In honour of visionary, professor, artist, peacemaker, academic, humanist, and legend—Lynn Elen Burton—a global source of hope and inspiration, this student initiated forum offers all those impacted by the lifelong and continuing efforts of Lynn Elen Burton an opportunity to express personal gratitude.


Professor Lynn Elen Burton

Dear Lynn:

I am delighted to add my voice to the appreciation of your many accomplishments and your outstanding, creative, and influential contributions to futures studies.

As a fellow laborer in the vineyards of futures studies myself, I have often been discouraged at the slow development of our field and the reluctant acceptance of it in some of the old and established corners of our universities and other major institutions.

But your shining examples of first-rate futures research, vision, courage and goodwill always have combined to return my faith in futures studies. They always return me to the conviction that it will fulfill its promise and make the important contributions we believe that it can make to help shape a future world of peace, justice, freedom, and opportunity.

Thank you for your friendship, your encouragement, and your past leadership. More power to you as you pursue your current and future projects. Please enjoy the honors that your students, colleagues, and fellow futurists bestow upon you. They are richly deserved.

Best wishes


Wendell Bell, Professor Emeritus
Department of Sociology
Yale University
P.O. Box 208265
New Haven, CT 06520-8265, USA

E-mail: <wendell.bell@yale.edu>


Hi Lynn
I just wanted to let you know about the positive impact that your Future Studies classes are playing in my professional career.

I use more theories and strategies from your futures classes than any other class I took at SFU!

I am constantly applying 'backcasting' to sustainable development strategies in government and have used some of the creativity and innovative thinking techniques to reinforce the importance of 'thinking outside of the box'. Whenever our organization discusses 'sustainable development' our main challenge is not to think about tomorrow, or the next fiscal year, but rather think outwards beyond ten years, twenty years and fifty years. Timelines like these permit individuals to think creatively when it comes to sustainability in a globalizing world. By envisioning a future where sustainability is a reality, we are briefly permitted to overlook present day economic or political realities, which often contradict long-term sustainable thinking. I take no greater pleasure than imagining and describing to others what a sustainable world might look like and then working towards certain aspects of this vision, in hopes of achieving some, if not all of my vision of the future.

I have also been involved in a project entitled R-Vu 'Expanding our View' in the Region (www.rvu.ca). I have been a facilitator for a study group that has been developing indicators for development in the region vis-à-vis sustainability. The knowledge that I gained in your classes have been invaluable. Our primary targets are for 2015, with a long-term vision that will address Vancouver in 2050.

This project is funded by both SFU and U.N. Habitat and will be showcased in the run-up to the World Urban Forum III being held this summer in Vancouver.

Future Studies were and remain an integral part of my academic and professional life.

Thank you for introducing me to Future Studies.


Jason Lyth
Public Works and Government Services
Office of Greening Government Operations
Vancouver, BC, Canada
e-mail: jason.lyth@pwgsc.gc.ca
Dear Lynn,

It has been my honour, privilege, and pleasure to count you as one of my greatest teachers, mentors, and friends.

From the first class, I could tell that you were someone very special. Your courses were always engaging and infused with your own dear personality –warm, playful, compassionate, gracious, and inclusive…professional, intelligent, articulate, and interdisciplinary…supportive, team-oriented, ambitious, and hardworking…optimistic, practical, innovative, and visionary…

You have inspired your students, believed in us all, and encouraged us to be compassionate and visionary leaders both inside the classroom and beyond. Thanks to your faith and encouraging mentorship, I have dared to take on tremendous new opportunities –from projecting futures, working in government, studying policy, chairing various committees, and coordinating a first ever BC Peace Education Conference (http://www.bc-peace-ed.org/), to recent beginnings with the blossoming new applied foresight network, and Dalai Lama Centre for Peace and Education. Through all of this, top scholars, scientists, leaders, teachers, policy makers, humanitarians, and innovators have graced me with their time and wisdom, but none have guided my development and touched my life, so fundamentally as you.

In studying the foibles and breakthroughs of human history, Humanities students learn to appreciate the power of ideas and the importance of choosing our ‘visions’ well. The danger is that we may become discouraged and stop there –unsure of how to move beyond reflective criticism, and implement effective change in a world where we are just making our start.

