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Team work is an important element for developing the techniques needed to communicate ideas with others, and participants take away critical thinking and creative analysis skills.
The program looks at current technological, geopolitical, and societal trends and projects those trends 20–30 years into the future in order to train students to develop solutions to the challenges they may face as adults.
FPSPI was founded by creativity researcher Ellis Paul Torrance in 1974.
All affiliates operate under the [Future Problem Solving Program International] (FPSPI), a nonprofit educational corporation that hosts the International Future Problem Solving Conference each June at a rotating site, usually a university.
The Future Problem Solving Program International prepares students for the future by teaching essential problem solving skills.
The highest level of competition takes place at the annual International Conference (IC), which is held in May or June, at the end of the United States school year.
The IC is held at the campus of a public university in the United States (the country with the largest number of competitors), with a new location being chosen every two years.
Students are graded on their correct application of the process and on their use of cited research and creative originality.
After completing the six-step process in two hours, students immediately begin work on a second competition called "Presentation of Action Plan" in which they illustrate their final solution by preparing and performing a skit.
The Scenario Performance component is similar but is geared toward students who prefer telling stories through oral communication.
FPSPI is a federation of state- or nationwide organizations called affiliates.