchain to certify the mastery of educational objectives.

3. System Solutions for Poverty in the United States (the Kaufmanns) We also had the Kauffman family share a systems approach to tackling the wicked problem of poverty. The inspiration came from their earlier work on "Project Interlock." Morgan and his dad, Draper, have been working on this for a couple of years and if all goes well, will see their book on this topic published sometime next year!

4. An online visit from Oxford (Wendy Schultz) Closer to the end, we had Wendy Schultz join us online, presenting the research she is doing on Blockchain Futures. She uses the Sensemaker software to collect "a broad range of stories about possible uses of Blockchain and how those uses could transform society, the economy, governance, and other aspect of life."

Houston Foresight Community at WorldFuture 2015

The gang will be heading to San Francisco for this year's WFS General Assembly, featuring our annual "Best of Houston" session.

Best of Houston Foresight 2015
This session highlights the best student products from the award-winning graduate program in foresight at the University of Houston. The session will include the best essays, forecasts, scenarios and plans from the next generation of professional futurists. This year's students are:

Adam Cowart is a graduate student of Foresight at the University of Houston, a Senior Planning Manager for Loblaw Companies Ltd, and a writer. He holds an M.B.A. and an M.F.A. and will present on “Alternative Currencies: The Future of Societal Transaction.”
Justin Kugler is a graduate student of Human Space Exploration Sciences at the University of Houston and the business development manager for industrial R&D at the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space. He will present on "The Future of Industrial Activity in Space".
Omar Sahi is a graduate student of Foresight at the University of Houston. He is also an artist working with new media and sculpture. Omar has developed a keen interest around speculating on how people communicate in the future and will present on “The Future of News Media.”

Houston Foresight Spring Gathering: Technology Acceleration, April 17-18, Houston, TX

The annual Houston Foresight Spring Gathering was held on April 17 and 18 was the perfect mix of fun, networking and learning — our brains hurt, but in a good way! (See flyer for overview and agenda for the weekend.) We started out Friday evening at Goode’s Taqueriafor some food and margaritas and then band of hearty souls braved a torrential downpour and flash flooding to continue the party with some hookah at Byzantio.

The group reconvened Saturday to spend a day with alum John Smart. He spoke to us on“Technology Acceleration” and essentially provided a sneak preview of a summer elective he is teaching for us (also called “Technology Acceleration.” [See slides here])

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