Inaugural YMF Conference
The Inaugural Young Minds of the Future Conference was held on the 3rd of May 2014, at the University of Queensland. With guest presenters Steve Tighe, Peter Ellerton and Lesley Sutherland, and an audience of over 40 knowledge thirsty students, the Inaugural YMF Conference marked a milestone for Young Minds of the Future. In focussing on a variety of different areas, students had the opportunity to engage with three guest speakers in the areas of Future Problem Solving and Philosophy. Collaborative Circles saw a variety of collaborative discussion that allowed students to delve deeper into the topics of presentation and enhance their learning experience through collaboration. Click here to visit the blog for more!
Materialism and Social Dynamics
Futurist Steve Tighe gave an insightful presentation into the changing dynamics and structure of our society, and what this means for individuals and organisations. He focussed on the transition from the rise of materialism to the rise of post materialism, and the economic implications of such change. In focussing on these changing social dynamics, Steve talked how the changing demands in knowledge, skills and education would affect us as individuals, how we live, and ultimately; the world around us. Click here to learn more about Steve’s presentation.
Critically Thinking About Critical Thinking
Philosopher Peter Ellerton explored various branches of critical thinking through his presentation. In particular he began with the concept of making choices, discriminating between options and finding the most suitable solution. However, through Peter’s presentation, he began to show that our decision making (despite what we think) is influenced by the the addition of information. But not only was it our decision making that Peter showed was effected by the addition of information, the ability to think critically and problem solve was affect by the phenomenon he called ‘framing’. That is, framing a question, an approach, a mindset or our perceptions that ultimately affect they way we think critically and problem solve. Click here to learn more about Peter’s presentation.
Our final speaker Lesley Sutherland brought the concepts of future technologies to the forefront of the discussion. Throughout Lesley’s presentation, we began to explore the various new technological developments that had the potential to shape our future, including autonomous cars, wearable technology and cognitive enhancement. But just as we delved into the world of these new technologies, Lesley posed the questions of responsibility and morality. Are we able to consider the consequences, both positive and negative arising from future developments in technology? Lesley’s presentation set the stage for a variety of contributions throughout collaborative discussion. Click here to learn more about Lesley’s presentation.
Following presentations, students engaged in three 45 minute Collaborative Circle sessions, where they were given the opportunity to collaborate with fellow students and presenters on the topics of presentation and the future scenes generated for each. Focussing on the Future Problem Solving side of the conference, students began to unpack each topic using the six-step process under the guidance of the State Future Problem Solving Co-ordinator Lesley Sutherland. Emphasising the role of youth in the Future Problem Solving process, the Collaborative Circles generated a variety of interest discussion and action plans that sought to help engage youth in addressing the underlying problems developed for each topic.
What Students Said About the Inaugural YMF Conference
- The YMF conference was a new and exciting experience with new and appealing aspects that have not previously been explored and available.The presentations were all very interesting, thought provoking, and 'framed and conditioned' our minds for the later group discussions. These small group discussions with each of the presenters also opened our eyes to other new perspectives and the pros and cons of different futuristic developments. Overall it was a brilliant experience and I can't wait for the next conference!Victoria Swadling