Foresight Program Topic List


STUDENT                                               TOPIC “The Future of…”


Shaan Rao                                    Epidemiology

Frida Perez                                   Role of Women in the Media

Keara Phillips                               Abuse of Medicine

Sarah Jo Dutilloy                           Books and Bookstores


Florence McCall                            Education

Clio Burggraeve                            Education


Austin Able                                  Climate Change Caused Migration

Sherbano Maqbool                       Genetic Engineering

Spandana Singh                            Stem Cell Research


Irene Kwon                                   Advertising

Nikhil Vanderklauw                      Advertising

Fumiya Takashashi                       Advertising


Aditi Sundaram                            Artificial Intelligence

Nicolas Shannon                          Artistic mediums

Jakob Silberberg                          Manned Space Travel


Frederick McCall                          Stem Cell Research

Alexander Wei Lee                       Stem Cell Research


Yannick Stuetz                      Iran’s Relations with the West & Israel

Nicolas Rennau                           GDP In Third World Countries

Joseph Dominicus Lap          Population Change in China & Japan

Adi Safarkhani                      Man-machine Interactive Design

Zara Jamshed                              Commercial Aviation


UNICEF LEADER'S STATEMENT (to be read prior to April meeting)

Caryl M. Stern

On Passover, Help Nourish Hungry Children of the World

Posted: 04/ 7/2012 10:48 am

At the beginning of the Passover Seder, shortly after the introduction and blessings, we hold up the matzoh and issue the invitation, "All who are hungry, let them come and eat. All who are in need, let them come to celebrate Passover." It is a powerful call, one that resonates with the Jewish sense of "tikun olam" -- healing the world -- and our own historical memory of what it was like to lack sufficient food.

Imagine if we stopped for a minute and truly thought about all those who die from malnutrition every day. Currently, in the Sahel region of West and Central Africa, an estimated one million children stand on the brink of severe acute malnutrition. Inadequate rain, poor harvests and rising food costs have left children vulnerable and weak.

Not just in the Sahel, but in Somalia and across the Horn of Africa, malnutrition and disease have taken the lives of tens of thousands of children. Deprived of clean water, nutritious food and basic sanitation, these children are among the most destitute on earth.

In fact, the lack of clean water is a silent killer of children around the world. Nearly 4,000 children perish daily for lack of access to safe water and adequate sanitation.

The numbers are staggering and represent actual lives. I have seen personally what malnutrition does to a child and what it means to be hungry. On a trip to Kenya this past fall, I encountered a woman and her child wandering through the desert. She startled me, appearing to have come out of nowhere. Both she and her child were so emaciated as to make their ages indeterminable. Not sharing a common language left us just staring into one another's eyes. At one point, she motioned to her belly and put out her hand to let me know they were hungry.

I know that I will see that woman's face in my mind's eye as I prepare for our Seder. She is just one of perhaps millions of parents forced to watch their children go hungry.

It does not take much to save a child from malnutrition. A little more than $20 buys two weeks' worth of therapeutic food, which can help bring a child back from the brink of death. And one dollar provides a child enough clean water for 40 days.

As we gather at our Passover tables and consider the bounteous feast ahead of us, let us take the injunction, "All who are hungry, let them come and eat," to heart. Give to help the world's vulnerable children. It will make your Seder even more meaningful.


(Disregard the schedule info for LJCDS, you will have your own)




Rules of the game:


  1. All individual presentations are to be between 5-10 minutes

2.    Team presentations should not exceed 15 minutes (20 if 3 people)

Everyone on a team does not have to use the same amount of time       but everyone does have to present

3. You may have handouts: slide copies &/or other supportive materials.

4. You are to provide me with a reproducible, copy of your presentation.  This should come as an attachment to an e mail, or you may provide a disk or stick with only your presentation

5. You must use graphics (give the source if reproduced), not just text.

6. There will be no student interruptions during the presentation.  However, the teacher may ask questions, in which case your time will be extended!

