Institute for the Future

University of Colorado Boulder

Deep Teaching Solutions


Futures Thinking

"The future depends on what we do in the present."

- Ghandi

The details

When it comes down to it, what we are really after is to live a life of our own choosing, to have the skills and knowledge to meaningfully contribute to society and to be happy. Our ability to do this depends on our understanding of how the world works, even though so much of the world and future is unknown and perhaps unknowable. So how do we think about the future we face and how do we plan for this? This ExploreMYX dives deep into these questions equipping you with the skills and knowledge necessary to create life on your terms.

Leading explorers

Greta Thunberg, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk

How long it’ll take

1 semester



PLEASE NOTE: You have the choice of either The MacMaster, UC San Diego: Learning How to Learn or Yale University: The Science of Wellbeing to complete the requirements for this course.

exploremyx: Futures Thinking

1. Institute for the Future

Futures Thinking Specialization

Do you want to think about the future with more creativity and optimism? Do you want to see what’s coming faster, so you can be better prepared for disruptions and more in control of your future? Do you want to get better at changing what’s possible today – in your company, your industry, your community, and in your own life?

This Specialization will introduce you to the practice of futures thinking, as developed and applied for the past 50 years by the Institute for the Future, a Silicon-Valley-based research and learning group founded in 1968. You’ll master essential foresight techniques. You’ll meet leading professional futurists. And you’ll choose one or more future topics you want to investigate with your new foresight skills.

The Futures Thinking specialization is for anyone who wants to spot opportunities for innovation and invention faster. You can gain the skills and confidence to help YOU become someone who makes the future, instead of letting the future happen to you. You'll develop a more future-oriented mindset to make positive changes in your own life, as you start to see new possibilities more clearly and craft the personal future you want.

This specialization is based on the “How to Think Like a Futurist” workshops taught by Jane McGonigal, PhD for Stanford University Continuing Studies. By taking this specialization, you'll have access to key lessons and tools from the Institute for the Future’s professional “Foresight Training” certification program.

What You'll Learn

  • Build your future forecasting skills
  • Learn how to use Institute for the Future’s most powerful foresight tools, designed to help you spot new opportunities for innovation and invention
  • Gain insight into the most important new technologies, global events and big ideas that are already shaping the future
  • Think more creatively and optimistically about what’s possible in the future

2. University of Colorado Boulder

Exploring Our Responses to Climate Change

In this specialization, learners will gain familiarity with the key information sources that constitute the scientific consensus on the human causes of climate change and its associated impacts. We will explore the options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for impacts, drawing heavily from the Fourth US National Climate Assessment. The ultimate goal of the specialization is to empower learners to formulate their own plans for reducing emissions and adapting to future impacts, appropriate for their respective households, communities, and workplaces.

What You’ll Learn

  • A broad and robust understanding of computer science and programming including JavaScript, ES6 and React

  • How to think algorithmically and solve programming problems efficiently

  • Concepts like abstraction, algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering, and web development

  • A number of languages, including C, Python, SQL, and JavaScript plus CSS and HTML

3. Deep Teaching Solutions

Learning How To Learn

This course gives you easy access to the invaluable learning techniques used by experts in art, music, literature, math, science, sports, and many other disciplines. We’ll learn about the how the brain uses two very different learning modes and how it encapsulates (“chunks”) information. We’ll also cover illusions of learning, memory techniques, dealing with procrastination, and best practices shown by research to be most effective in helping you master tough subjects.

Using these approaches, no matter what your skill levels in topics you would like to master, you can change your thinking and change your life. If you’re already an expert, this peep under the mental hood will give you ideas for: turbocharging successful learning, including counter-intuitive test-taking tips and insights that will help you make the best use of your time on homework and problem sets. If you’re struggling, you’ll see a structured treasure trove of practical techniques that walk you through what you need to do to get on track. If you’ve ever wanted to become better at anything, this course will help serve as your guide.

What You'll Learn

  • Illusions of learning, memory techniques and how to master tough subjects
  • Proven techniques to help you deal with procrastination
  • How to turbocharge successful learning including practical techniques

4. Yale

The Science of Wellbeing

In this course you will engage in a series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits. As preparation for these tasks, Professor Laurie Santos reveals misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do, and the research that can help us change. You will ultimately be prepared to successfully incorporate a specific wellness activity into your life.

What You'll Learn

  • Gratitude
  • Happiness
  • Meditation
  • Savoring

This work totals 171 hours over the course of 15 weeks

Enroll me in this exploremyx

Please note that MYX will enroll you in these courses before the start of term.

Institute for the Future

University of Colorado Boulder

Deep Teaching Solutions