Closing Plenary

Closing Plenary, Saturday November 12
2:00 - 3:15 pm
Ballrooms B/C/D

Future Studies and Interdisciplinarity

Rick Szostak

In the closing plenary, we will discuss the key characteristics of the field of future studies, and how that field connects to and overlaps with interdisciplinary studies. We will emphasize the importance of systems analysis. We will talk about how to teach about the future in both general education and interdisciplinary studies programs. In particular, we will show how several methods emphasized in future studies can be applied in the classroom. We will discuss how to identify both desirable and plausible futures, and how to both identify and encourage policies that move us from plausible to desirable futures. Rick will draw on his recent book, Making Sense of the Future (Routledge 2022).


Rick Szostak's photo

Rick Szostak is Professor of Economics at the University of Alberta. He was President of AIS from 2011 to 2014, and received the Boulding Award from the Association in 2017. He is the co-author of multiple editions of two textbooks with Sage on how to do interdisciplinary research -- Interdisciplinary Research: Process and Theory, and Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies. His most recent books include Making Sense of World History (2021), Making Sense of the Future (2022), and Integrating the Human Sciences (forthcoming), all with Routledge. He has recently created a new course about the future at his university.