PRESS RELEASE Antalya , Turkey, 13 January 2020.
The World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF) , founded in 1973, is the leading international scholarly body of futures studies and also an official consultative partner of the UNESCO. In 2019 the WFSF Executive Board initiated a new category of membership dedicated to the younger generation called the WFSF Junior. School age children can apply to join the WFSF provided that at least one of their parents or legal custodians are already individual, either Full or Associate, members of the WFSF. In this short interview, Director of the WFSF, Victor V. Motti, asks a number of questions from one of the members of the WFSF Junior whose name is Arsam MATIN born in 2008 in Iran. Another interview with Arsam was published in the September 2019 issue of the WFSF Human Futures Magazine, pages 60-63. He tells now us what are the goals that he wants to achieve in 2020: introducing and spreading Gen Z Futurists Movement and Platorm to the world.
1- Why and how you decided to join the WFSF? I decided to join the WFSF because Dana MARDUK, a WFSF member and my stepfather, taught me a lot about the future of life and technology and I liked the topics a lot. He introduced you and the WFSF to me and I wanted to learn more about futures studies to build an amazing future for all children around the world. I would also like to teach other kids to about future and help them to create their future.
2- Will you talk to your friends and classmates about the WFSF? How do they react to the news that you joined? Yes I have talked to my friends about the WFSF and I tried to explain what futures studies is, but they thought I was going to become a fortune teller! Then I taught them a bit about the science of futures studies and they got interested to know more. As you know I did not have the chance to go to school which I am not sad about it because now I am studying about futures studies which my playmates have no idea about it. But I will try to teach my friends more about the WFSF and futures studies.
3- Are you happy with your homeschooling, will it prepare you for the future? I thought it is not a good thing that I never had the chance to go to school but later when I watched videos about failed education system in the world and talked to my friends who are going to school, I found out that actually it has been my greatest chance in my life that I did not go to school. I am so happy that Mina, my mom taught me good things and now Dana is teaching me about futures studies. The stuff that my friends are learning at school will not be useful for them in the next 5 to 10 years so why should I spend my time and energy on something that is not useful in the future?! I am learning some skills like communication, cooperation, creativity and critical thinking beside the leadership that I want to lead a movement and manage a platform. Changing education system in the world is one of my big goals.
4- What were the most important news in your life? And what you like to hear in the news in 2020s? The most important news in my life was to be accepted in the WFSF as the youngest futurist and the first member of WFSF Junior. Actually I want to be the most important news in 2020 by introducing and spreading Gen Z Futurists Movement and Platform to the world. I want to make this movement and platform news headline for all the media around the world
5- What would you do if you were in a powerful position in your country or community? I would totally change the education system because most of the things children learn in this system is useless. Change and technology growth is exponential while our education system development is linear. Students at schools do not learn any practical skills, they only memorize information which will be useless in the next 5 to 10 years. We live in a new world and we need to learn new skills and prepare ourselves for new jobs and lifestyles.
6- What do you often do to increase your imagination and creativity? I usually watch science fiction movies and animation, playing games, reading books and discussing with my family about future of everything. I also think about impossible things and ask myself how can we make this possible. For example I was watching 15 Global Grand Challenges from The Millennium Project YouTube channel and asked questions that how we can solve these problems by using new technologies.
7- What do you expect to obtain or benefit from your membership in the WFSF junior? What I want from the WFSF is to support Gen Z Futurists Movement and platform to make it an international activity in schools and each school have a lesson of futures studies and teaching children about future. I am thinking about the first international conference of WFSF Junior in 2022 and I hope the WFSF can help us to teach children all over the world about futures studies to build a better future for children and all the world. If you let me I want to invite all parents to encourage their children to join WFSF Junior and also Gen Z Futurists to make the bold and positive impact in the world. Children can follow me and join us in GenZfuturists.com. Finally I would like to thank you for the opportunity to talk to you and share my goals with all.
Arsam interview in the Sep 2019 issue of the WFSF Human Futures Magazine
Arsam with the WFSF Director Victor V. Motti in Antalya Province in 2019 in Turkey
Arsam announcing his Generation Z Futurists movement in his YouTube channel
Medellín Colombia, 5 January 2020.