7.Each presentation may be followed by 5 minutes of student, teacher, or observer questions and comments

8.We may have observers at any of the presentations.  These may be other teachers, administrative staff, parents or invited experts.


9.  Everyone MUST be in class on time.  No eating in class. No use of laptops etc.  You are the audience.


10. Any request to change the following schedule must come to Ms. Bakhiet no later than Wednesday, March 21.  You will have her decision before you leave for Spring Break on Friday, March 23.


11. If you are using a slide projector or a computer to display any part of your presentation, you must let Ms. Bakhiet know in advance, come with your equipment and knowing exactly what you need to do to get hooked-up.  You may use the computer that is in the regular classroom, but this too must be arranged in advance and you must know how to load and work the machine.


12. It is 100% encouraged that you practice at least one time in the classroom before your presentation day.  This is especially important for teams who have to have a coordinated presentation.


13. Many if not all of the presentations will be filmed.  These videos may be shown to the UN School Foresight class (as their may be shown to you), and to the State Department teacher-training program in Washington this June. The videos will become part of the library archive of the Foresight program’s development.  We will assume that you give your consent to have the video taken and used as indicated.  IF you do not wish to give consent, you must write a letter explaining your position.


14. Do NOT have a lot of text on each slide and read it! Remember to design slides so they are easily read and understood from the back of the room.




Caution—these are short presentations and you have a lot to cover.  The focus needs to be on the 2020, 2030 and 2040 scenarios reflecting trends.


You do not need to present the history, but you may do so if it helps your presentation.  You do need to connect trends from Current Conditions to the three future scenarios. Remember, the trends relate to:


  • Politics
  • Economics
  • Technology
  • Environment
  • Demographics (population)
  • Culture/social media


The trends do not have to be presented in any set order, just as suits your topic.


The majority of your presentation should be the scenarios for 2030.  You need to show a logical flow from now through 2020.  And then your best estimates out to 2040.


You should include your (revised if need be) aspiration statement.


Do not assume your audience (including the teachers) knows your topic.  You need to make a brief statement telling what your topic is, indicating the trends and presenting the scenarios…then providing your aspiration statement and stipulating which of your scenarios has the best chance of achieving your aspiration.




Encyclopaedia Britannica To Cease Print Edition After 244 Years

Posted: 03/13/2012 6:59 pm Updated: 03/13/2012 7:03 pm


"The Encyclopaedia Britannica", the world's most famous print encyclopedia, has announced that after 244 years in print, it is no longer going to make new physical copies of its flagship publication. The 32-volume, $1,395 edition that the Chicago-based company put out in 2010 was its last; future versions will live entirely online.

This is an announcement that had been coming - according to the Financial Times, only 8,500 copies of the most recent edition were printed. The first edition appeared in 1768, in Scotland.

Media Decoder, the New York Times blog, broke the story this afternoon, quoting Jorge Cauz, president of the Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., as saying “Some people will feel sad about it and nostalgic about it. But we have a better tool now. The website is continuously updated, it’s much more expansive and it has multimedia.”

The Guardian states that individuals can now pay $70 per year for access to its constantly updated digital edition, while universities can sign up for about $1 per student. It quotes Cauz as saying, in a company announcement, that "Today our digital database is much larger than what we can fit in the print set. And it is up to date because we can revise it within minutes anytime we need to, and we do it many times each day."

Author A.J. Jacobs, who spent a year reading the entire Britannica for his book "The Know-It-All", told the Financial Times, "I am a bit heartbroken. There was something so wonderfully concrete about the print version, and I loved the idea that all the world’s knowledge could be contained in those pages.”

The article also cited the fact that Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton apparently took a volume of the encyclopedia with him on an expedition, and burned it to keep warm. "You can't do that to the internet," said Jacobs.

