College of Global Futures Activities

Humanities | Presentation

CSI Skill Tree: Video Games and Possible Futures

CSI Skill Tree is a series of events and videos that examines and celebrates how video games envision possible futures, build rich and thought-provoking worlds, and engage people as active participants in unfolding and interpreting stories. Our guests include game developers, scholars, critics and journalists, science fiction authors, and other interesting folks working at the intersection of technological change and story craft. So far we’ve looked at indie games like Subsurface Circular and Waking Mars, big-budget games like Death Stranding and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, critical favorites like 80 Days and Flower, and classics like Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri.

Social Science | Presentation

What is chaos? How is it different from randomness?

Science develops models that help us make sense of the patterns we see in the world. Without those models, the world appears to be random – a product of chance. But as we gain knowledge, we learn that there are patterns, and knowledge of those patterns makes the world seem less random and more deterministic. But what if there were systems that behaved randomly even if you knew everything about how the system works? These are special kinds of complex systems that are said to be chaotic. Here we explore how chaos is the apparent randomness from ordered complex systems.

Sustainability | Presentation

Kahoot! as a tool in Sustainability Education

Do you Kahoot! ? Learn more about Kahoot! and how students are using it to advance sustainability education from faculty member Stephanie Pfirman.

Social Science | Presentation

Epidemics as Systems!

When the media reports on COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2, do you ever hear about “R-naught” (R0)? You might have heard what this number represents, but where does it come from? Epidemiologists view the spread of disease through a population as the output of a system of interactions between individuals. Just like “temperature” helps determine the speed a gas moves through a room without keeping track of every molecule of that gas, ”R0” helps determine the speed of disease spread through a population. Here we describe the systems thinking behind epidemics and give an idea of how to better understand complex systems.

Natural Science | Presentation

An Experiential Model of the Atmosphere

Collaborative Steering with Movement and Ordinary Objects. Brandon Mechtley, PhD, Synthesis Center, School of Arts, Media + Engineering, ASU. With Melissa Bukovski (NCAR); Connor Rawls, Julian Stein, Emiddio Vasquez, Todd Ingalls, Megan Patzem, Chris Roberts, Sha Xin Wei (Synthesis). September 2018.

Sustainability | Demonstration

Watch and Create! Creativity for Sustainability

In this activity, children and adults work together to explore their relationship with technology and examine ways to make sustainable media consumption choices. Participants watch a short clip of a cartoon, then try a creative challenge to turn time spent watching videos into an interactive and imaginative experience at home.

Student Life | Tour

Day in the Life of a Sustainability Alumna Working at U-HAUL

Follow Arizona State University School of Sustainability alumna Alexia Bednarz for a glimpse into her sustainable career at U-HAUL. Alexia shares how her position and sustainable practices have been implemented at U-HAUL and their impact. She also shares her journey to becoming a Sustainability major and how she landed her job at U-HAUL.

Social Science | Presentation

What are complex adaptive systems?

A system can refer to many things. But for understanding complex adaptive systems, it refers to a group of objects or entities connected to each other in some way. Complex systems are systems characterized by special properties of their organization and behavior. Complex adaptive systems use this organization to process information about their internal condition and external environment, allowing them to respond to a dynamic world. All living things and human societies are complex adaptive system

Student Life | Tour

Day in the Life of ASU Sustainability Major Transfer Student

Join Samantha, a College of Global Futures transfer student, as she shares her experience of transferring to ASU as a Phoenix local. At ASU, Samantha is double-majoring in sustainability and supply chain management. Samantha talks about how she's getting hands-on sustainability experience through extracurricular activities and studying abroad in rural China and Nepal.

Engineering | Presentation


How safe are self-driving cars? And how safe should they be before they're widely used? Self-driving cars—or autonomous vehicles as they are often referred to—could radically improve road safety, and increase mobility for people who currently cannot drive, or should not be driving. But how do we know that the benefits outweigh the risks? Join Risk Bites and Professor Andrew Maynard from the ASU College of Global Futures as we take a look at the safety of self-driving cars. Produced by Andrew Maynard and previously posted on the YouTube channel Risk Bites. Used with permission.

Social Science | Demonstration

Futures Technology Bracket Board Game: Print and Play

This game is designed to give opportunity for participants to think about how future technologies will impact society and reflect on their own values around this theme. Do they think about risks and benefits? Unintended consequences? Using a tree diagram style bracket, participants will narrow down a list of future technologies and discuss why some might be more important than other.

Sustainability | Presentation

Rob and Melani Walton National Sustainability Teachers’ Academy Alumni: Valencia Newcomer School

The Valencia Newcomer School is committed to combining sustainable efforts with education. Robert and Kathryn are working on the school’s community garden project to bring the classroom outdoors and develop the leadership skills of their students. See how they plan to share their message with the community.

Art/Design | Presentation

What Can We Learn by Thinking of the Future as an Object?

The future holds a unique fascination for most of us. Simultaneously unknowable yet strangely malleable, it saturates our lives as completely as the air we breathe. Yet how many of us can truly say that we understand what the future is, and how we’re connected to it? Join College of Global Futures Professor Andrew Maynard as he explores how thinking about the future as an object can reveal new ways of understanding our relationship with it, and our responsibility to it.

Sustainability | Presentation

Dinner for 9.6 Billion

As our world population continues to growth exponentially, what happens when our resources finite? Join us for discussion of what sustainable solutions we can do while we live through this peril and be introduced to one of our new Food Systems program within the Arizona State University School of Sustainability.

Sustainability | Presentation

Sustainability Storytelling: Student-produced Short Documentaries

Relax at home with your favorite movie snack and watch two 2020 documentary shorts produced in Professor Peter Byck’s class. “Plant the Rain” shows how a renegade rainwater harvester and a band of elementary school kids maximize the desert’s water. “Holding on to the Corn” explores the multi-generational effort to create a healthier community through Hopi knowledge and traditions.

Student Life | Tour

Day in the Life of ASU Sustainability & Business Marketing Student

Join Annika, our Global Futures concurrent degree (double major) in Sustainability and Business Marketing, as she shares her ASU experience in an instagram takeover. Learn how she goes about her day as a student athlete that plays ASU volleyball and why she has chosen her Sustainability program.

Engineering | Presentation


Advanced brain computer interfaces like the one being developed by Elon Musk’s Neuralink have the potential to transform our lives for the better. But they also come with complex ethical challenges. Join Risk Bites and Professor Andrew Maynard from the ASU College of Global Futures as he explores the benefits, risks and ethics of advanced brain machine interface technology. Produced by Andrew Maynard and previously posted on the YouTube channel Risk Bites. Used with permission.

Social Science | Presentation

Tipping Points!

People talk about “tipping points” all the time, but what are they? Where do they come from? And are the things people call “tipping points” actually tipping points? Understanding these phenomena is critical for understanding sustainability and stability in human socio-techno-ecological systems. In this mini-tutorial, we discuss what “tipping points” are and how they emerge from complex systems of interactions we might think we understand at a small scale but might fail to understand at a large scale.

Social Science | Presentation

Goldenrods Deserve a Place in Your Garden

In New England, Autumn often means crisp mornings, fresh squeezed apple cider, piping hot cinnamon donuts and pumpkin patches. Thriving in the background of this scene—ubiquitous, but often overlooked—are goldenrods. Their brilliant yellow spires add color to tired roadways, fields, and woodlands. There are more than 100 different species of goldenrod and nine grow in Arizona. Every last one of them is a pollinator powerhouse, providing nectar and pollen. From June through October they bloom, cheering up farm fields, fences, and our gardens, if we allow them space. Learn about this incredible plant and all the wildlife it supports.

Sustainability | Tour

Finding sustainability solutions by studying locust swarms

Named one of the top 10 most brilliant scientists by Popular Science magazine School of Sustainability Professor Arianne Cease runs the world’s largest locust laboratory. Professor Cease discovered land-use impacts swarming behavior of locusts, which in turn affects food security. A key goal of her research is to improve sustainable ecosystem management and local livelihoods by linking fundamental ecological research with economic models and policy. Take a tour of the lab and find out more in this 5-minute video.

Sustainability | Presentation

Student Council Sustainability Officers Program

Does your school have a sustainability officer? The Student Council Sustainability Officers Initiative encourages teachers, school leadership, cities and other community leaders to bring sustainability onto high school campuses through the adoption of Sustainability Officers. This program is supported by ASU’s School of Sustainability. Program Manager Julia Colbert, responsible for creating a “Sustainability checklist” used by teachers in the Wells Fargo Regional Teachers’ Academy.

Engineering | Presentation


Can science fiction movies help us develop new technologies more responsibly and ethically? Surprisingly, with the right guide, they can! Join Risk Bites and Professor Andrew Maynard from the ASU College of Global Futures as he explores how sci-fi movies can be used to help get new technologies right. Produced by Andrew Maynard and previously posted on the YouTube channel Risk Bites. Used with permission.

Natural Science | Presentation

The Growth and Differentiation of Metabolism: Extended Evolutionary Dynamics in the Technosphere

Evolutionary biologist and interim director of the School of Complex Adaptive Systems, Manfred Laubichler explains the dynamics behind the formation of the metabolic activity and complexity of our planet. Our current sociotechnological system seems to be producing just another step change in evolutionary history, leaving us with the question of what is needed to halt its negative effects, which threaten to annihilate life on Earth as we know it.

Sustainability | Presentation

Sports & Sustainability

How does a big business industry like sports take into consideration sustainability? Join us for a worthwhile discussion with ASU College of Global Futures School of Sustainability alum Garrett Wong as he shares how the sport industry can be a beacon for communities as social, economic, and environmental components are taken into consideration when working towards sustainable solutions.

Engineering | Presentation


How do we ensure that facial recognition technology is developed responsibly and ethically? Join Risk Bites and Professor Andrew Maynard from the ASU College of Global Futures as he dives into complex ethical problems and risks presented by face recognition. Produced by Andrew Maynard and previously posted on the YouTube channel Risk Bites. Used with permission.

Engineering | Presentation


Imagine eating a hamburger that is, in every way, identical to the hamburgers you’re used to eating—except that didn’t come from an animal! While this may sound like science fiction, lab-grown meat (also known as cultured meat) may be available to most people in the next couple of years—they’re already being served up in Singapore! Join Risk Bites and Dr. Mariya Vizireanu from the ASU College of Global Futures as we take a look at what lab-grown meat is, and what the benefits and risks might be. Produced by Andrew Maynard and previously posted on the YouTube channel Risk Bites. Used with permission.

Engineering | Presentation


How dangerous could artificial intelligence turn out to be, and how do we develop ethical and beneficial artificial intelligence? Join Risk Bites and Professor Andrew Maynard from the ASU College of Global Futures as we take a look at how we might develop AI safely, ethically, and beneficially, while avoiding potential dangers. Produced by Andrew Maynard and previously posted on the YouTube channel Risk Bites. Used with permission.

Sustainability | Demonstration

Nature Journaling

School of Sustainability alumna Julia Colbert explored sustainability literacy through nature journaling for her Master’s in Sustainability. Join her in a nature journaling activity that aims to make you more aware of the world around you.