Future Trends

(Last updated on 27 Jan 2014)

This category is only open primarily to Secondary 1 and 2 students. Upper Secondary students who are nevertheless interested in taking part may still do so ONLY IF they seek permission personally from Mr Daniel Siew and are deemed to be ready for National Competition.

You are encouraged to approach a mentor who has indicated interest in mentoring Category 11 projects. These mentors are likely to have undergone courses in problem-solving techniques and methodologies.


14 May 2014 - The slides for Semis Briefing on 09 May 2014 may be found here:

07 Mar 2014 - The slides for Prelims Briefing on 07 Mar 2014 may be found here:

27 Jan 2014 - The slides for Sec 1 IS Briefing on 24 Jan 2014 may be found here:

24 Jan 2014 - The scenario for analysis has been released.


Future Trends is a problem-solving category where students become researchers, investigators, creative directors, time-travelers – all rolled into one. Depending on their inclinations, they can assume the roles of scientists, politicians, historians, artists – the sky’s the limit. One thing is certain though – all of them will be future-gazers, or futurists, as we like to call them.

Future Trends is not simply fiction or fantasy. While good futurists will treat Future Trends as their canvas to demonstrate their creativity, Future Trends can be said to be “fiction and fantasy meets research”. The creative component to Future Trends is just as important as the research component.

Futurists will be provided a futuristic scenario for analysis; this marks the start of their Six-Step Future Trends journey. For newcomers, allow me to emphasise that your project is based on the scenario that will be released to you in due time (i.e. there is no way you can do this project prior to the scenario being released, although you can prepare for it by brushing up your problem-solving skills).


Step One: Brainstorm and identify potential problems reflected in the scenario
Update online portfolio with 10 well-phrased potential problems.
- Select 5 most significant potential problems substantiated with research to present

Step Two: Identify the fundamental problem in the scenario
Include fundamental problem in the online portfolio.
- Present fundamental problem and explain rationale

Assessment in Prelims will be based on the group presentation.


Step Three: Identify potential solutions to the fundamental problem
Update online portfolio with 10 well-phrased potential solutions.
- Select 5 most significant potential solutions substantiated with research to present

Step Four: Select the best solution
Update portfolio with the criteria used to select the best solution as well as the ranking of the solutions based on the criteria.
- Present criteria used and explain how the best solution is decided upon

Assessment in Semi-Finals will be based on the group presentation.


Step Five: Design an action plan (and creatively act it out in a skit)
Include creatively-written action plan in the online portfolio.
- Creative skit that encapsulates the gist of the action plan. Teams will also have to incorporate:
  • An impromptu tagline and mystery object

Step Six: Evaluate the action plan
Include evaluation of feasibility of action plan in online portfolio.
- Formal evaluation of action plan

Assessment of Finals will be based on 50% group presentation and 50% online portfolio.


An online document template, seen below, is provided for futurists to know what and how to record these six steps, and this online document shall be maintained by futurists in their online portfolio. Futurists are encouraged to adapt this template for their use, and not simply copy this template.

What goes into the group online portfolio:
- Online Future Trends Six Steps
- Research portfolio (all research done must be documented here; each piece of research must have an accompanying summary and evaluation of how it relates to your group’s project).

Groups are left at their discretion to creatively design their own group online portfolios, but clarity is of utmost importance. If portfolios can’t be accessed, portfolios can’t be graded.

Important Notice:
Your Online Portfolio is also your Web Report. In Cat 11, we prefer to call your web report your online portfolio as it is supposed to be a comprehensive record and evaluation of your Cat 11 project journey. For groups that make it to the Finals, your online portfolio makes up 50% of your Finals Judging grade. At this stage, your online portfolio will be stringently checked by Cat 11 judges and graded for content. Teams that have outstanding portfolios will, as an added bonus, also be shortlisted for related national competitions (e.g. Future Problem Solving Programme) the following year. Separately, your mentor will also award you a mark for your online portfolio (i.e. web report judging which is applicable for all Categories). For this, he / she will not only cover areas of content but also look at the aesthetics of your web report.

For groups that do not advance to the Finals, your online portfolio will still be marked by your mentor, but will not be considered for entry into related national competitions (e.g. Future Problem Solving Programme) the following year.


(Last updated on 30 Jan 2014)

Overall grading



Finals (comprises 2 parts - Oral Judging and Online Portfolio)


Future Trends challenges futurists to think creatively and critically, and even dares futurists to explore the unknown. As such, it would be perfectly natural for futurists to experience a sense of uncertainty. That said, uncertainty breeds creativity and we’re looking for the most creative futurists out there who are willing to match their original ideas with consistent research - only such teams have done well in this category in the past, while teams that embark on last-minute work characteristically underperform, and rightly so.

When in need of clarification, you may contact:
Category Manager: Mr Daniel Siew siewwj@hc.edu.sg
Assistant Category Manager: Mrs Ng Mui Eng ngme@hci.edu.sg