However, the Encyclopedia Britannica faces increased competition from the free, online encyclopedia Wikipedia, which has more than 3.7 million articles compared to Britannica's approximate 100,000. As for which is more reliable… there's a Wikipedia article about that.

  to stop making print editions since 1st publishing in 1768  Digital edition still available
21 minutes ago from web
 By the numbers: 40 pages are devoted to the disease of horses  in the 1768 print edition of 
 Encyclopaedia Britannica kills of print edition, shifts focus to website and iOS app 
 RT : Encyclopaedia Britannica Ends Print Edition. Will anyone notice?
 244 Years isn't a Bad Run: The Encyclopaedia Britannica has ceased the production of its printed volumes and is... 
 The Wikipedia entry for Encyclopaedia Britannica (cx) was edited at least 51 times since print edition end announced 
 Encyclopaedia Britannica goes completely digital after 244 years in print 
 Boffins' bible Encyclopaedia Britannica is killed off by the internet as it stops printed version 
2 hours ago from web
 Get it while you can: After 244 Years, Encyclopaedia Britannica prints last consumer edition-- 
  Will you miss the print version of ?
 Sad day - Encyclopaedia Britannica ends print editions
 Encyclopaedia Britannica halts print edition, goes digital only
 RT : End of an era. RT : Encyclopaedia Britannica Will Stop Publishing Print Edition After More Than 200 Yrs h ...
 Encyclopaedia Britannica nukes print edition, goes digital-only: Citation not needed Encyclopaedia Britannica is... 
 Encyclopaedia Britannica goes out of print, if you didn't hear yesterday. Digital only: 
 After 244 years the Encyclopaedia Britannica will only sell an electronic edition, discontinuing it's printed version. 
 There goes my childhood...RT : Sad day for tradition--end of Encyclopaedia Britannica after 244 years 
 Daily Report: The End of the Line for Encyclopaedia Britannica
 End of print for Encyclopaedia Britannica 
 Editor's Pick: Encyclopaedia Britannica halts print editions for 1st time in 244 years 


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In Washington, D.C., a Museum Gets a Cinematic Makeover

25% drive-in movie 25% video art 50% inside-out

This spring, millions of people strolling at night near the National Mall in Washington, D.C. will be able to see a museum turned inside-out. The Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is giving its trademark circular cement exterior a glowing, 360-degree makeover this spring.

Between March 22 and May 13, from sundown to midnight, artist Doug Aitken’s "SONG 1" installation will use 11 high-definition video projectors to seamlessly blend moving images around the entire building to the tune of the pop song “I Only Have Eyes for You.” The film will include more than 15 covers of the song from a diverse group of artists including Beck and The Flamingos. 

According to Hirshhorn deputy director and chief curator Kerry Brougher, "SONG 1" toys with the concept of "liquid architecture"—a constant shifting that transforms museum architect Gordon Bunshaft's heavy, cement mass into a light, ethereal work of art. The public installation is designed to challenge the boundaries of architecture and redefine the concepts of cinematic and urban space. 

Aitken’s project is the first-ever work of 360-degree cinema to be presented in a continuous, cylindrical format. Its sequences will be presented in myriad ways: sometimes seamless, other times in pieces, reflected from each other, or in a cubist style. The multimedia presentation separates itself from traditional movies, Brougher says, because it is a public, interactive piece. Rather than the screen creating a stagnant space for viewers to sit still and enter the fictional world presented, the outdoor exhibition becomes a part of the urban environment and demands audience participation, requiring the viewer to move around the building to fully experience the installation.

"It’s not so much the building being used as a cinema screen; the architecture itself is being turned into music and given a tempo which has been derived from the architecture, flowing out through images and sound into the spaces around the museum," Brougher says. "This may be one of the most major uses of architecture as cinema. It’s architecture, cinema, music, public art—all together into one piece.”


The European Union has a program called Horizon 2020.  You to look it up and learn if it includes information that relates to your Foresight topic.  By March 9, you need to report by e mail to me and Mr. Birk what you found.  If there is nothing, say so.  Otherwise, briefly explain what you found that will be helpful for your topic.

