Design Futures
Official course registration, RVOE N° 20160731 | September 30, 2016


The future isn’t about guesswork, it’s designed.
Design Futures is a study program created to train specialists in conceiving and implementing something that does not yet exist: possible and preferable futures. The unknown aspect of the hypothetical offers us unparalleled opportunities to take strategic decisions right now.
Are we ready to face the problems entailed by the colonization of Mars, the transition to prosthetic bodies, the attack of as-yet-known viruses or the shortage of natural resources? Who are the experts trained to provide solutions to these and other problems still beyond the reach of our imagination?
Although the precursors of this cross-disciplinary field go back to the mid-20th century and the work of the philosopher Gaston Berger, future studies are currently experiencing a new dawn. Futurologists study all kinds of problems, as advisors or members attached to public, private and civil society organizations working on the implementation of solutions designed to ensure the survival of our species.

Applicants from any discipline interested in developing skills for forecasting and social innovation. Professionals interested in designing scenarios, strategies and solutions with potential applications as products, campaigns, plans or systems.

This study program trains specialists to analyze and manage large data sets, design scenarios, as well as to engage in complex thinking while effectively communicating and implementing proposals; it is targeted at those interesting in generating creative responses to complex problems.

This specialization criteria was developed with the support of experts from the world’s leading future study think-tanks – Institute for the Future, Club of Rome, Millennium Project, World Future Society and World Futures Studies Federation – who will work as mentors. The first semester is focused on forecasting techniques (DELPHI, MACTOR, MIC/MAC), and in the second these new areas of knowledge will be applied in the social innovation laboratory.

Forecasting methods
Applying various methods to future studies, evaluating their relevance to the aims of specific research.
The history of future studies
Origins and aspects of future studies, their relevance and scope.
Implementing the principles of the history of future for the study, forecast and design of different futures.
Symbolic anthropology
Understanding and implementing methodological and epistemological principles of symbolic anthropology related to thick description, to be implemented in specific cases.
Prospective intelligence in uncertainty and complexity
Implementing prospective intelligence to take better personal and social decisions in times of uncertainty and complexity.
Analyzing problems more quickly and effectively; understanding mental processes and their repercussions on daily life.
Constructing scenarios
Identifying component parts of different scenarios.
Identifying different types of scenarios.
Applying methodologies, methods and techniques for constructing scenarios.
Economy and society: Theories of change
Understanding the connection between economy and society, from the perspective of theories of social change, which are essential for understanding the future.

Disruptive innovation scenarios
Understanding and applying tools to imagine unforeseeable scenarios.
Innovative processes for strategic forecasting planning.
Analyzing and designing innovative processes for strategic forecasting planning.
Anticipatory thinking and innovation
Applying principles of inventive thinking for exploring, evaluating and proposing improvements to analytical models to be implemented in specific cases.
Globalization, geopolitics and new technologies
Identifying the impacts of globalization, geopolitics in socio-historical processes and new technologies with society’s influence.
Analyzing the effects of globalization, geopolitics in socio-historical processes, and new technologies for the future of humankind.
Narrative and representation of long-term scenarios
Designing and implementing scripts for representing long-term scenarios.
Social innovation laboratory
Applying innovative management ideas and practices for the design and development of social innovation projects for the future, analyzing reality and proposing cross-cutting, scalable and sustainable solutions.

Honors degree* | Project portfolio | Letter of motivation | Interview | Take and pass introductory course | Min. 480 TOEFL points, or equivalent
* For CENTRO undergraduates, this specialization can count towards the degree requirements in lieu of a thesis.

August | Course length: 1 year (2 semesters) | Credits: 48 | Class schedule: Mondays, 6.00pm-8.00pm; Saturdays, 10.00am-2.00pm.