Futures Studies Announcement


'The future can be thought of as a 200 year present'


Many Australian Universities have History Departments yet none so far have
a Futures Department.  All this is starting to change. Southern Cross
University is the first University in Australia to offer a comprehensive
Masters Level specialisation in Futures Studies by electronic
delivery through the World Wide Web.

"Futures Studies is becoming an increasingly important area of study in an
open, competitive world environment
where turbulence and unpredictability are commonplace".
according to Acting Dean, Peter Miller.  "The usefulness of traditional
models examining the future, such as strategic planning, are increasingly
being questioned," he said.

"The study of 'futuring' is therefore essential to any organisation seeking
to make some sense of tomorrow's environment."

For students enrolled in the Masters in Education program at the
University's School of Social and Workplace Development this specialisation
is built around the Unit 'Future Studies: Methods, Issues and Visions',
is offered in first semester 1997.  The Unit has a global focus with
readings contributed by approximately 20 Internationally recognised futures

In addition, the specialisation can include up to two independent study
units on a particular aspect of Futures Studies plus a two unit thesis in a
negotiated Futures Studies area. Combined, this specialisation can be
accepted for around 50% (ie 4 of 8 units) of the Masters degree in
Organisational Development and Training and Masters degree in Education
(Training and Development).

Alternatively, the Unit can also be undertaken as a stand alone unit with
or without credit.  Further it can be used by students of Southern Cross
University for credit towards the Graduate Diploma in Professional
Development and the Graduate Diploma of Organisational Development.

Co-ordinator of the Future Studies Unit, Paul Wildman said the unit had
been based on the recognition that there is no single authoritative account
of 'future world(s)'.

"Consequently, students and organisations, rather than looking for this
'one true solution', are better placed to custom-design their own trend
analysis programs," he said.

"This unit especially aims to assist the student become futures responsive
rather than past driven; it does not use any 'off-the-shelf' criteria and

Since the Unit is the first in the world in the Futures Studies area to be
available electronically on World Wide Web or e-mail it is also accessible
by any student at any University in Australia or indeed any country, where
advanced standing for these studies can be obtained.

The Unit,'Future Studies: Methods, Issues and Visions', is available from
the School of Social and Workplace Development. Its three modules are -
. Future Studies Frameworks,
. Emerging Ideas About The Future, and
. Implementing Future Visions and Strategies.

Students can include a professional focus in many of the
more familiar specialist areas such as education, health, business,
environmental sciences, communities/localism.
Innovative methods include interactive participation in the Unit via e-mail
dialogue with the lecturer and other students, whereby the students over
time become co-authors and peer assessors of the content.

The Futures Studies program has been developed by Southern Cross
University's School of Social and Workplace Development in conjunction with
the World Futures Studies Federation at the Queensland University of

For further information, contact Paul Wildman direct on Ph: (066) 20 3820
or e-mail pwildman@scu.edu.au

For those on WWW who want a sampler, try SCU future studies forum:
futures forum with hotlinks to futures coffee shoppe