Designing the Future — A Yearlong Obermann Series

As changes in technology, population, climate, the economy, the organization of knowledge, and other systems gather speed, the need to predict and even to design the future accelerates as does the need to re-envision STEM as STEAM (sciences, technology, engineering, arts-humanities, and medicine). Through 2013-2014, a series of "futurists"—from the arts, humanities, social sciences, technology, health humanities, and beyond—will visit the University of Iowa campus. We have invited our speakers to offer their perspectives on the forces spurring change, the possible futures before us, and opportunities to design the future through imaginative forms of education, collaboration, intervention, and invention.

The yearlong events include:

  • Imagining and Being Imagined:  A Conversation Between Two Futurists—Dan Reed and Bruce Sterling, September 16, 2013
  • Designing the Future for Publicly Engaged Research and Teaching in the Humanities, March 10, 2014—with Sara Guyer (University of Wisconsin) and Matthew Countryman (University of Michigan) 
  • Health Humanities Working Symposium, April 4-5, 2014 
  • Designing the Future of Higher Education, April 28, 2014—a visit with Christopher Newfield (American Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara)
Friday, April 26, 2013 -
8:30am to 1:30pm
 Please plan to join faculty, staff, and graduate students on April 26th for a workshop to learn about Public Engagement in Higher Education.  Come to hear more about the ways universities and their faculty, staffs, and students are recommitting themselves to their public missions and creating better futures for their local and global communities.  Join us at the College of Public Health on April 26th from 8:30-1:30 p.m. to learn more.  Registration and schedule details will follow. "By engagement, we refer to a redesign of basic university functions so the institution becomes even more productivelyinvolved with communities, however community is defined.  Going well beyond most conceptions of public service, whichemphasize a one-way transfer of university expertise to the public, the engagement ideal envisions new public/universitypartnerships defined by mutual respect for what each partner brings to the table." Kellogg Commission, 2000, p.22  This event is being organized by the Obermann Working Group Scholarship of Engagement: Language. Literacy, and School Success in Rural Iowa for Immigrant Families, directed by Carolyn Colvin. If you have questions, please contact Carolyn Colvin carolyn-colvin@uiowa.edu or call (335-5588).