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Kaleidoscopic glitch- Sci-fi pyramid
A kaleidoscope of possible futures

Back to the future

What might the future look like?

There are many competing visions of the future. How we visualise our future drives many decisions that we make today. Consider what visions of the future we are used to seeing from many different sources, from the news, to fiction, through movies, music, comics, TV series.

A worldview is the way in which we understand the world around us. It includes our beliefs, attitudes, hopes, desires, and visions of the future. Our actions are very closely related to how we see things.

If we can understand how we are seeing things, we can be more critical about the actions we take and why are taking them. We can also change what we are doing, which can lead to a different future, either as an individual or a society or a planet.

Let’s look at a range of movies (through their trailers) to explore different views of the future.

Your task

Watch this playlist of trailers or access this alternative list for information about the following movies:

  • Bladerunner

  • Mad Max: Fury Road

  • Star Trek

  • Avatar

  • Logan’s Run

  • Demolition Man

As you watch, identify the different views of the future each represents. Consider what is happening now that could lead to one or more of these futures? What could we do now to avoid some of the dystopian visions? What actions could we take now to create a more utopian future?

Reflect on what you envisage as the future for humanity given the current state of the world. Which of the movies are we going to end up playing roles in? Share your ideas.

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This article is from the free online course:

Introduction to Sustainability and Development

Deakin University

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join:

  • Human development at odds with our environment
    Human development at odds with our environment

    Watch an animation to understand climate change and ocean acidification. Examine the ideas of planetary boundaries and planetary squeezes.

  • Wind turbines behind a modern farm with solar panels Group of wind turbines behind a modern farm with solar panels on the roofs, group of cows in the foreground; northern Germany.
    Tomorrow's world

    Investigate the contribution of new and innovative technology to possible futures. Share your research and learn from others via Padlet walls.