The Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University (PMU) and UNESCO signed an innovative Futures Literacy Partnership Agreement, to develop Futures Literacy at PMU and in the Gulf region. This marks the launch of an ambitious joint effort to advance Futures Literacy (FL) at local, regional and global levels. Futures Literacy is a critical competency for the 21st Century that enables people to “use-the-future for different reasons, using different methods, in different contexts”.
The Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University and UNESCO are joining forces to lead the development and diffusion of Futures Literacy, a capability that is central to overcoming the global fragility exposed by the pandemic shock and to the realization of a more effective diversification strategy towards resilience.
The Partnership Agreement, which spans 4 years and nearly 1 million dollars, was signed on 25 June 2020 by Dr Faisal Yousif Al Anezi, Vice-President of PMU, and Xing Qu, Deputy Director-General of UNESCO.
Futures literacy is about knowing how to use the future. It helps us understand how our images of the future shape our choices in the present. Being able to use the future is a valuable skill – and one which requires practical knowledge.
11 leading scholars and practitioners from the Global Futures Literacy Network (GFLN), hailing from Austria, Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, Greece, Italy, Kenya, Malaysia, Norway, South Africa, United Kingdom, and Uruguay, joined the ceremony via telepresence. They underscored the fundamental role of anticipatory systems and processes in shaping the imaginary futures that play a decisive role in what people see and do, in forming their hopes and fears. These prominent members of the GFLN also confirmed that in their view greater Futures Literacy is needed if humanity is to effectively address the threats of climate extinction, societal fragmentation, and the fragilities brought to light by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today PMU and UNESCO are demonstrating the importance of collaboration for effective leadership by launching this partnership to develop and diffuse Futures Literacy at our university, in the Gulf Region, and worldwide. Through close engagement with the global Futures Literacy network we will tackle the challenges of societal transitions and inter-generational relationships. This is the mission of PMU’s Centre for Futuristic Studies and of the proposed UNESCO Chair at PMU.