Can You Imagine the Future of Our Civilization?

That’s the question being posed to high school students across America as part of The Foresight Project’s signature program Imagining Tomorrow: Alternate Energy Futures. Mary Essary, the founder and visionary of this nationwide contest points out that writing and the creation of video can be powerful tools to help shape students minds, and that science-fiction can be a great way to get them thinking about many of the ways in which we can ensure our future on this planet. In essence, it’s a way to get students to look around in their own backyards and see the realities of the issues we face, while encouraging them to unleash their creativity and envision how we might solve them. She goes on to point out that many governments utilize similar planning techniques to envision a variety of scenarios correlated with varying degrees of certainty that enable them to make better decisions than might otherwise be possible. As a child she lived through the atomic energy crisis which included a child’s eye view of underground shelters and air raid drills, but it became apparent to her over time that much of the public came to understand what was happening then through fiction writing and movies because the issue was too large in scope to touch and feel on a personal basis. Now she’s hoping to inspire kids through Imagining Tomorrow to enable them to get their arms around this new crisis we all face. To do so they’ve been fortunate enough to get private sponsors to pony up the cash to get up and running, and with an initial prize money pot of $10,000 there’s certainly good reason to get your classes involved in envisioning the future.

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