You act with vision, implement with grace and intelligence, lead by inspiration, teach with love, and show us all a gentle kind of power that can participate effectively in the world ‘out there’ and truly make a change for the better.

Just watch, and see the waves you make!

In Gratitude and Admiration,

Zaena Campbell
Dear Lynn:

It takes a real champion to stand up in front of a class of 20 students and field personal questions about your life. It takes a champion to have been educated in some of the very best schools in the World, and listen sincerely to what a young undergrad thinks might make the world a better place. Lynn, you bravely bared your soul this term, and while it may have taken a few of us a little while to get used to it, we all took bolder steps because of it. The material itself is engaging and fascinating but more importantly, it could have been taught much differently. Thankfully, it wasn't.

Every class we worked in groups, in short order, making presentations in front of the class (something most people associate with paralyzing fear) and sharing ideas. Effectively, every class, something was created--something was brainstormed, in a way that was always challenging, and never hard. By the end of the term I, and many others, were able to stand up in front of the class and confidently present our ideas. I'm amazed at the progress so many of us have made. Brilliant.

Lastly, I just want to thank you so much for your shrewd and ingenious Grand Finale. Miss Luna granted us all one wish, then took it away. Not one student in that class left without a plan to realize their dreams. Amazing. Wrapped in a veil of academia, you find a way to energize 20 or so new SFU students --year after year, term after term-- with the spark to set them on a great, fun, ambitious, caring life!

The sad truth is that many of us never get a chance to meet people who truly love what they do until long after we've 'decided' what we want to do with our lives. Perhaps the most amazing thing, somethingI realized on the very first day, was that this professor with the"split personalities" and deceptively sweet demeanor was one of the most successful champions I'd ever met: her success was not the reason for her happiness; happiness was the reason for her success.

Thank you Lynn for having done so many amazing things, and learned such a rare ability to share it with others in a way that only encourages and inspires.

best wishes

Michael Robson

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." Eleanor Roosevelt

Dear Dr. Burton:

I am so grateful to have this opportunity to express my appreciation! You are a kind, creative, and inspiring individual that I respect and admire greatly. I feel honored to count you as one of my greatest teachers, mentors, and friends.

It was such a privilege to enrol in your courses at Simon Fraser. By the end of each semester, our classes always felt like family after mutual engagement in rich “futures thinking” and reflection upon our goals, values, and ideas about the most preferable futures.

The sense of community empowered us to think past the individual to collective in the classroom, on the Applied Foresight Network (AFN) and beyond. The AFN <www.appliedforesight.org> continues to act as a vibrant hub of informed dialogue and pragmatic action on a number of critical issues on the horizon for humanity.

The AFN platform is an excellent example of students, citizens, and professors globally taking personal responsibility and initiative — engaging in collective international thought, and local integrated action. Through the AFN, we have experienced how the power of one becomes the force of many.

Thank you for your friendship, wisdom, and energy — and commitment to a beautiful future and the leaders of tomorrow.

Best wishes

Artin Kiani


Dear Dr. Burton,

Of all the subjects that are open for study, none is more transcendent than the study of the future. To concieve of a world that has not yet come to pass is an immeasurably difficult undertaking, and requires an imagination that, in itself, is transcendent.

You have always inspired imagination and creativity in your students, and have thus contributed greatly to the realization of a more future-oriented generation of thinkers. By facilitating an open learning environment, new ideas and possibilities have streamed into my mind in all of your classes. I have always thought of future studies as a 'way of thinking' rather than a confined subject, and the skills I have learned from your teaching have been a valuable asset throughout my academic career both as a writer, and as a listener. Thank you for implimenting innovation in your classroom, and equipping me, and many other students, with the conceptual tools to see more clearly into a world that is shrouded in the mysterious unknowability of the future.

Andrew Muir


Hi Lynn:
It was a real pleasure to be in your course. For the past three months, I have been waiting for every Thursday for our class time. This was the first Humanities course I ever took, and it was a lot of fun. I am going to miss your class, sadly.

My quote for you: "there is no shame in fear, but don't let fear rule you." I am going to Taiwan to serve in the army by early next year and will miss the times I have been in your class and all the memories.

Best wishes and luck with everything,

Kai Hu



You have been such an inspiration to me through your creative approach toteaching, your utmost dedication to students, and through personal stories of the exciting life you lead. You are my favorite professor and always seem to go the extra mile for your students. After the first class I took with you, I knew you had a different approach to teaching. You truly engage students, and believe in giving little guidelines and seeing where one's creativity and imagination takes them.

