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Global Issues Problem Solving (GIPS)


What better way to prepare students than by guiding them to learn in depth about topics of global importance, to systematically address related complex situations, and to evaluate multiple solutions in order to best address the situation through an Action Plan?


GIPS is a competitive team or individual activity in which participants research a series of global topics — applying problem-solving skills to address a specific scenario set in the future, the Future Scene.


Topics include global issues in the areas of: business & economics, science & technology, and social & political philosophies. Each year five topics are addressed: two practice problems, a qualifying problem, a State (Affiliate) Bowl problem, and the final International Conference problem.


The composition of the team does not need to be the same for each practice problem, as this is when the dynamics of a good team are being determined. However, rules apply to team composition from the qualifying problem through the International level. Students may compete in a division higher than their grade level, but not in a lower division. Coaches may work with multiple teams and individuals.


Trained evaluators score student submissions via a rubric-based score sheet and return feedback including suggestions for improvement.  In addition to overall (application of research, creative strength and futuristic thinking), submissions are evaluated based on focus/relevance, fluency, flexibility, clarity, originality, potential impact and humanness.


During the State and International competitions, GIPS teams are required to creatively portray the relevance of their Action Plan in a 2-4 minute performance using minimal props. The top scoring teams at IC perform in front of over 2500 participants during the awards ceremony.


For more information please review the “The “Presentation of Action Plan” Guidelines here.


The top-scoring 20+% of teams and individuals advance to the State (Affiliate) Bowl in April — from there, the 5 teams with the highest ranking booklets across all divisions advance to the FPSPI International Conference in June.


There are three divisions: Junior (grades 4-6), Middle (grades 7-9), Senior (grades 10-12).


Example: 2017 Senior Future Scene






Community Problem Solving (CmPS)

Moving from hypothetical issues to real world, authentic concerns, CmPS teams apply their FPS skills to problems at the school, local, regional, state, or national level.


Students involved in CmPS learn powerful lessons about creating change, dealing with local authorities and organizations, and making a positive impact.


Projects including a 7 page written report and an addendum are submitted for evaluation a scrapbook and backboard are created for presentation at the State Bowl.


To qualify for the FPSPI International Conference (IC) in June, teams or individuals are interviewed about their projects by a panel of judges. Interviews will be scheduled by March 31, 2018 via Skype.


During IC, all qualifying projects will be displayed during the Community Problem Solving Fair open to all IC participants.


There are three divisions: Junior (grades 4-6), Middle (grades 7-9), Senior (grades 10-12).


Current Projects in Action

Discover what current Community Problem Solving teams and individuals are doing to promote their causes @ CmPS Projects in Action.


Learn more about CmPS

See a sample of CmPS project report

Scenario Writing (ScW)


Participants are charged with developing a short story related to one of five FPS topics for the year. Although knowing the process can help students to think about the future and organize a storyline, it is not a prerequisite. However, since scenarios must relate to one of the current topics, it is imperative that students do some background reading and research on the topic they select.


The story (1500 words or less) must be set at least 20 years in the future conveying an imagined but logical outcome of actions or events reflecting trends in the researched topic. Students may submit an optional first draft to receive written feedback to guide the improvement of the story.


Stories are read and scored by experienced evaluators who consider the following elements: creative thinking, futuristic thinking, idea development, style/voice, character development, mechanics/structure, and topic related research. Authentic evaluation and feedback is provided via a rubric-based score sheet.


Winning stories in 1st- 3rd place of each division at the Affiliate level may be entered into the International Scenario Writing Competition. All first place Affiliate winners and all International winners 1st-5th in each division are eligible to compete in the Scenario Writing Team Competition at the International Conference in June.


There are three divisions: Junior (grades 4-6), Middle (grades 7-9), Senior (grades 10-12).


Learn more about Scenario Writing

Sample Scenario 2017 Junior Division

Scenario Performance (ScP)


Launched at the 2015 International Conference, in 2105, Scenario Performance is the newest Future Problem Solving component. In Scenario Performance, students choose one of the FPS annual topics and relate a story set 20 years into the future. It should be natural, spontaneous, and entertaining and must be 4-5 minutes in length.


Submission videos must be delivered in one take without edits in the presenters speaking voice without the use of props. 10 cue cards may be used to advance the telling, however, the use of “acting”, singing, or other aids is not permitted.


Scenario Performances are scored by experienced evaluators gaging these elements: storytelling techniques, audience, style/voice, the intended purpose of story, development of story, character development, creative thinking, and futuristic thinking. Authentic evaluation

and feedback is provided via a rubric-based score sheet.


Champion performers in each division at the Affiliate level are eligible to compete in the live Scenario Performance Competition at the International Conference in June.


Performances at the International Conference are based on the topic of the conference, announced on March 1st. Specific guidelines for this ScP Competition are announced approximately one month prior to the International Conference.


There are three divisions: Junior (grades 4-6), Middle (grades 7-9), Senior (grades 10-12).

Click here to learn more about ScP

Action-based Problem Solving (AbPS)

This year-long, non-competitive component is designed for use in the classroom and introduces students to the skills of creative problem solving in a hands-on, non-threatening manner while delivering the same rich content and methodologies as the competitive components.


AbPS is designed for integration into the classroom curriculum and can easily be used with the primary level (K-3) and through grade 9 — and teaches a simplified version of the problem solving process, providing guidance in the writing of ideas.  Students are encouraged to work on two topics, one per semester.


Teachers begin by purchasing an Action-based Problem Solving manual from Future Problem Solving Program International (FPSPI).


The materials may be used with a few students or with an entire class; either the teacher or the students may record the ideas that are generated; and the work may be completed with teacher’s guidance or independently in small groups.


Although not required, registration includes two additional Future Scenes for students to address and two thorough evaluations with constructive feedback.


For registered coaches, information is also provided on conducting an Action-based Problem

Solving Fair where students address real problems within their school or community.


Action-based Problem Solving Primary Division

Action-based Problem Solving Junior/Middle Division

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