Wednesday, January 10, 2024

The Futures and Foresight R&D Team of Isabela State University, spearheaded by Dr. Ricmar P. Aquino, conducted the second phase of its two-day capacity development program on envisioning a future-oriented University on November 30 to December 01, 2023, at the University Amphitheater and Alba Hall, respectively.

As the principles of futures and foresight become increasingly integral across all sectors of the country, ISU continues to respond to this nationwide imperative to be an adaptive, resilient, sustainable, and futures-ready academic institution. This skill enhancement session was participated by the top executives of the University such as Vice Presidents, Executive Officers and Campus Administrators, and some University and Campus Directors.

Furthermore, this capacity-building activity aimed to incorporate futures thinking and foresight concepts, tools, frameworks, and practices into the very core of the University to ensure a futures-ready ISU. Initially, the Resource Speaker and facilitator from the University of the Philippines – National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP-NCPAG) conducted a pre-capacity development program onboarding on November 29, 2023, to discuss and further contextualize the issues and challenges of the University with its top executives.

Moreover, as the University Vice Presidents grace the event, Dr. Marinel P. Dayawon, University Director for Instruction and representative of Dr. Boyet L. Batang, VP for Academic Affairs, emphasized, “In the academe, it’s very important for us to train our faculty, staff of the university, and our students to be future-ready”.

Likewise, Dr. Jay P. Chy, VP for Planning and Development, hoped that this futures thinking activity could pave the way to a non-VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) world. Additionally, Atty. Romano P. Cammayo, VP for Administration and Finance Services, elucidated that by instilling the ability to anticipate and respond to impactful emerging trends, students can be capacitated to become proactive contributors to a sustainable and innovative future.

On the other hand, Dr. Marina D. Acerit, Project Leader of Futures Thinking Program, acquainted the participants with the rationale and objectives of the capacity development. Afterward, Dr. Jennelyn L. Raymundo, FT Project Leader, introduced the Resource Speakers for the sessions.

In the course of the training, Ms. Shiela R. Castillo, an Independent Consultant for Social Development and Foresight, discussed the topic “Introduction to Futures and Foresight Concepts and Process in University Governance”. In this session, she shared the key concepts and application of futures thinking as well as foresight competencies and praxis. Moreover, she also explicated the topic “Praxis: Navigating the Futures and Foresight Practice”. Specifically, she illustrated how each futures and foresight methodology and tool is used for strategy development.

Afterward, Dr. Ma. Oliva Z. Domingo, a Professorial Lecturer of UP-NCPAG and DAP-GSPDM and Kalayaan College President, expounded on the topic “Integrating Futures and Foresight towards Strategic and Sustainable University”. Emphasizing the transformation of strategic foresight to strategic planning, she explained methodically how to frame a futures project and identify a focal concern. She concluded her presentation with a differentiated workshop on framing the domain of a futures study and causal layered analysis, which paved the way for the integration of futures thinking and strategic foresight by the top officials in their respective functions and in the four thrusts of the University.

On the second day of the training, Dr. Reginald G. Ugaddan, Director of Center for Local and Regional Governance and UP NCPAG Governance Futures Lab, delivered a lecture on “Futures and Foresight Research Methods and Tools”. He logically differentiated traditional and futures-oriented research to guide the project and study leaders of the University’s Futures Thinking (FT) program in the conduct of their respective research. Afterward, Dr. Ugaddan critiqued and enriched the research proposals presented by the FT team of the University. With this kind of quality research evaluation and knowledge-sharing activity, the University is projected to have a seamless and better integration of futures and foresight in its system as a research university.

–ISU UMIS with Dr. Jennelyn L. Raymundo, Faculty- ISU E College of Education; Project Leader: ISU Future’s Thinking Program