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Global Issues Problem Solving

Global Issues Problem Solving (GIPS) is a competitive component of FPSPI which can be accomplished as a team (of 4) or as an individual activity in which participants research a series of global topics and learn a six-step creative problem solving process.

  1. Identify Challenges

  2. Select the Underlying Problem (UP)

  3. Produce Solutions

  4. Select Criteria

  5. Apply Criteria

  6. Develop an Action Plan

Problem solvers apply their topic and creative problem solving knowledge to address a charge presented in an imagined situation, termed--Future Scene.

Trained evaluators score student work and return it with feedback including suggestions for improvement during the school year.

The top scoring teams and individuals on the qualifying problem are invited to the AZ Affiliate Bowl Competition. The winners of each respective Affiliate FPS Competition will then advance to the FPSP International Conference IC in June.



Junior (grades 4-6)

Middle (grades 7-9)

Senior (grades 10-12)


Novice division is available to all new coaches-not IC eligible.



Students research a topic to gather background information, become mini-experts in the topic, and predict possibilities for the future. Students receive a Future Scene, an imagined scenario based on the topic 20 to 40 years in the future, and use their research as they apply the six-step FPS model.

AZFPS coaches are encouraged to introduce generating and focusing guidelines along with a variety of creative and critical thinking tools. These creative problem solving tools and guidelines provide students with options to generate creative possibilities and to focus on effective solutions and innovation.


We all have problems we’d like to solve. Some people aren’t very good at math. Some people have nosy neighbors. Some people go to bed hungry at night. No matter how small or how big the problems are, we like to solve them. It’s hard to solve a problem, though, unless we understand the problem very well. Who is involved in the problem? What is the problem? When and where does the problem occur? Why does the problem happen? How does it occur? The first step in successful problem solving is defining and describing the problem. That’s what a "Future Scene" is - a description of the problem situation you want to solve.

Example Senior Future Scene and Team Booklet


Use a Future Scene to generate challenges related to the topic.

  • Use a Future Scene to project yourself into the future.

    • What has changed?

    • What other areas might change?

    • How old will you be in that year?

  • Use the Future Scene as a story starter.

  • Can you see how you might use Future Scenes in real-life situations to help solve personal problems?

  • Use Future Scenes to work toward solving community, state, national, and international problems.

  • How might you use a Future Scene in the classroom to teach sound thinking skills and problem-solving behaviors?

  • Use Future Scenes in academic competitions to motivate students to excel, create an "Imagined Future."

Enjoy this FPS 2008 Future Scene on the topic of Olympic Games

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT FUTURE SCENES… Check out FPSPI’s publication, Problem Solving Across the Curriculum, located on the FPSPI Mart page.

Presentation of Action Plan (PAP)

After the teams have completed the GIPS portion of the competition, they must present their action plan in a brief skit.  For more details on the PAP, check out the additional resources available on FPSPI's website.

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