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It takes seven to thirteen weeks for an enlisted military recruit to become a member of the U.S. Armed Forces. Their years of active duty are marked by months of formal vocational education and constant on-the-job training. But at the end of their enlistment contract, they have just days to learn the skills and cultural competencies to make a successful transition back to civilian life. The abrupt culture shock of reintegration is compounded by the immediate need to secure post-service employment in a rapidly changing workforce, and further complicated by civilian employers who lack understanding of the veterans on their staff.
The Veterans Imagination Project from Arizona State University is a new program to empower veterans in transition by training them in the skills of futures thinking and collaborative imagination. Participants will spend eight weeks discovering diverse and possible futures through foresight activities, scenario planning, and speculative storytelling. Equipped with these skills, participants will work with professional mentors and concept artists to explore and create informed visions of positive workplace futures and their places in them.
**Participants in this program may also choose to be a part of a paid research opportunity.**
Apply below to join an upcoming session.
Please contact Bob Beard for more information.
Who are you?
The Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University is a research center that helps organizations, corporations, schools, and people to think differently about the future. Read more about our work here.
The Veterans Imagination Project was developed by USMC veteran Bob Beard, in partnership with the Pat Tillman Veterans Center, the Office of Veteran and Military Academic Engagement and informed by a network of veterans from around the nation.
What do you mean by “Futures Thinking”?
Futures thinking is a discipline, sometimes called foresight, strategic planning, or business intelligence, that uses research and storytelling to create plausible, actionable visions of the future for individuals and organizations.
I’m not enrolled at ASU. Can I still participate?
Yes! While this is a program offered by ASU and taught by ASU staff, it is not part of any degree program. You do not need to be an ASU student to participate
Do I need to use my GI Bill?
No. This program is made available to you at no cost, through a grant from ASU Women and Philanthropy. While this is a program offered by ASU, it is not for credit and therefore is ineligible for education benefits.
How long is this program?
VIP workshops will be held once a week, for eight weeks in Fall 2022 and Spring 2023. Each workshop session will be 2.5 to 3 hours long.
Do I need to attend all eight weeks?
Yes, please. The program is structured so that each session builds upon each other. In order to participate fully and to remain with your fellow veterans in class, we ask that you commit to all eight classes.
What happens after the class?
Participants will receive a professional illustration of their imagined future and a set of customized resources to assist in the next step of their transition.
Participants’ stories and art will be shared with the public through online publications, broadcast media, and in-person special events.
Research from these sessions will be used to develop new methods for veterans in transition.