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co-create


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co-create


 
 

 FLIP IT FORWARD is a future-making and action research project, co-designing with educators, schools and students to create SOCIAL DREAMS*

 
 
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Context


Context


 
 

How might social and cultural norms shift in the face of change?

 

As old structures around us collapse, social dreaming is the key skill that young people will need in order to imagine and build a new society

 

 

 

 

 

 
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focus


focus


 

In a context of accelerated change, learning should not be limited to 'downloading' information from books. Students cannot comprehend how to go forward without understanding the past - and they only look at the past with a sense of action if they get a sense of the future. Hence, developing agency in building what's next.

 
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scenario


scenario


1. future-making

The emerging futureis the starting point for meaningful change in learning

Watch an interview with design professor Elliott Montgomery on the challenges and possibilities of future-making as a learning lens in education

 
 

2. CONSTRUCTION OF MEANING

Meaning-making* is the social-emotional process behind learning

We position meaning-making at the heart of real-world learning

 

3. social agency

Including design iterations* of action and
critical reflection

Is the student or teacher someone
with agency who is able to construct reality?

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inquiring backwards

knowledge comes from a process of inquiry (an act of investigation). By inquiring backward students learn how to find meaning and relevance in past experiences and how to bridge those with their present

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inquiry backward


inquiry backward


This has been creatively difficult.
— High School Student, The Future Project
 
 
 

 

inquiring forward

The uncertainty of the future becomes the very possibility to imagine it. Inquiring forward is about stretching the students' ability to create future scenarios. This is not about predicting the future but giving students vision spaces - that are then used to frame their decisions and actions today

 

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inquiry forward


inquiry forward


This is for me a transformation tool because it allows students to look into the future and be a part of co-creating it.
— Anjali, Lead Designer at The Future Project
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

next futures

To speculate is about building alternative scenarios either for the future or the past. This allows students not to rely solely on 'futures' that have been given to them but rather to engage and actively create futures they want. By placing speculation in a learning space, our hypothesis is that teachers can start to see the gifts that students embody and enable their capacity to build new narratives

 

 

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next futures


next futures


 
Being speculative comes from a level of being able to navigate through the intuitive within oneself in comparison to only taking external cues. Just because a student does not learn in one format, it does not mean he or she is incapable. The act of being speculative about the future allows one to develop the capability of giving permission, which involves claiming and reclaiming.
— Sonali Ojha, Ashoka Fellow & educator
 

how  

The speculative approach can be used by the teacher to allow students to move from a problem-solving mindset into a dreaming, imagining, co-creative space. However It does not mean that students will be 'predicting' or 'making a bet' on the future. It is not about who gets it right. 1.building speculative maps to explore a question in its full possibilities - the map is an exercise to let go of deep held beliefs and opinions and be explorative 2.creating multiple scenarios - building possibilities, hence not one but many futures are built 3.speculating across time - speculations do not need only to be about the future, they can also be about the past and hence allow students to explore historical events with new lenses - asking questions such as 'what was the context taking place at the time of this event? what if this had happened instead of that? is there a chance this event could be seen in our present or future?'

 
 
 
It is about instilling in young people the criticality that the futures we have been given are not the futures we can dream of – because someone has already framed them and built a narrative. Hence, they have been constructed.
— Elliot Montgomery, Professor Parsons The New School for Design
 
 

outcomes

  • CREATIVITY & IMAGINATION: speculating alternative futures and pasts is not about 'problem-solving' but rather about opening spaces for imagination so students can think & see differently

  • MEANING-MAKING: when students can envision different futures or engage with the past there's tremendous creation of meaning - which leads to further engagement with their learning process and social agency 

  • RELEVANT ACTION: once students understand new roles they can play in creating futures they want, they are better prepared to take relevant action in the world

  • CELEBRATE FAILURE & SUCCESS: understanding the future (and the past) as an act of creation reduces dramatically the nature of fear and the notion that there’s no fundamental thing called failure

 
 

 

 

PROTOTYPING the next

In learning for acting in the world it is essential students imagine what's next for issues and problems they are working on and create concepts & prototypes - it is about taking action with critical reflection while understanding their implications in the world

 

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prototyping the next


prototyping the next


 
We created a drone that delivers learning materials to students in rural areas so they can explore open-ended problems
— Teachers in collaboration with designers at China Bridge
 

how  

In supporting students prototype the next, make it clear they understand it is not about a journey from "here" to "there" (present to future) but  the recognition of a new point of reference for thinking - from which everything else emanates 1. consolidating insights collected from going to the edges of the system or from future/past speculations - insights help students establish a relationship of cause and effect 2. developing intentions mean translating the insights (learnings) into actionable ideas 3. building prototypes includes tinkering through features and clustering them to create more robust concepts as well as rounds of iterations in which students take their concepts to be tested in the real world 

 
 
 

outcomes

  • SOCIAL AGENCY: by creating prototypes and implementing ideas students understand the obstacles and benefits of taking relevant action in the world

  • CRITICAL THINKING: when implementation happens students can see and think upon the impact of their action and hence develop critical thinking

  • REAL WORLD LEARNING: students get the opportunity to think through problems and issues in multi disciplinary ways and understand through experience its direct impact in the real world

 
 
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explore further


explore further


do you wish to explore further?

We partner with schools, organizations and governments to co-create programs, tools and experiences that can leverage our education system to its next level

 

programs

Co-creating programs with school leaders, teachers and students to build the system's capacity to be generative in preparing young people to address the 21st century challenges

tools

Designing physical learning tools and spaces that students and teachers can integrate into the curriculum, allowing more expansive and imaginative opportunities for learning

experiences

Providing applied learning opportunities through experience design while linking classroom curriculum content with its possibilities for application in the real world 

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draw your future


draw your future


ricardo dutra

BRAZIL

Ricardo is a design strategist, researcher and educator with a background from Parsons The New School for Design in New York

sonali ojha

INDIA

Sonali is an Ashoka Fellow, social entrepreneur and educator with 20+ years of experience in learning and development

janson cheng

CHINA

Janson is a designer and founder of Dreamland, a venture empowering Chinese villages through design innovation