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Risk and the Future

Thinking differently about risk - an undergraduate course

A roller coaster ride through the world of risk – whether risk to health and well-being, wealth, equity, sense of self and culture’ even the end of life as we know it


Life is risky. Whatever we do; whatever we eat; whatever we invent; there seems to be some way in which someone or something is going to get hurt. To make matters worse, we’re now developing new technologies faster than ever before, that are more powerful than anything we’ve ever created in human history. And we’re introducing them into an incredibly complex and interconnected world that is hurtling at breakneck speed toward an ever-more uncertain future.


Risk and the Future (FIS 332) is an undergraduate course at ASU that introduces students to different ways of understanding and addressing risk. It builds on conventional approaches to risk to explore emerging technological and social challenges, and how innovative thinking around risk can help address them.


Using a combination of study, writing and communication, and imagination, this course will change how participants see, understand, and make sense of risk in todays increasingly complex, connected and fast-paced world.

This course (FIS 332) examines the evolving global risk landscape that is resulting from rapidly increasing global connectivity, tight coupling, and massive complexity. It develops an understanding of how innovation in society is changing the risk landscape, and considers how innovation in approaches to risk can help navigate this emerging landscape. Topics covered include technological risk, sociopolitical risk, catastrophic risk, existential risk, converging technologies, perception and uncertainty, anticipation, precaution, uncertainty, and risk innovation. The course is part of the undergraduate Innovation in Society program at ASU


Risk and the Future is supported through the ASU School for the Future of Innovation in Society.


Andrew Maynard (Instructor)


Andrew Maynard
Chair, Master of Science and Technology Policy

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Further Information

Course Syllabus (download PDF)