Global Issues Problem Solving



Recommended Publications


Coaching Guide 8th Edition

$ 60.00

The main coaching manual for Global Issues Problem Solving.

2022 Readings, Research & Resources

$ 100.00

Research articles, terms, themes, and discussion questions for each topic. Invaluable starting point for each topic.

2022 Topic Activity Units

$ 85.00

Activities designed to teach the topic and the FPS problem-solving process.


GIPS is a team or individual activity in which participants research a series of global topics and learn a six-step creative problem solving process.  Participants apply their knowledge and the problem solving process to address an imagined situation set in the future, called a “Future Scene”.  From there, they complete a “booklet” (paper or virtual) addressing, critically analysing and solving a major issue in the Future Scene.  Check key dates for submission.

Why Global Issues Problem Solving?
Does FPS have to be done in the classroom?

FPS can be successfully implemented in a variety of ways - as an extra-curricular program delivered outside school hours, or embedded in school curriculum from P-12, and everything in between.  However you choose to run the Future Problem Solving Program, the development of these skills will correlate directly with the expectations and requirements of the National Curriculum.

How many students can participate and how do they compete?

Students can participate in Global Issues Problem Solving as individuals or in teams of up to 4 students, from years 5/6 (junior division), 7-9 (middle division), and 10-12 (senior division).

In a year-long program, students work their way through two Practice Problems (Terms One and Two) before tackling the Qualifying Problem in Term Three. Teams also have the chance to complete an Optional Problem Four (4) in Term Four.

Students conduct in depth research into each topic, and practice using the six-step model. They prepare and submit a booklet for evaluation, and our team at FPS independently reviews each booklet providing constructive and detailed feedback. This feedback mechanism is one of the Program’s major strengths, assisting students to grow and develop. 

The first Practice Problem requires students to use only the first three steps of the problem solving process. The remaining steps are added for Problems Two, Three and Four, utilising the entire six-step process. The first two and fourth problems, as their name implies, provide opportunities to learn and practise the FPS process.  Scores, comments and rankings are supplied to inform teams how they are progressing.  The Problem 4 booklet may submitted for evaluation if either Problem 1, 2, or 3 were not submitted or an additional $50 fee is paid.

In the Qualifying Problem (Problem 3) and in the National Final, there is a strict time limit of two (2) hours for the completion of the booklet.  Students have knowledge of the general topic, but they do not see the actual future scene until it is presented to them at the beginning of the two hours for the booklet analysis.

Based on their performance in the third Practice Problem (Qualifying Problem), the top 10 - 15% of Junior, Middle and Senior participants qualify to participate in the National Finals, which are held in October each year. The champion and second-placed teams from this National Final are invited to represent Australia at the International FPS Final held in the USA in the following June.

For the cost of a single individual or team registration, teachers gain access to the program material and can teach the program to as many students as they wish. (However, booklets can be evaluated only if a team/individual has been registered.)  Additional registrations can be added throughout the year.

While the Global Issues Problem Solving provides the opportunity for students to test their problem solving skills against other students across Australia and Internationally, it is more than a competition.  It teaches real-life skills and techniques that are widely used across a range of industries - commercial, government and NGOs.

How can I get started with my students?
  • Attend coach training
  • Register a team or individual
  • Purchase recommended publications
  • Plan your FPS year

Participation begins when a school registers one or more teams and finds coaches - usually, but not necessarily, teachers - to work with team members.  Coaches and teams work together to learn and practise the skills involved in the six-step creative problem solving process. They then apply these skills gradually during the year to a series of problem situations on internationally set, significant social, economic, or scientific issues.

What if we go into lockdown?

Global Issues Problem Solving is easily adaptable to a remote learning environment. Students use a combination of video conferencing applications and Google docs to collaborate virtually.  All work is submitted electronically.

Characteristics of GIPS participants?
  • Futuristic Thinkers
  • Collaborative
  • Effective Problem Solvers
  • Analytical Researchers
  • Expert Innovators
  • Ethical Leaders
  • Diverse Thinkers
  • Global Citizens
GIPS skills aligned with Education Standards

Global Issues Problem Solving skills aligned with Education Standards

The purpose of Global Issues Problem Solving is to facilitate students’ ability to design and achieve positive futures using an authentic Creative Problem Solving model. In learning about futuristic topics and using the Creative Problem Solving Process, students are able to develop their thinking skills and enhance their creativity, and fulfil many educational standards as well. Please see the following chart for details.

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The Key to FPSP

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