Forums for a Future
University of South Florida
Self-paced, available Sep 9, 2013
Cost per enrollment: Free
- Provides video lectures
- Provides opportunities to interact with the instructor or students
- Uses discussion forums
Full course description
This course examines the political (world order), economic (globalization), social/cultural (beliefs, values, and lifestyle), and psychological (human capacity for change) forces that are re-defining the quality of life in the 21st century.
Students will leave Forums for a Future with an explicit (written) worldview of their own creation as the basis for developing a coherent sense of self-direction for living peacefully and sustainably on a crowded planet in the 21st century.
Students should have some familiarity with the basic concepts of political science, economics, sociology, and psychology. Although an introductory level course in any of these areas is helpful, it is not necessary.
Much of the material has been published by the instructor as op-ed pieces in newspapers and popular (not academic or technical) books. Any thoughtful person can and should grasp the messages and may simply skip the complicated conceptual writing and still profit from reading the contributions of others. It is not highbrow; it is intended to promote general public civic discourse.
This course is based on a very popular honors level course at the University of South Florida. Participants should have related background and knowledge along with the ability to self-direct their learning.
Edward Renner, Ph.D.
Professor Renner believes that learning and living are two sides of a single process; when separated, both are compromised. He has devoted his career to the practical application of political, economic, social, and psychological concepts from the social sciences to solutions for significant social issues (such as racism, peace, sexual assault, and homelessness, among others) as the means for both greater academic understanding and personal engagement. For him, the contemporary issue of our times is for the Millennials and the Boomers to engage in a cross-generational civic dialogue to redefine the role of power, wealth, and beliefs and values appropriate for living peacefully and sustainably on a crowded planet in the 21st century. Forums for a Future is based on Professor Renner’s podcast series, iBook, and blog of the same title. He is currently retired and teaches this course in the Honors College at the University of South Florida as an adjunct professor. Students leave Forums for a Future with an explicit (written) worldview of their own creation as the basis for a coherent sense of self-direction in the new post-modern digital era. He received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1961, and has been a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Illinois, and Dalhousie University in Canada.