Title: The Global Change Data Base pictures global dynamics

Authors: Gilbert Ahamer

Addresses: Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change, Graz University, Graz, Austria

Abstract: The purpose of this article is to combine prospective and didactic approaches with a sound and detailed database describing global trends, including mainly energy and technologies. It suggests how internationally accepted data sources can trigger hypothesis building and facilitate their discussion processes while learning. Current themes such as globalisation and global change are first structured along easy formulaic approaches and then described by a tool based on information technology, namely the author's Global Change Data Base. Graphically oriented representations of the complex data structure allow students to develop and test hypotheses on globalisation and future trends that quantitatively support well-informed dialogue and consensus finding in class. The meaning of 'societal targets' is quantitatively defined by the value of the second derivative of a time series. Experience shows that time is often too short during traditional courses; therefore, interdisciplinary seminars are best suitable for the suggested learning strategy. The density of social interaction increases visibly when offering both information and communication technology tools and manageable data sources including analytical tools. Game-based learning (as suggested in this article) attracts more self-generated interest, compassion and perseverance in students than frontal teaching. As learning is boosted by real-world interaction and peer communication, this and similar learning strategies look promising.

Keywords: cooperative learning; dialogic learning; didactics; economics; energy; Global Change Data Base; global trends; globalisation; mega-trends; scenarios; self-guided learning; structural transitions; targets; trend analysis; visualisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJFIP.2017.085812

International Journal of Foresight and Innovation Policy, 2017 Vol.12 No.1/2/3, pp.121 - 148

Received: 24 Sep 2016
Accepted: 02 Apr 2017

Published online: 04 Aug 2017 *

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