Futures Initiative Map

Futures Initiative Map

I am proud to officially announce that an interactive Futures Initiative map illustrating our impact across the CUNY system is now available at http://futuresinitiative.org/fi-map.

This map is the culmination of my personal project with the Futures Initiative as a 2019-2020 Graduate Fellow. One of the most inspiring aspects of the Futures Initiative’s mission is just how widespread our efforts are. While FI’s roots are at The Graduate Center, the programs it implements are by nature designed to encompass all twenty-five CUNY campuses. Part of the essence of FI is that we dip our toes into a number of arenas involving both undergraduate and graduate education, including leadership training and interdisciplinary graduate courses. This very breadth can sometimes cause confusion for newcomers interested in learning about the FI.

When I encountered these numerous programs as a new Graduate Fellow, as a visual thinker—and influenced by my training in neuroscience—I found it helpful to imagine the Futures Initiative as the hub for a network of interconnected activity throughout CUNY (much like neural pathways).

One of the major goals for this project has been to foster understanding and awareness by intuitively displaying FI’s widespread impact in just such a manner. The visual format allows us to clearly show our many programs and how they form a network across CUNY campuses, connecting students, instructors and administrators to further equity and innovation. I wanted to make it easy to see what the FI is up to, so that those unfamiliar could, with just a few clicks, learn the basics about FI’s programs in a simple and visually appealing environment.

Currently, the map demonstrates the impact of several of our major programs including the undergraduate Leadership Fellows, our interdisciplinary Team-Taught courses, and the growing Institutional Partnerships developed between colleges as part of the CUNY Humanities Alliance. This is just the beginning for this map. It has intentionally been designed to be flexible, ready to grow with the Futures Initiative by showing how the programs increase their reach each year. We are already planning to embed additional information about program implementation within schools, making all this information easy to access from one central source.

It is my hope that the ability to visualize the Futures Initiative’s programs—their impact, their breadth across CUNY, the many exceptional and hardworking people throughout—can help illustrate just how impactful FI has been in just the past few years. I encourage you to check it out.