Welcome to the Wisdom and the Future Research Center, where researchers are exploring the question
How can we wisely create our future?
We welcome your participation as spectators, enthusiasts, learners, researchers, or advocates.
Research is conducted according to the Wikiversity research guidelines.
The following sections suggest the evolving research agenda.
- April 14, 2019 the Moral Reasoning curriculum is now available on Wikiversity. The curriculum is designed to help people know what to do.
- February 3, 2019 the Emotional Competency curriculum is now available on Wikiversity. This study guide suggests a path through the courses.
- December 1, 2018 the Wisdom and the Future Research Center is open and welcoming researchers. Please announce new research results, resources, events, or initiatives here.
What is wisdom?
Wisdom can be briefly described as pursuit of well-being.
The Wikiversity course wisdom explores several more formal definitions of wisdom, lists exemplars of Wisdom, and provides guidance for wise decision making.
How can we become wise?
The Wikiversity course Living Wisely offers a course of study, reflections, and actions intended to guide you toward living life more wisely.
The Wikiversity applied wisdom curriculum provides a variety of courses students can choose from.
As we learn to focus on what is most important in life we are creating a wiser future. The Wikiversity course What Matters helps students explore what is most important in life.
Envisioning our future
Describing the future as we would like to see it unfold is an important step toward creating that future. The Wikiversity course Envisioning Our Future helps students imagine and describe the desirable and attainable future they foresee.
Researchers are creating this gallery of envisioned futures.
Science fiction can provide rapid prototyping tools that help us imagine, share, and evaluate possible futures.
The future of human rights
As the future unfolds It is wise to increase protection of human rights worldwide. The Wikiversity course Assessing Human Rights proposes an approach to advancing human rights, world wide.
The future of moral reasoning
As technological progress expands the range of what we can do, it becomes more important to carefully decide what we ought to do. We are currently struggling with a transition from tribal cultures to a global culture. Moral reasoning is likely to progress beyond theism and other vestiges of tribal culture and toward a global perspective.
Elements of moral reasoning include:
- Moral virtue—excellence in being for the good;
- Intellectual honesty—seeking true beliefs and communicating in good faith;
- Fairness—freedom from bias, dishonesty, or injustice;
- Global perspective—consider all that matters;
- Promoting human flourishing—where people often have positive experiences;
- Focusing on what matters
- Living the golden rule—treat others only as you consent to being treated in the same situation;
- Respecting human dignity—the quality of worth and honor intrinsic to every person, and
- Protecting human rights, worldwide—Essential protections for every person.
An important moral question is who matters? Possible answers include: me, my friends and family, my community, my nation, all the world’s people, sentient beings, all beings, all living species, people yet to be born, all beings for all time.
These ideas are developed more fully in the course on Moral Reasoning.
An ongoing research project is exploring how we can improve our social operating systems, seeking better solutions that can unleash the wisdom of the people while avoiding the folly that is so salient today. The project recognizes that If we could work together constructively, we could all flourish.
What, if anything, are the essential roles of government?
How can we best account for value and exchange goods and services fairly?
The future of dying
How do we wisely care for ourselves and others as we approach the end of our lifespan?
- Gawande, Atul (September 5, 2017). Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. p. 304. ISBN 978-1250076229.
While the full list of emerging technologies is quite long, a shorter list of technological advances promise to transform how we live. These include:
- Renewable energy
- Open learning systems
- Artificial intelligence
- Genetic engineering
- Cultured meats
- Vehicular automation
- An abundance economy
To wisely create our future we have to solve the grand challenges we face today.
An ongoing research project is working to identify the various causes of suboptimal life experiences.
Research projects on other threats include:
Creating our future
Wisdom is action! We can work to make wisdom the next pinnacle of achievement.
Each of us can:
- Choose to live wisely;
- Fulfill our civic duties;
- Focus on what matters;
- Describe the future as you would like to see it unfold, and then work to make that happen.
- Do good.
Active researchers are:
- Lbeaumont is creating the Wikiversity Applied Wisdom curriculum and the Living Wisely course.
- ThomasLombardo is Director of the Center for Future Consciousness and Editor of Wisdom and the Future
- Pinker, Steven (February 13, 2018). Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress. Penguin Books Limited/. p. 576. ISBN 978-0-525-42757-5.
- Carroll, Sean (May 16, 2017). The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself. Dutton. p. 480. ISBN 978-1101984253.
- Greene, Joshua (December 30, 2014). Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them. Penguin Books. p. 432. ISBN 978-0143126058.
- Lombardo, Thomas (October 27, 2017). Future Consciousness: The Path to Purposeful Evolution. Changemakers Books. p. 834. ISBN 978-1780999852.
- The Wisdom Page is a website dedicated to helping us better understand wisdom.
- Evidence-based wisdom, translating the new science of wisdom research.
- the Center for Practical Wisdom The University of Chicago.
- The Future of Humanity Institute, investigating what we can do now to ensure a long flourishing future.
- The Future of Life Institute, working to ensure that tomorrow’s most powerful technologies are beneficial for humanity.