Willis Goldbeck, Feb 29






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2012 Financial Literacy Essay Contest


Knowledge@Wharton and KWHS 2012 Financial Literacy Essay Contest

Topic: What does financial literacy mean to you? Why is it important? How will it enable you to succeed in our increasingly complex global economy?

Every day in the news media, we read about the crisis in the housing market, excessive fees charged by banks for credit cards, burdensome student loan debt — all coming on top of the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath.

In addition, we are frequently reminded of major changes on the way with respect to the demographic makeup of the global workforce. As more and more baby boomers retire, fewer and fewer workers are available to take their place — a phenomenon now apparent in most industrialized nations. These demographic changes will force the United States and other countries to revamp government-sponsored entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security.  The bottom line: The world is becoming both more complex and more integrated — with serious consequences for the global financial systems that affect our everyday lives.

In a 500-word essay, explain why financial literacy is so important to you as an individual, and describe the goals that achieving financial literacy will help you meet. Please answer the following questions in your essay:

  1. What does financial literacy mean to you and why is it important?
  2. How will this type of knowledge allow you to succeed in the future?
  3. What types of mistakes will this knowledge help to prevent?
  4. How will this knowledge enable you to become a better leader?

Because the contest is open to students, professionals and retirees from all countries, we ask that entrants further tailor their essays based on the following guidelines: Students should focus on credit cards, school and/or car loans, budgeting, entrepreneurial ventures and other relevant subjects. Professionals should focus on school loan repayment, taxes, mortgages, managing investments, retirement planning and other relevant subjects. Senior citizens should focus on estate planning, portfolio management, health care costs and other relevant topics.

Financial Literacy Essay Contest

Who:  Open to individuals of any age and from any country who are registered users of Knowledge@Wharton or Knowledge@Wharton High School

What:  Essay contest to stress the importance of financial literacy to these individuals

Why:  To enhance financial literacy and win great prizes

When:  Knowledge@Wharton and Knowledge@Wharton High School will be accepting essay submissions from February 20, 2012, to March 16, 2012

Where:  Send in your essays to KWHSFinLit@wharton.upenn.edu

The 2012 Financial Literacy Essay Contest is sponsored by Knowledge@Wharton and Knowledge@Wharton High School, which were launched to help spread knowledge about the world of business to a global audience. The purpose of this contest is to challenge all participants to think about what financial literacy means to them and how possessing this knowledge will enable them to succeed in the future.

Contest Deadlines
All essays must be submitted by e-mail by Friday, March 16, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Late essays will not be considered.  All finalists will be notified in March. Prizes – including a Philadelphia 76ers basketball game in the owner’s box, lunch with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, lunch with Pennsylvania State Treasurer Rob McCord, lunch and a day at the Philadelphia Museum of Art with a board member, and a Philadelphia Flyers hockey game – will be announced then.


The contest is open to individuals of all ages and from all countries, including students, career professionals and retirees. The only requirement is that all contestants must be registered at Knowledge@Wharton or Knowledge@Wharton High School. To register, go to https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu or http://kwhs.wharton.upenn.edu. Immediate relatives of employees of the Wharton School are not eligible to participate.

Entrants who do not meet these requirements will be disqualified from the competition.

Rules and Guidelines

  1. To enter the contest, email your essay as a Microsoft Word document toKWHSFinLit@wharton.upenn.edu. The first page of your submission should be a  cover page containing the following information:
  • Full name
  • Grade (if applicable)
  • Title of your essay
  • Full word count (not counting cover page)
  • Home address, email address and home phone number
  • School name (if applicable)
  • School address and phone number (if applicable)
  1. Your essay must be:
  • In English
  • No longer than 500 words
  • Typed as a double-spaced Microsoft Word document in Times New Roman 12-point font

3.  If you use outside sources, you must include correctly formatted citations and a bibliography at the end of your submission. All essays without proper citations will be disqualified. Plagiarism is an automatic disqualification.

