New course to examine coming trends

Author: Dennis K. Brown


The year was 1995 and the world was at relative peace, President Bush had been out of office for two years, gasoline was considered expensive at $1.30 per gallon, and dot.coms were becoming all the rage.

Few would have thought that 10 years later the United States would be waging war on two fronts, President Bushs son would be starting a second-term in the Oval Office, gas would be going for $2-plus, and would be more like dot.bomb.

While no one in95 could have predicted these specific events, perhaps general patterns could have been foreseen, which is the premise behind a new course at the University of Notre Dame that will examine whats on the horizon between now and 2015.

Titled “Ten Years Hence,” the 1.5-credit course will bring eight forward-thinkers to campus throughout the spring semester to explore issues, ideas and trends likely to affect society and business over the next decade. Specific topics will include biotechnology, religious fundamentalism, economic demography, oil and peace, futurism and work, and natural resources.

“We hope to give students, faculty and guests a sense of the near future and the possibilities that lie in store for us by the year 2015,” said James S. ORourke, a management professor and one of the courses instructors. “The speakers we have lined up will assist students in understanding emerging issues related to demography, science, sociology, economics, anthropology, commerce and technology, and how they will affect our lives over the next 10 years.”

The series will begin at 10:40 a.m. Jan. 14 (Friday) in Jordan Auditorium with a lecture by Eric Peterson titled “Seven Revolutions.” The senior vice president for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Peterson directs the Seven Revolutions Initiative, a broad-based effort to forecast key trends out to 2025.

The remainder of the schedule, with all lectures at 10:30 a.m. on Fridays in Jordan, is as follows:

Jan. 21 - “The Boomers Approach Retirement: Policies to Prepare for Growing Old in an Aging America,” Robert J. Willis, professor of economics, University of Michigan

Feb. 4 – “Long Range Global Challenges and Their Implications for Business,” Jerome Clayton Glenn, co-founder and director, The Millennium Project

Feb. 11 - “The Future of Water,” George Oliver, president and chief executive officer, GE Infrastructure Water&Process Technologies

Feb. 18 - “Biotechnology,” August Watanabe, chairman, Biocrossroads, and former president, Lilly Research Laboratories

March 18 - “Oil and Peace,” Ross Pillari, president, BP of America

April 8 - “Fundamentalism, Peace, and the Middle East,” Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor of Peace and Development, University of Maryland

  • _p. Contacts:

_ * James S. ORourke, 574-631-8397 or " " ; Jeffrey Bernel, management instructor, 574-631-9084 or " "

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