Invent the Future – The Future is Ours

Twice in as many weeks, an incoming graduate student asked me (and other admnistrators) what Virginia Tech’s tagline “invent the future” meant to us.  While “invent the future” can and does have multiple meanings and various interpretations, the video by Michael Marantz entitled “the future is ours” visually represents what “invent the future” means to me.

Michael Marantz created the video to inspire and it does.  I share Marantz’s view that the future is exciting and holds “immense” possibilities.  He challenges us to commit to possibilities and work hard to achieve them.  Further, I believe that his message has particular relevance for graduate education today, especially at a university with a tagline of “invent the future”.  For graduate students are indeed the future scholars, teachers, leaders, artists, entrepreneurs and more.  Their innovations and imaginations will continue well into the 21st century. They will help solve the grand challenges facing a global society and they will serve society (in keeping with VT’s motto ut prosim).  Graduate students independently and often in collaboration with others (faculty, staff and undergraduates) can and will “invent the future”.

“Invent the future” has been VT’s tagline for many years now and has helped to frame the university’s agenda.  Invent the future served recently as the foundation upon which the work of the Task Force on Instructional Technology: VT 2020 was designed.  In its report, the Task Force articulated its vision of the possible and next steps for technology at Virginia Tech.  The blog format allows for readers to engage with its critical reflections and commentary, informative narratives and perspectives, and of course links to timely videos and relevant materials available on the internet.  This report and others provided  the initial backdrop to the planning process for the university.  In its commitment to a “progressive agenda”, Virginia Tech recently prepared A Plan for a New Horizon Envisioning Virginia Tech 2012-2018.  The path forward to inventing the future is articulated in the plan and incorporates growth and expansion of graduate education at VT among its foci.  Graduate education is a critical component for the future of Virginia Tech.

Graduate education is about discovering and advancing knowledge and preparing for life and work as citizens in a globally diverse world. Graduate education is about innovation and creativity; it is about exploring possibilities and embracing change.  It is about knowing that the future is ours, truly.

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