4.  Remember to number the pages of your document. Your name and school should not appear anywhere on the document except for the cover page.

5.  First, second and third place contest winners cannot enter future essay contests sponsored by Knowledge@Wharton and Knowledge@Wharton High School. However, honorable mention awardees are permitted to enter future contests.

Judging Criteria

Judging will take place in two rounds. In the first round, the finalists will be selected by a team from Knowledge@Wharton and Knowledge@Wharton High School. In the second round, our judges will read all finalists’ essays and determine the first, second and third prize winners, as well as the honorable mentions. Prizes will be awarded based on geography and age group. There will be one set of prizes for residents of Philadelphia and another set for global participants. Separate prizes will also be awarded for students, professionals and retirees. By entering this contest, you acknowledge that in both rounds of judging, decisions are final and cannot be appealed. Your essay will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Focus: Is your essay on-topic? Does it provide a comprehensive response to each aspect of the prompt?
  • Structure: Is your essay written in a clear and organized way? Does it contain an introduction and a conclusion? Can the reader easily follow the flow of your argument?
  • Research: Do you use a variety of sources to support your ideas and analysis? Do you use sources beyond what is available on the web? Do you cite your sources properly?
  • Analysis: Based on your own experiences and research, do you develop interesting and insightful conclusions? Do you support your conclusions in a compelling way?
  • Style and Grammar: Is your writing coherent and concise? Is your essay grammatically and mechanically correct? Do you use original sentence structure and word selection?

Questions?  Contact: KWHSFinLit@wharton.upenn.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What exactly is Knowledge@Wharton High School?
    Knowledge@Wharton High School, KWHS for short, is an interactive online knowledge site for students interested in finding out more about the world of business. The site officially launched in February 2011.
  • I haven’t learned anything about financial literacy in school.  Does this put me at a disadvantage?
    No. This essay contest emphasizes original ideas and creativity.
  • What if I miss the deadline for submissions?
    Late essays will not be considered. All essays must be submitted by e-mail by March 16, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
  • Is it okay if my essay runs long by a few hundred words?
    Essays should run 500 words or less.
  • Can I use direct quotes in my essay?
    Yes. Use whatever tools necessary to create an informative, creative essay that engages the reader. Be sure to include proper citations for any material you use that is not your own.







Sierra Club took natural-gas cash
By: Dan Berman
February 2, 2012 08:18 PM EST

The Sierra Club took $26 million from one of the nation's largest natural gas companies for three years while at the same time hawking natural gas as a clean, green energy source, the group admitted Thursday.

The natural gas cash came between 2007 and 2010 as the Sierra Club was increasing its efforts to fight coal-fired powered plants, the group's executive director, Michael Brune, wrote in a blog post.

At the time, the Sierra Club, "working with the best science at the time and with extensive input from staff and volunteers, determined that natural gas, while far from ideal as a fuel source, might play a necessary role in helping us reach the clean energy future our children deserve," Brune wrote.

Meanwhile, the gas industry was working to position itself as a cleaner alternative to coal, especially as Congress debated climate change legislation.

"The idea was that we shared at least one common purpose — to move our country away from dirty coal," Brune wrote.

Time Magazine, which first reported the news Thursday afternoon, said most of the donations came from Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon.

Former Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope often spoke warmly about gas as an alternative to coal in power plants. But now, the group is considering calling for natural gas to be phased out by 2050 — about 20 years after it wants coal eliminated.

Now, Brune says the group definitely isn't a fan of natural gas, due to concerns over hydraulic fracturing.

"It's time to stop thinking of natural gas as a 'kinder, gentler' energy source," Brune wrote. "What's more, we do not have an effective regulatory system in this country to address the risks that gas drilling poses on our health and communities. The scope of the problems from under-regulated drilling, as well as a clearer understanding of the total carbon pollution that results from both drilling and burning gas, have made it plain that, as we phase out coal, we need to leapfrog over gas whenever possible in favor of truly clean energy."

