Global Issues Problem Solving (GIPS) is available for individuals or teams. It teaches students how to think creatively about the future as students research and analyze the annual topics. GIPS can be used as a curriculum, integrated into content areas, or offered as an extra-curricular option. Students vote to determine the five annual topics from three strands – Science/Technology, Business/Economics, and Social/Political. Recent topics include issues such as ocean soup, land transportation, mega cities, enhancing human potential, and processed foods.

What is the Process?

Students research a topic to gather background information, become mini-experts in the topic, and predict possibilities for the future. Students receive a Future Scene, an imagined scenario based on the topic 20 to 40 years in the future, and use their research as they apply the six-step FPS model. FPS coaches are encouraged to introduce generating and focusing guidelines along with a variety of creative and critical thinking tools. These creative problem solving tools and guidelines provide students with options to generate creative possibilities and to focus on effective solutions and innovation.

What is a Future Scene?

We all have problems we’d like to solve. Some people aren’t very good at math. Some people have nosy neighbors. Some people go to bed hungry at night. No matter how small or how big the problems are, we like to solve them. It’s hard to solve a problem, though, unless we understand the problem very well. Who is involved in the problem? What is the problem? When and where does the problem occur? Why does the problem happen? How does it occur? The first step in successful problem solving is defining and describing the problem. That’s what a "Future Scene" is - a description of the problem situation you want to solve.

Learn more about GIPS
Example Senior Future Scene and Team Booklet

What you can do with a Future Scene?

  • Use a Future Scene to generate challenges related to the topic.
  • Use a Future Scene to project yourself into the future.
    • What has changed?
    • What other areas might change?
    • How old will you be in that year?
  • Use the Future Scene as a story starter.
  • Can you see how you might use Future Scenes in real-life situations to help solve personal problems?
  • Use Future Scenes to work toward solving community, state, national, and international problems.
  • How might you use a Future Scene in the classroom to teach sound thinking skills and problem-solving behaviors?
  • Use Future Scenes in academic competitions to motivate students to excel, create an "Imagined Future."

Enjoy this FPS 2008 Future Scene on the topic of Olympic Games

Learn more about Future Scenes

Check out our publication, Problem Solving Across the Curriculum, located in the FPSPI Mart.

Problem Solving Across the Curriculum

The Global Issues Problem Solving Team and Individual Champions Book is available here on FPSPI Mart.
This book contains the first place team and individual booklets.
As well as the evaluation scores and comments for the previous year champions.

Global Issues Problem Solving Team and Individual Champions Book