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Click here to find your topic research, resources, and 6-step process activities at FPSPI Mart! 

The Future Problem Solving Process

The Future Problem Solving model serves as the foundation to dynamic, creative thinking process and includes the following six steps:
Step 1: Identify Challenges
  • Generate issues, concerns, and problems, applying background knowledge to the Future Scene
  • Consider major issues and categories of problems in order to think of more challenges
  • Select the sixteen best challenges
  • Write the sixteen best challenges clearly and concisely, showing cause and effect and tying directly to the Future Scene
Step 2: Select an Underlying Problem
  • Consider the major issues in the sixteen challenges
  • Select the issues, one that will have a major impact on the Future Scene, for the focus of the underlying problem
  • Be forward-looking and proactive, not regressive and reactive, in developing the underlying problem
  • Write the underlying problem in correct format, beginning with the Future Scene conditions that are the basis for the idea
  • Indicate a desired action to be taken, a purpose for the desired action, and parameters tying the problem to the Future Scene
Step 3: Produce Solution Ideas
  • Generate multiple solutions to the underlying problem
  • Think futuristically and consider the use of technological advantages
  • Select the sixteen best solution ideas
  • Check each solution for its relevance to the underlying problem
  • Write the sixteen solutions clearly
  • Elaborate by telling who will implement the solutions, what action will be taken, and how or why the action will be taken
Step 4: Generate and Select Criteria
  • Generate possible criteria that could be used to evaluate the solutions
  • Consider the underlying problem and the Future Scene in developing criteria
  • Select five important criteria
  • Write criteria in question format, with a superlative and in the desired direction
Step 5: Apply Criteria
  • Select the eight most promising solutions to include in the grind
  • Rank the solutions based on each of the criteria separately
  • Identify the best solution as the one with the highest number of total points
Step 6: Develop an Action Plan
  • Plan how the best solution can be implemented
  • Describe the actions and steps of the plan
  • Make clear how the plan will address the Underlying Problem's Key Verb Phrase and Purpose.
Future Problem Solving teaches students how to think, not what to think.