Opening Students´ Minds for the Futures

Proceedings of International Conference on New Trends in Teaching and Education

Year: 2019


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Opening Students´ Minds for the Futures

Hanne Caspersen and Kirsten Bonde Sørensen




More than ever, young people are facing uncertainty. Looking into the futures, they see an increasingly complex and fast-changing world and an unpredictable life and career. Presumably, most of them will be free agents or entrepreneurs (Pink, 2002 weforum, 2018). No doubt students, need relevant knowledge and skills to approach this ‘new’ world. We argue that working with trends early in education ought to be part of an updated, general curriculum. It can help to construct students´ entrepreneurial mindset and includes a possibility of empowering students, helping them create a deeper awareness about the future. We see the potential in offering workshops that involve working with trends in two ways: 1) working with ‘trends as a tool’ to identify and ‘see’ ‘weak signals’ (Hiltunen, 2007), which gives relevant knowledge and inspiration to the students´ current education and future profession. 2) working with trends as a mindset, encouraging the students to reflect on their relationship with the future, and making it personal. Thinking of the future and ‘making it your own’ (Ahvenianen, 2014) constitutes the student in an empowered role as a human being that is capable of influencing and creating the future (Dragt, 2017, Ahvenianen, 2014). Most students see one future and as something you should only adapt to and fit into. Facilitating this type of workshops additionally leads to valuable insights into the students’ thoughts about their futures and their future profession. Our presentation and full paper include results from a 3-day workshop with around 100 participating students.

Keywords: entrepreneurial mindset; empowerment; future oriented; new competencies; trends.