Our University Teachings
There is a range of disciplines (such as architecture, design, or engineering) that like to think ahead into the future. But for many thinking about the future can be overwhelming. They can only imagine a future that they know; a future that they have already experienced in real life or know from books or movies. Not without reason do many pioneers fail to bring their vision to fruition. Think for example of the painstaking introduction of the first automobile (Benz), the first digital camera (Kodak), the coffee capsules (Nespresso) or the first laser printer (Xerox) among many other breakthrough inventions.
All these examples show that it takes more than just using in the future to change the present in order to solve tomorrow’s problems.
Those who aim to make future-oriented interventions are well advised to adopt a phenomenological approach that pays attention to the lived experiences gathered in the process of exploring alternative and preferred futures and to become mindful about the frame they have been using to make sense of and intervene in the world – as well as what is excluded of this frame.
In this course, participants learn the skills and means to effectively create and explore alternative futures in a collaborative way. In particular, we will focus on three basic skills of futures literacy: (1) to use the future to surface systemic assumptions, (2) to design knowledge creation processes to enhance collective sensemaking, and (3) to embrace an anticipatory mindset to nurture and grasp emergence as it happens (as opposed to clinging to old models).
On May 24 and 25, 2019, students from all big Universities of Austria gathered to participate at the 48h Innovation Sprint at the Center for Future Design.
Klaus Fronius, owner and member of the supervisory board of Fronius International and member of the advisory board of the Center for Future Design, and his team (Daniel Fahrner and Harald Hofmann) invented a new technology to generate energy independently. We name it “aggregate” here. Having the size of a conventional PC, it is possible to generate approx. 16 kW power with help of a fuel cell, magnesium paste and water. The 48h Innovation Sprint aims at discovering and discussing potential applications of this new technology as well as their potential economic implementation.
This innovation process was open to students from different universities and disciplines. They were given the possibility to learn from executives of participating companies and contribute to discussions on eye level.