The World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF), founded in 1973, is the leading international scholarly body of futures studies and also an official consultative partner of the UNESCO. In 2019 the WFSF Executive Board initiated a new category of membership dedicated to the younger generation called the WFSF Junior. School age children can apply to join the WFSF provided that at least one of their parents or legal custodians are already individual, either Full or Associate, members of the WFSF. In this short interview, Director of the WFSF, Victor V. Motti, asks a number of questions from one of the members of the WFSF Junior whose name is Andres Felipe CASTELLANOS born in 2007 in Colombia. Andres also attended the 23rd WFSF World Conference in September 2019 which was held in Mexico. He tells us what are the goals that he wants to achieve in 2020: learn about future studies, share with other young people, and to imagine a vision and propose simple actions to realize the desired future.
1- Why and how you decided to join the WFSF? My parents and my uncle work on issues of foresight, strategy and innovation at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. I have grown wondering about the great opportunities that futures studies have for the development of a better world and through them, about the WFSF. When Arsam, the first junior member was admitted, I was filled with enthusiasm and wanted to participate as well. I am very grateful for the opportunity that WFSF has given me, to join as a junior member.
2- Will you talk to your friends and classmates about the WFSF? How do they react to the news that you joined? Yes, of course. When I returned from Mexico to Medellin, I spoke in my school with professors and classmates about the world congress, the significance of futures studies and the importance that researchers are giving to the participation of children and young people in the search for a better future for everyone. As a student representative in my school, I have sought that in our community we are more interested in exploring our future, and I even had the opportunity to participate in the World Zero Emissions Congress in my country, where I presented an initiative to plant trees as a way of acting to have a better environment. My classmates were interested when I explained that the future is also a field of study on which we can reflect creatively. When we study the future, this helps us to become more responsible for our actions and decisions in the present.
3- Are you happy with your school teaching, will the classes prepare you for the future? My teachers are wonderful, they try to make the classes interesting and critical. I believe that our teachers, each in their own way, strive to prepare us for the future, but sometimes, the rigidities of the curricula do not give them many opportunities. In my country, today, we urgently need to develop an integrating vision of the future, which allows each Colombian to get his best values and skills.
4- What were the most important news in your life? And what you like to hear in the news in 2020s? The recent news that has impacted me the most are the following:
1. The plastic island in the Pacific Ocean.
2. The death of bees and the continued use of glyphosate.
3. The peace agreement in my country.
4. Authorization by the government of my country to allow shark hunting, for the sale of its fins.
5. Forest fires in the south American Amazon and climate change.
6. Citizen protests, interested in a better-quality education
1. More biodegradable plastic
2. More trees planted in my country
3. A more inclusive and participatory democracy
4. That politicians in my country think about future studies and a vision of greatness for Colombia
5- What would you do if you were in a powerful position in your country or community? I would like to make democratic decisions, with the participation and empowerment of the community. But what my country needs most, are opportunities for young people, who grow up in a framework of great inequality. It is necessary to reduce poverty and violence. I believe that a better education is the way for young people to have a better future.
6- What do you often do to increase your imagination and creativity? I like reading books, watching videos and learning new things. My imagination increases when I know about solutions in other contexts and try to apply them in my local environment. Although the school teaches us new things, I think it is important that every child can get excited about exploring their own projects, and imagine innovations in them, thinking about the future. I think we become more creative when we project our interests into the future.
7- What do you expect to obtain or benefit from your membership in the WFSF junior? I hope to learn and participate in the activities of the congresses, as I was allowed in the World Congress in Mexico. I would even like to present a paper, which I have already been thinking about.
Overall, I am amazed to be able to learn about the achievements and experiences of the members of the Federation every day and try to understand their research.
I want to continue learning, from the hand of the great leaders that for me are the members of the Federation. I hope to share also with my classmates and friends, about the visions and lessons that studying the future can bring us.
I would like to take this opportunity to make a proposal: how about doing an online course on futures studies for us children? Thank you!
Andres with the WFSF President Erik Øverland in the 23rd WFSF Conference in 2019 in Mexico
Andres in the 23rd WFSF World Conference, Mexico, 2019
Group of futures researchers from Colombia in the 23rd WFSF Conference in 2019 in Mexico.
From left to right:
Iván Alonso Montoya – WFSF member, Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Caroll Alean Mahecha- Universidad Externado de Colombia
Carlos William Mera – Universidad Nacional a Distancia
Luz Alexandra Montoya – WFSF member, Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Andres Felipe Castellanos – WFSF Junior member, Colombia
Lucio Mauricio Henao – WFSF Executive Board Member, Colombia
Yezid Soler B. -- WFSF member, Ministerio de vivienda, ciudad y territorio
Tatiana Bernal- Universidad Externado de Colombia
Martha Lucia Jaramillo – Proseres
Andrés Restrepo Ayala- WFSF member, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana