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The Future World Vision (FWV) is a bold, comprehensive project to anticipate, reimagine, and prepare for future changes that are hugely interconnected and will impact the design and built environments. It envisions five city worlds and communities, 50 years in the future, that engineers can explore, collaborate, and visualize a resilient and sustainable infrastructure for this timeline. Through its interactive, immersive experiential 3-D models over time, Future World Vision allows engineers to visualize future engineering challenges and examine the outcomes of potential engineering solutions by combining future-scenario forecasting with deeply researched hard data.

This short on-demand course is a primer on the Future World Vision project for university faculty to help STEM students in undergraduate programs develop an understanding of the project to:

  • Demonstrate a methodology for thinking about potential future realities and adapt
  • Impress the need to broaden civil engineering skillsets, work cross-functionally and leverage technology to improve performance
  • Show how plausible visualization models develop outcomes that help to understand their impact on human life
  • Familiarize with the body of research that led to the development of city worlds
  • Encourage academia to take a lead to inspire the next-generation professionals
Course access

Access to course material is limited to the individual who purchased the course or identified as the recipient of a purchased course. The course material includes:

  • Access to five video modules, 20-35 minutes each. The individual can live stream video modules through the portal to students and others for one year from the date of purchase.
  • Downloadable video modules in mp4 form with unlimited permission to share the content within the individual's organization.
  • Downloadable transcripts of the five video modules in pdf form with unlimited permission to share the content within the individual's organization.
  • Downloadable handouts of the five module slides in pdf form with unlimited permission to share the content within the individual's organization.
  • Downloadable instructor manual in pdf form with unlimited permission to share the content within the individual's organization. The instructor manual includes a reflection guide, list of references and supplemental resources for each video module to help you plan classroom and special project activities.
Learning outcomes
  • Learn about the emerging trends that are forecasted and assessed through FWV scenario analysis to understand their impact and implications on future built environments.
  • Understand the common underlying themes associated with the engineering change imperatives derived from future trend analysis.
  • Identify the role of intelligent, immersive technologies and science in the design of the FWV virtual future cities and communities that create plausible visualization of the emerging trends.
  • Identify the body of multi-disciplinary research for the Mega City and Floating City scenarios and understand how FWV visualizes it from various lenses to consider optimum and sub-optimum solutions for complex global issues 50 years from now.
  • Foster creativity and innovation in the classroom, multi-disciplinary thought leadership through collaboration, and inspire students to become systems-oriented thinkers to transform the civil engineering profession.
Portrait of Jerry Buckwalter

Jerry E. Buckwalter is ASCE’s Chief Innovation Officer with more than 40 years of executive leadership excellence. Jerry has a vast experience in mergers and acquisitions, business development, strategy and innovation, program operations, and policy development. He has worked in infrastructure, electronics, information technology, commercial security, and technology services markets, for military, government, international and commercial interests.

Today with ASCE, one of Jerry's principal duties is directing a forward-leaning strategic project called Future World Vision, a virtual computer model to assess potential built environments 50 years into the future. Buckwalter earned a physics degree from Monmouth University and has extensive continuing education at George Washington University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Course pricing
ASCE Member price:
$495.00 *Note: After you click "Purchase Course" please log in to see the price you qualify for.
Non-Member price:


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Module 1

Visualization models to plan how we will design and build future environments

FWV visualization models enable different ways to consider the future and concepts for customer, user, owner/operator, and all inhabitant outcomes. This module features the Mega City and Floating City models that are relatable to infrastructure owner/operators and policymakers, particularly for large scale projects. The two models enable a holistic perspective through the multi-dimensional convergence of trends, their cascading impact and cause and effect, so users can really begin to understand how they will live.

The virtual reality technologies bring the future to life in a way that enhances understanding of scenarios and provide an immersive experience through:

  • Holistic, multi-dimensional visuals and human narratives to collaborate with other vested parties
  • Plausible future visualizations to demonstrate the human impact of trends, and experience how civil engineering is central to creating our desired future infrastructure

The city world models illustrate how engineers can explore, collaborate, and consider how they can make the future a better place to live. The module emphasizes the need to understand and embrace digital models and big data use, including elements of digital security, intelligent systems, autonomy, and virtual reality.

Module 2

Research and visualization of two future communities

This module explains the samples of researched elements associated with the Mega City and Floating City and describes how Future World Vision visualizes those elements. It also introduces some early visual concepts associated with a Rural City, Frozen City, and Off Planet City.

Module 3

Trend analysis and scenario planning

This module examines the trends that are shaping and will shape the present and the future such as alternative energy, climate change, high-tech construction, advanced materials, new technologies, autonomous vehicles, smart cities, policy/regulations, and financing models. These trends provoke new thinking and a more robust method of strategic planning to assist with:

  • Future trends assessment
  • Forecasting via scenario analysis to derive implications for civil engineering
  • Exploring connections between all elements of future life to postulate intended design outcomes and the resulting quality of life and societal benefits

Module 4

Future engineering imperatives

This module focuses on the future engineering imperatives that are identified through the future trend assessment and scenario analysis. These imperative raises questions that are critical to maintaining and improving relevancy of the civil engineering profession:

  • Which critical civil engineering roles and capabilities must be reviewed in the short term?
  • Which roles and capabilities are an expansion or improvement of the current civil engineering paradigm and which represent new learning opportunities?
  • What future roles will drive change in engineering skill sets, business models, education, and policies?

Future-scenario forecasting and trend assessment will help imagine and engineer the future resilient and diverse built environment and prepare for changes in demographics and urbanization.

To design and build the desired future built environment that is plausible in 50 years, there are additional key transformational imperatives that engineers need to embrace today:

  • Advances in materials
  • Computing power
  • Technologies
  • New engineering/construction processes in the design and build process
  • Risk management and ethics of the future infrastructure

Among the future engineering imperatives, digital infrastructure and circular economies are the two overarching themes in all city world visualizations that address two ubiquitous challenges:

  • Digital infrastructure – relates to digital tools, the emergence of IoT, use of Big Data, cyber security vulnerabilities, societal expectations of personalized services, and sensor-embedded physical infrastructure.
  • Circular economies – relates to climate change and climate resilience, sustainability, green technologies, regenerative approaches, material re-use, supply chain, environmental damage, and social equality.

Module 5

Multi-disciplinary collaboration to spark innovation

The concluding module highlights the role of academia in helping the civil engineering profession embrace the future imperative drivers to improve its relevancy and its contribution to health, safety, welfare, and ethics in the future. Higher education institutions are ideally positioned to advance multi-disciplinary thought leadership, creating a common collaborative platform for the STEM professionals, develop expertise in systems engineering and systems integration, create new specialties to respond to new challenges and technologies, and inspire students to push to new heights in ingenuity, future planning, and innovation.