RCE Dublin - 2021

Futures Studies: Envisioning and Realising Sustainable Futures for all.
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Futures Studies: Envisioning and Realising Sustainable Futures for all.
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Dublin
Contributing organization(s) : 
Dublin City University
Educate Together
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Charlotte Holland
Organizational Affiliation: 
Dublin City University
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
2nd National Strategy on ESD - Ireland - https://www.gov.ie/pdf/?file=https://assets.gov.ie/228330/c69895a6-88f0-4132-b6d1-9085a9c31996.pdf#page=null
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Dublin City University,
DCU Institute of Education,
DCU St. Patrick's Campus,
Drumcondra, Dublin 9, IRELAND

Integrating futures thinking across all levels of education from pre-primary through to higher education, with a particular focus on the latter.
Target Audience:
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
This ESD project fosters Anticipatory or Futures Thinking which aligns with Sustainable Development (SDG) Goal 4: Quality Education, by specifically supporting the development of Futures Thinking across various levels of education, one of the 8 key ESD competencies identified by UNESCO in 2018.
January, 2019
The Anticipatory competence, or Futures Thinking, has been promoted as one of the eight core ESD competencies by UNESCO. The domain of Futures Thinking and Futures Studies has to date been overlooked in curricular reforms and teaching practices within ESD. This project seeks to redress this through the creation of training modules for educators and the integration of futures thinking as a transversal skill within curricula and pedagogic practices across education at all levels.
The Futures Studies: Envisioning and Realising Sustainable Futures for All project (2019-2023) is a new RCE Dublin initiative focused on exploring plausible, possible and desired futures with educators. This project will be underpinned by innovative and exciting methodologies honed by experts in the field of futures studies research.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
The project will focus on training educators on how to integrate futures thinking in their practice. This will include workshops where participants will learn how to co-create: 1) A series of vignettes of plausible (dystopian) futures will be constructed to illustrate what will happen if we continue to live in an unsustainable manner – these vignettes will be informed through data mining and analytical modelling of extant/ live data-sets (such as: socio-economic datasets, economic forecasting models, climate change models, etc.) and will be shaped through discourse with higher education colleagues from a range of disciplinary areas, 2) Educators across formal and non-formal learning contexts will be presented with the aforementioned vignettes of plausible futures, and will engage in discussion of alternate futures more aligned with the principles of sustainability, and, 3) The participants will be asked to back cast to the present, thus dialogue will be facilitated to ascertain how best the desired futures can be achieved- in other words how more sustainable forms of living and being can be enabled.
Size of academic audience: 
200 educators across primary, post-primary and higher education contexts
This project is on-going. For more information, please contact Dr. Charlotte Holland by email on: charlotte.holland@dcu.ie
Lessons learned: 
This project has resulted in:
- Futures Thinking and Studies being integrated as a focus within a new doctoral programme at Dublin City University
- Multiple workshops with educators in primary, post-primary and higher education settings on Futures Thinking
- Integration of 'Introduction to Futures Thinking' within an ESD module offered at a national level to educators in higher education institutions across Ireland.
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Curriculum Development 
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers 
I acknowledge the above: