Get Kids To Predict The Future

Back in 1964, sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke introduced a program on future predictions by stating:

The only thing we can be sure of about the future is that it will be absolutely fantastic. So, if what I say to you now seems to be very reasonable then I’ll have failed completely. Only if what I tell you appears absolutely unbelievable have we any chance of visualizing the future as it really will happen.

Among other developments, Clarke predicted the emergence of the Internet, telecommuting, and remote surgery.

Fantastic. More science fictions are becoming science facts all the time.

Just like the predictions kids gave when I asked them about the future at a multi-age enrichment program. The youngest ones jumped in eagerly.

“Robots will do all our chores.”

“Dogs will come in a bunch of different colors.”

“Kids can fly little space cars around wherever they want.”

“You’ll think of anything you like to eat and it’ll appear.”

What the teens predicted was more complex and somewhat darker. They talked about the necessity of space exploration to seek out scarce resources on other planets. They discussed enhanced ESP abilities for communication and intuitive powers to diagnose illness, although those topics raised a lot of debate. Most of them hoped teleporting would eventually replace the difficulties of travel. And quite a few envisioned grim scenarios of global scarcity complicated by the use of advanced weaponry.

The future may hinge on optimists with a can-do attitude. So after the group discussed their predictions I headed the conversation in a more positive direction. We discussed what kind of future the kids wanted to live in, what steps were already underway to make that happen, and how the kids themselves could take part. By the close of our session the kids were energized about envisioning and creating a hopeful future, one that included space cars as well as peace. Envisioning that future is the first step.

I wish I’d had the participants in my enrichment program write down their predictions so their parents could save those speculations for a decade or two. Better yet, I wish I’d copied all the predictions so that someday the kids could find out which of their many ideas had come to fruition.

Consider asking your kids to make their own predictions.  It’s an interesting way to stimulate conversation about their hopes and fears. Written or recorded predictions are also a wonderful contribution to a scrapbook, family blog, or time capsule.

Let us know in the comment section what your kids had to say. Consider making your own. And go one step farther than I did. Remember to save them!

kids see future, kids predict future, arthur c. clarke future,

3 thoughts on “Get Kids To Predict The Future

  1. Great post! Reminded me of the time when we made time capsules at school. Those were some weird predictions we made! Nevertheless, I am really considering making a video with my little ones making predictions. I already mentioned it to them and they are thrilled!

    Thank you for the wonderful idea :)

    Yours sincerely,

    Megan Steel, Marketing Executive at Fantastic Carpet Cleaners Melbourne


  2. You don’t have to GET kids to envision or to imagine the world they’d like to live in…they do it anyway, provided they are not conditioned; their mind hasn’t been closed, they haven’t been socialized/institutionalized.
    It’s in their everyday speech and thinking, it comes on anytime, anywhere, anyhow…we just have to be paying enough attention to listen and also to decode their way of communicating their visions; their knowing.

    This has been the most amazing aspect of my unschooled daughter’s upbringing. Growing up naturally, she doesn’t stop envisioning, remembering, creating a world of her own, which I could easily argue that is beyond linear time and very real. Is she remembering what she has already lived or dreaming of her wondrous future, the way she imagines it to be? What is imagination really? She has helped me doubt many of my former concepts and has cultivated creative thinking in me… something I consider essential to balance our minds and lives.

    But I wouldn’t make it into a task, something I would “document” in a way we do everything else. Their mind is not linear and we need to re-examine our own linearity…

    I am happy thought that we are finally starting to produce articles like these, which show a change in our thinking habits! :)


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