Integral Global Futures – Socio-Cultural Systems

  • Faculty: Jennifer M. Gidley, PhD
  • Microcourse
  • 3 hours/week: 4 Weeks
  • Content Category: Knowledge, Impact

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61 Lessons

Microcourse Description:

This is the second of three micro-courses introducing you to global futures. It will show that socio-cultural futures are complex and systemically interconnected. The purpose of the ‘Integral Global Futures: Socio-Cultural Micro-Course’ is also twofold: 1. To demonstrate that the socio-cultural challenges we face at present are causing a lot of human suffering, which is being exacerbated by their interconnectedness; and 2. To explore alternatives to these unconscious, legacy, socio-cultural patterns, and systems.

This micro-course focuses on our society and culture and will teach you about emerging global challenges such as rapid urbanization; entrenched socio-cultural prejudices such as racism, gender inequality, and ageism; and why the factory model of schooling is obsolete and needs to be replaced. Secondly, the course will empower you to search for, imagine and invent social and cultural innovations such as ecological and smart cites; social and cultural practices that are empowering, equitable, inclusive, and meaningful; and a range of educational theories and practices that are creative, evolutionary, integral, and transformative. The course will also indicate the alignment of alternatives to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this microcourse you should be able to:

  • Identify three major socio-cultural systems domains and give examples of at least two specific challenges that impact each domain.
  • Reflect on how at least one of these socio-cultural challenges is having a direct impact on their personal life or that of their community.
  • Research or invent two alternative socio-cultural scenarios, and demonstrate how each alternative aligns to at least one of the UN SDGs.
  • Design a plan of action to implement some tangible change in their life or community in relation to one of the socio-cultural challenges.




Jennifer M. Gidley, PhD – Jennifer is an author, educator, psychologist and futures researcher. She has held academic posts at four Australian universities, is currently an Adjunct Professor at two Australian universities, and holds academic affiliations in France, Germany and Spain. She is Co-founder and Director of Research at the Oceanic Research Institute, Australia: the world’s first fully sustainable Ocean research organisation, and a partner in the UN Decade of Ocean Science.

Jennifer works globally with speaking and research collaborations across Australia, Europe, UK, USA, Middle East and South East Asia. As the longest-serving elected President (2009-2017) of the World Futures Studies Federation, a UNESCO and UN-ECOSOC partner founded in Paris in 1973, she led the global peak body for futures scholars from 60 countries. As WFSF President she presided over UNESCO Participation Project funding in six developing countries.

Jennifer has published 50 academic papers, edited scholarly books and special journal issues, and serves on editorial boards of seven international academic journals. Her recent books are: Postformal Education: A Philosophy for Complex Futures (Springer, 2016) and The Future: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2017), and The Secret to Growing Brilliant Children: Vol 1: Steiner Education for the 21st Century (Bear Books, 2020). She has five more books in process.

Websites: &


  • BA Level: $100
  • MA Level: $200
  • PhD Level: $300
  • Lite: $35

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Single microcourses do not qualify for academic credit. However, enrolled students can add three microcourses together, purchase a Microcourse Credit Conversion option, pay the difference between the cost of the microcourses and a regular trimester course at their degree level and submit your reflection journals and a Final Creative Assignment for grading. Please contact our registrar for more information – registrar @ (sorry, direct link not provided due to spam bots).

GFSCS – Urbanization 1 – Challenges: Loss of Agricultural Land & Food

GFSCS – Urbanization 2 – Alternatives: Ecological Cities

GFSCS – Urbanization 3 – Challenges: Social Tensions & Ghettoization

GFSCS – Urbanization 4 – Alternatives: Creative, Smart & Renewable Cities

GFSCS – Human Culture 1 – Challenges: Gender & Ethnic Inequality

GFSCS – Human Culture 2 – Alternatives: Cultural Inclusion & Empowerment

GFSCS – Human Culture 3 – Challenges: Loss of Meaning & Spiritual Vacuum

GFSCS – Human Culture 4 – Alternatives: Finding Meaning & Purpose

GFSCS – Education 1 – Challenges: Global & Functional Illiteracy

GFSCS – Education 2 – Alternatives: Global Education & Broad Literacies

GFSCS – Education 3 – Challenges: Factory Model Education

GFSCS – Education 4 – Alternatives: Creative, Integral, Postformal Education