Director's Welcome

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Welcome to the new School for the Future of Innovation in Society!

The School for the what-of-what-what?

The School for the Future of Innovation in Society.

Here’s the deal:

The influence of science, technology and innovation in how we live our lives has never been greater. Tomorrow it is likely to be greater still. Headlines that would have seemed like science fiction a few short years ago announce new technical realities: “editing” human genes to erase disease traits or add new ones; programming robotic drones to operate autonomously on the battlefield; and collecting and interpreting data from nearly uncountable human interactions. These new capabilities contain both promise and challenge. But it is not just new technologies that draw our attention. The legacies of fossil fuels and nuclear power are ongoing. Our urban infrastructures of water, energy, transportation, food and health are intertwined in the most complex ways. Gaps between technological haves and have-nots are profound, but issues of equity remain stubbornly persistent against the backdrop of technological change.

The School for the Future of Innovation in Society.

Universities prepare students for the future. At SFIS we make the future – or, rather, the set of plausible futures that humanity has – a focus of our activities. We are planning now for the kinds of futures that we will want to inhabit.

 Universities are at the forefront of innovation, generating and applying knowledge to improve our lives. At SFIS we’re going to make innovation the object of systematic study and informed critique, so that we might get what we truly want and need out of our scientific and technological endeavors.

 Universities serve society by producing knowledge and facilitating opportunity. They educate new generations of informed citizens and skilled, productive workers. At SFIS we see our efforts as part of a larger social fabric – local, regional, national, global – that informs our wants and needs about the futures we will want to inhabit.

The School for the Future of Innovation in Society.

We have a faculty with an extraordinary track record of teaching, research and service that fully embraces the design aspirations of the New American University. Their interdisciplinary background ranges from political science to electrical engineering, from physics to geography, from environmental science to law, and from geology to science and technology studies. Through our degree programscertificate andcoursework, our faculty will — in the words of visionary John Seely Brown — “teach content, mentor skills, and cultivate dispositions” that will allow our students to succeed in making the futures they want to inhabit.

 The future is near. Come be a part of it.

Dave Guston
Founding Director of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society