Futures Lit with Jen Ross

Futures Lit Introduction

March 03, 2021 Jennifer Ross Season 1 Episode 1
Futures Lit with Jen Ross
Futures Lit Introduction
Chapters
Futures Lit with Jen Ross
Futures Lit Introduction
Mar 03, 2021 Season 1 Episode 1
Jennifer Ross

Futures Lit is a podcast about literacy for the future - the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to optimise our way forward. 

During 2020 the world hit pause. A lot of people pondered the big questions, including what is most important to us, how do we build back better and how we prepare for an uncertain future. 

The term 'futures literate' was coined by UNESCO and is described as a capability that addresses poverty of imagination - it's a skill that helps people imagine the role of the future in their day to day lives (reference - https://en.unesco.org/futuresliteracy/about).  

One source of information to hone our creative and imaginative skills is the lived experience of others. This podcast brings you conversations with a range of people from diverse backgrounds, unpacking their origins and paths, and tapping into their knowledge and skills. We can draw on transferrable skills from unlikely places to future proof our lives and our teams, and become more futures literate. 

If you like the podcast, please review it, like it and share it with your friends. Thank you!

Show Notes Transcript

Futures Lit is a podcast about literacy for the future - the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to optimise our way forward. 

During 2020 the world hit pause. A lot of people pondered the big questions, including what is most important to us, how do we build back better and how we prepare for an uncertain future. 

The term 'futures literate' was coined by UNESCO and is described as a capability that addresses poverty of imagination - it's a skill that helps people imagine the role of the future in their day to day lives (reference - https://en.unesco.org/futuresliteracy/about).  

One source of information to hone our creative and imaginative skills is the lived experience of others. This podcast brings you conversations with a range of people from diverse backgrounds, unpacking their origins and paths, and tapping into their knowledge and skills. We can draw on transferrable skills from unlikely places to future proof our lives and our teams, and become more futures literate. 

If you like the podcast, please review it, like it and share it with your friends. Thank you!

Jen  00:12
Welcome to Futures Lit. I'm Jen Ross. 
I’m recording this podcast in Brisbane, which is an Australian city on Turrabal and Yuggera land. And I pay my respects to the traditional owners and their ancestors, past, present and emerging. 

Futures lit is a podcast about literacy for the future – the skills, knowledge and understanding needed for optimising our way forward. For millennials, the word lit  has a different meaning and that’s okay. Because, the future is totally lit!

I’m always thinking about future-proofing for myself and in 2020 I got thinking about reimagining my future. I have reskilled many times before. I’ve been lucky to indulge in so many different things from working in fashion retail, marketing and events, teaching kindergarten in Japan, interning in microfinance at the Grameen Bank,  working on grant proposals for food sector innovators, and leading scholarships programs in the Pacific. I have more than a decade experience managing international development projects. I have tertiary qualifications in business, international development and evaluation. But more so than any course I study, I learn the most through talking with people, through conversation, and through taking action.  But back to futures literacy.

During 2020 the world hit pause. As a global society, we realised more than ever before that we're all deeply connected. A virus can make it around the world to remote corners of the globe at great speed because of our social connectivity. 

The 2020 shutdown has given us time to consider the big questions. As a global society, are we ready to take on the future and its new challenges? How will we do this? How will we build back better? What skills do we need? What skills do our people need? What are we missing and what do we need to understand better? Do we need to change our business model? Or do we need to get better at our approach? 

Futures Literate is not a quirky new term that I’ve invented. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) uses the term Futures Literacy. On their website UNESCO defines Futures Literacy as a capability that addresses poverty-of-imagination. I quote them: 

“it is the skill that allows people to better understand the role of the future in what they see and do. Being futures literate empowers the imagination, enhances our ability to prepare, recover and invent as changes occur.”  (https://en.unesco.org/futuresliteracy/about)

2020 taught us that the future is uncertain and things we can’t imagine, can happen. To prepare for the next pandemic, the next personal tragedy, the next natural disaster, the next conflict, the climate variability that’s inevitable with climate change, what skills do we need? How can we insulate the most vulnerable in our households and our communities? Should we wait and react, or be ready to respond? 

How do plan for unexpected change in different aspects of our lives – how will the future impact at our household level, at a business level, in our various sectors and industries, and in our regions. How will different genders, economic groups, races and countries be impacted? What soft skills do we need – what do we need for greater resilience, compassion, flexibility, engagement, experimentation, innovation, optimism? 

How are we nurturing the two cornerstones of futures literary - creativity and imagination.

These are big questions. One potential source of information is the lived experiences of others. Have you ever had a lightbulb moment talking to someone  outside your normal circle? This podcast aims to create that experience; bringing you conversations with people from diverse backgrounds, sharing their ideas and experiences.  We can draw on transferrable skills from unlikely places to future-proof our lives and our teams and become more futures literate. 

I hope you enjoy listening to Futures Lit. If you do enjoy the podcast, please rate it, review it, and share with your friends. Thank you.