Futures Studies: An Elevator Pitch

So this semester I began my Master's degree in Studies of the Future.  The program is offered by the University of Houston and is one of the premier schools for such a degree.  Periodically I will be posting assignments and ideas from my coursework here on the blog.  I hope to eventually get to a point where I can go into a little more detail here as to my thoughts on how futures studies can effect the church and the spiritual life.

 One of this weeks assignments was to do an "elevator pitch" on what Futures Studies is.  Basically, two paragraphs on how we would explain Futures Studies to someone quickly.  And so, without futherado, an elevator pitch by Aaron Linne:

The key concept to Studies of the Futures is that it is plural.  Any work that is done in the field is about the potential futures and finding a way to best prepare for all of them.  It’s not simply about knowing what the future is going to be; that is impossible.  Instead, Studies of the Futures is about discovering what the future could be; what it most likely will be, what we’d want it to be, and – just to be complete – a few ideas of what kind of future could be created from unpredictable wildcard event.

The work of Studies of the Futures is much like the opposite of anthropologists.  Futurists take the little things about the future we might be able to tell, whether from current trends and statistics or known current research that is happening, and expanding that out to a future that may be applicable to the future study we are partaking in.  Just as anthropologists can then learn from the past, we seek to learn from the small gleam of the future we can understand.  This is the reason for studying to futures; future to learn what actions to take today.