Chesapeake spokesman Jim Gipson told Time the decision to end the funding in 2010 was mutual. "Over the years, Chesapeake has been proud to support a number of organizations that share our interest in clean air and agree that America’s abundant supplies of clean natural gas represent the most affordable, available and scalable fuel to power a more prosperous and environmentally responsible future for our country," Gipson said.

This article first appeared on POLITICO Pro at 8:13 p.m. on February 2, 2012.


In class on Feb 13, we made the following two assignment changes:


1.  Aspiration Statements.  Due by email to Mr. B and me on this Friday, Feb 17.

2.  History and Current Conditions chapters:  you no longer have to do two separate chapters.  Do one well organized outline with appropriate source references.  This is due by  e mail by Sunday night, March 4...after UN-UNIS.


The three trends we focused upon in class were demographics, technology and culture.  So, in our next class, we will focus on government/politics, economics and environment.

Futurists:  try to find futurists who have done work in  your topic areas.


Check the Resources area every day or so for new items.  You are also welcome to add items you think may be helpful to all or to specific subjects that are the topics of your classmates.




I’m excited to see the full list of topics being explored. I’ve cataloged the topics in a google spreadsheet:




Please take a look and edit your topics as appropriate. 


As a reminder, our next meeting is MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12 from 4:00-5:30.  You may want to take a look at Five Principles of Futuring as Applied History.  This provides some useful insights into what we’ll be discussing next.   


I’m also excited to share with you some of the visionary leaders that we’ll have the opportunity to meet with in March:


Media:                                                  Henry Schleiff, President and GM, Discovery Communications



International Development:       Carolyn Stern, CEO, US Fund for UNICEF


Ed Lloyd, Exec VP and CFO, US Fund for UNICEF



Education:                                           Michael Levine, Executive Director, The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop



Based on the topics that you’ve chosen, I’ve also begun to search for visionary leaders in the area of health and medicine.


Have a great weekend!


Jeremy Birk

Tutorial House Assistant Principal



It was a great pleasure to meet you last Friday and begin our exploration of (your) futures.

The Resources tab (click on Futures Studies) has a broad collection of documents and links.  Some relate to specific topics, others to the field of futures, and others are actual examples of futures studies, trends analyses and scenarios.  They are not in any specific order.  After today, all new postings will be at the top of the list.  The list can be printed.


The last item on the Futures Studies Resource list is one you may wish to review immediately.  It is from the Institute for Alternative Futures (a major source) and gives you the opportunity to see the scenarios from a new study (I left a copy of the full study with you on Friday) on television and lets you "vote" on what you would prefer.  Future Studies in action!


Thanks to those who have responded to my test e mail yesterday...and I look forward to hearing from the rest of you shortly!


Willis Goldbeck


UNIS Assignments


Top Priority:  select your topic and inform me and Mr. Birk.


This should be a topic you will enjoy exploring.  Each topic needs to fit "The Future of......"  In other words, you cannot select a topic of something that is totally concluded, an historical event, or an industry that no longer exists.  Your topic needs to have a possible future of at least 2040.

You are welcome to send me an  email of your idea, if you want comments before making a final decision.  A topic can also be expressed as a problem.  Must be major, preferably with global implications.  Child hunger and sexual exploitation are problems.  Agriculture is an industry. Nutrition via pharmaceuticals (or drugs via foods) are technologies.

Topic selections should be submitted by Monday, Feb 6.

To review what we discussed in class, over the next few weeks, you will need to:

  • draft an Aspiration Statement for you topic for 2040:  can be a sentence up to 1/2 page.  This is your opinion, so you cannot be wrong...so be bold.
  • identify at least three sources for your topic
  • write a history chapter, 2-3 pages.
  • write a current conditions chapter, 2-3 pages
I will give you more details on each of these tasks.
Our next in-person class will be Feb 13.  The focal point of our discussion will be on the trends.  You need to start thinking about how the six trends relate to your topic.


January 31


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