Erica Bol

Exploring survival skills for education

The meet-up for teachers at Avans University of Applied Sciences in Breda has an energetic and enthusiastic atmosphere, despite the late hour. Teachers from different schools have come together to participate in the Next Generation Survival Kit. They all want to change something in education. Together they will explore the future of education and their own role in it.

They start by making a number of choices between different developments. Each group deals with this differently. In one group, they carefully weigh up each choice and stall the decision moment as long as possible. “I think it’s both important, can’t they both be involved in the future?” Unfortunately, the choice has to be made, even though it’s not always easy and even if you don’t always agree with each other. They have heated discussions, but in the end consensus is reached.

In the other group they make the decision faster. They continue to discuss the latest technological and educational developments and how they could affect their lives. Is that what they want? Isn’t it better the way it is now? No, they want progress and change. “It’s handy when your fridge can order groceries for you!” But there is also fear of big changes. “I already find it difficult how my phone works sometimes”.  They notice that it is quite difficult to think a few steps further than what  already exists. But slowly they get a taste for it and they get more and more enjoyment in exploring the unknown.

In the end, both groups are working on a future scenario. They describe the skills that are needed to ‘survive’ in that future and that they think are important to start teaching today. It is interesting to see that despite the different approaches, the groups still describe largely the same ‘survival’ skills such as curiosity, creativity and flexibility. The future is uncertain, but these skills ensure that young people can always adapt to our rapidly changing world, where knowledge alone is no longer sufficient. After the session, many teachers hang around to talk. Inspiration and contact details are exchanged.

“Very inspiring! It’s nice to get together and experience what other people think about the future.”

“I go home with a lot of energy to apply future thinking in the classroom tomorrow.”

Velon / VELOV congres

18 March 2019 – Teachers conference for teachers from The Netherlands and Belgium with the title Educating for the Future. Teach the Future is, together with Maya van Leemput, responsible for the keynote and will host two session: 13:45 Futures thinking in the classroom – practical tools and 15:45 Pilot NL – Futures Education. Check out the program below.



In Dutch

Opleiden voor de Toekomst. Wat betekent opleiden voor de toekomst voor kinderen en jongeren? Wat betekent dit voor de lerarenopleidingen en voor ons als lerarenopleiders? Welke ontwikkelingen zijn er gaande, waar spelen we op in en welke afwegingen maken we daarbij? Moet onderwijs, moet een lerarenopleiding voorop lopen of juist een kritische tegenkracht vormen? Grote en abstracte vragen waarop het antwoord niet eenvoudig en niet eenduidig zal zijn. Interessante vragen die aandacht en tijd behoeven. Daarom staat juist dit thema centraal tijdens het Velon/VELOV Congres 2019, zodat we twee dagen de tijd hebben om met elkaar in gesprek te gaan over het thema Opleiden voor de Toekomst.

Maya van Leemput, Erasmus Hogeschool Brussel, heeft de Toekomst Keynote verzorgd waarin ze aangeeft waarom toekomstdenken noodzakelijk is in het onderwijs.

Teach the Future zal twee sessies verzorgen:

18 maart 2019 – 13:45 Erica Bol, Maya van Leemput, Zina Burgers

Wil je kinderen en jongeren opleiden voor de toekomst, dan leer je ze toekomstdenken. De toekomst bestaat nog niet dus je kunt ze niet vertellen hoe deze eruit gaat zien, maar je kan ze wel de vaardigheden meegeven hier zelf invulling aan te geven.

18 maart 2019 – 15:45  Erica Bol, Marcel Staring, Martin de Wolf, Gabri Klarenbeek

Toekomst denken als standaard vak voor leerlingen van lerarenopleiding. Windesheim Almere, Fontys Tilburg en de Hogeschool Rotterdam zijn, in samenwerking met Teach the Future, aan het onderzoeken hoe dit werkt in de praktijk.

Voor de liefhebber, hierbij een aantal ‘toekomst oefeningen’ voor in de les die we tijdens een van de sessies besproken hebben.

Toekomst oefeningen

Joseph Jaworski Foresight Award!

TTF wins the Joseph Jaworski Foresight Award!

The Joseph Jaworski Next Generation Foresight Practitioners Award aims to identify the innovators in the foresight field and support them in their endeavours. The award supports winners in developing new foresight initiatives and in developing both personally and professionally. The long term aim is to create a global sensing-network of future-alert activists combined with  a platform to showcase innovative practices from around the world.

We are pleased to announce that two foresight practitioners associated with Teach the Future, Erica Bol and Aileen Moeck, have won the Education Special Award! 👏🏻👏🏻

Erica Bol received her award based on her sustained effort over the years to introduce futures thinking to schools in the Netherlands and throughout Europe and Latin America. She specifically was recognised for setting up a pilot program with schools in the Netherlands. Together with five teacher-in-training programs, five schools of secondary education, and five schools of primary education she is piloting the integration of futures education in their curriculum.

Another objective of this pilot initiative is to gather data on how to effectively teach futures thinking at primary and secondary education. Erica plans to gather and analyze the data from every pilot school to develop a ”Best Practice” database that presents the most effective approaches to teaching futures thinking categorized per age group.

A visual overview of the pilot.

Aileen Moeck co-founded a similar program in Berlin called Die Zukunfstbauer (The Futures Builders) and she just finished conducting their first pilot. She conducted a seven week pilot on futures thinking in grade nine of the Sankt Franziskus Schule in Berlin. Grade nine is the phase when youngsters have their first internship and work experiences. She created a learning space called ‘personal futures’ where we traveled with the pupils in the future.

The youngsters used the framework from the Teach the Future Playbook to describe how future people would communicate, work and travel in those worlds. Learn more about this pilot via this blog we posted recently on our site.

The German youngsters participating in the Berlin pilot.


We are grateful that the impact education of youngsters can have on futures thinking is recognized by this award. We will keep on preparing students for tomorrow by teaching the future today! ✨