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"The genius of the future will be the creative mind adapting itself to the shape of things to come."

— E. Paul Torrance, Creativity Pioneer and FPS Founder



Future Problem Solving of California is an Affiliate of Future Problem Solving Program International [], an educational nonprofit focusing on the development of critical, creative and futuristic thinking skills.


Although FPS enhances students’ awareness of current issues, the main goal is to develop higher order thinking skills. By challenging students to apply their minds to some of the most significant issues facing the world of today and in the future, we help equip them with the vision, skills and tools to design and promote positive outcomes for society at local, regional and global scales.

The History of FPS


In 1974, when Dr. E. Paul Torrance accepted an invitation to work with a group of gifted youngsters at Clarke High School in Athens, Georgia, he was unaware that the activities he had developed would grow into an international program reaching approximately 250,000 students globally each year.


The skills developed through participation in FPS will last a lifetime — not only academically but throughout students’ lives and careers.


  • Creativity.

  • Ingenuity.

  • Teamwork.

  • Leadership.

  • Critical thinking.

  • Time management.

  • Social responsibility.

  • Friendly competition.

  • Research and analysis.

  • Academic achievement.

  • Effective Communication.


Competitive Divisions


Under the guidance of a teacher/coach, teams of four students use the FPS six-step process to explore challenges and propose action plans to solve complex societal problems.

There are three divisions for all components:


  • Junior - Grades 4 - 6

  • Middle - Grades 7 - 9

  • Senior - Grades 10 - 12

FPS Components


  • Global Issues Problem Solving (GIPS). Click here for more info. [link to GIPS description]

  • Community Problem Solving (CmPS). Click here for more info [link to CmPS description]

  • Scenario Writing. Click here for more info.  [link to Scenario Writing description]

  • Scenario Performance. Click here for more info. [link to Scenario Performance description]

  • Action Based Problem Solving (AbPS) - noncompetitive classroom-based component. Click here for more info  [link to description]


FPS Six-Step Problem-Solving Process


The FPS Process mirrors the linear approach of the scientific method, focused on; Understanding the Problem (via background research & asking multiple questions), Generating Ideas (hypothesis), and Planning for Action (developing conclusions/solutions & reporting results in writing).


  1. Identify Challenges - Generate challenges or issues related to global research, Future Scenes, or a specific need area.

  2. Select an Underlying Problem - Identify the key issue to be resolved.

  3. Produce Solution Ideas - Brainstorm solutions to solve the underlying problem.

  4. Generate & Select Criteria  - Develop criteria to evaluate the merit of the best solution ideas.

  5. Apply Criteria - Evaluate each solution using your selected criteria and assign a ranking order.

  6. Develop an Action Plan - based on the highest scoring idea, develop an Action Plan explaining how the solution will be deployed and how it solves the underlying  problem.

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