I learned so many valuable skills in the two classes I have taken with you. I was exposed to many innovative new approaches in the field of Future Studies--such as the Futures Workshop, Issues Paper, and Self-Striving Scale--that I will continue to use in the forthcoming years. Your courses have inspired me and in the future I would like to take more courses pertaining to this field (Hawaii would be a lovely location to complete a degree)!

I am so grateful to have you as a professor and am dissapointed that you might be leaving. However, on the other hand I wish you all the best whatever you do and wherever you go. You certainly deserve it all after all you've accomplished. Thank you for your dedication--it is truly appreciated.

Julia Baumann


I just wanted to let you know how much I've appreciated your enthusiasm andcreativity. I've learned from you this year, how to think outside the box,expand my horizons and to always dream bigger then I've ever thoughtpossible. The topics we've covered in class have greatly affected myperception of the world and because of your contributions, I have been ableto take steps in becoming more 'sustainable' in my own life. Your teachingstyle is fresh and inspiring, and I've learned a lot from you about how tomotivate students to own their own learning. This will forever change my ownpersonal teaching career. Thank you again Lynn for who you are and for whoyou've encouraged us to become.

Good luck in all your future endeavors and in writing your book!
Jessica McCullough



I have been very grateful for discovering your Futures Studies courses. They were actually recommended to me by one of your past students, Derek Chan, whom I think you've mentioned a few times in class in regards to the forum website. I was actually a bit hesitant in taking the course since I've never been in a very small class before and was quite afraid i won't do all that well, but after a while, I could honestly say it's been one of the best classes I've taken. All the peer to peer interaction made it fun along with each group's unique presentation. I'm happy that I decided to take the course and it has taught me a lot and made me see things in a very different perspective. From critical issues format of tackling problems, to SWOT, to backcasting. Things I can apply not only in class but even for my everyday life. I want to thank you for being one of the best professors i've had and for offering one of the best courses. It's unfortunate that you might leave as others that might wish to take your course in the future won't be able to, but things change and sometimes we have to move on to other things. I hope you stay the way you are and I hope you excel in your future endeavors as much as you did being our professor and friend.

Mark Dela Cruz


Hi Lynn,
From the moment I entered your class, I noticed that you took the time to greet each student individually, treating everyone with utmost warmth and respect. This bright, positive atmosphere would be reflected throughout the semester, with your ability to engage the class through imaginative activities and your radiant optimism making the course a truly unique and memorable (and fun!) learning experience unlike any other. You motivated students to maximize their imaginations and creativity.

In our correspondence over the past six months, you have shown me nothing but guidance, encouragement, and kindness. As you reach another of life's milestones, it is a time to not only be proud of your individual accomplishments, but also to reflect on the people of yesterday you have motivated/inspired to make a positive impact today and tomorrow. As a true humanitarian, I am privileged to have been your student at SFU. I wish you continued success and happiness in all your future endeavors.

Best regards,
Eugin Mak

I wanted to take this opportunity to give you my congratulations and my thanks.

Both of the classes that I have had the pleasure of taking with you have been insightful, eye opening, and full of many wonderful lessons. What I like about your classes, as compared to a lot of other university courses, is that what we learn with you is practical and can easily be taken with us into the real world, no matter where our career path may lead. Your kind heart and true caring nature for your students shines through in everything that you do. I only wish more profs could be like you- truly interested in your students well being and life in general. Your classes always seem to bring together a very intersting mix of people and this adds to the atmosphere of your classrooms. You should take pride in the fact that many of the students who take your classes are not humanities students (like myself) but hear such praise from other students about you that they take the classes for that reason alone. I plan to pursue a career in education and can only hope that one day I reach the point that you have where students have nothing but high praise for you and that they feel thatyou have really made a difference in their lives.

Good luck to you and I wish you and your family nothing but happiness wherever you may find yourselves. I hope that we can stay in touch as you would be an asset for someone like me to have as a contact while just starting out as a teacher.



Dear Lynn,
Blessed am I to have graced the presence of your tutelage. Under your guidance, our study of the future has profoundly impacted my own existential philosophy. Your passion for this greatly important subject incites within your students a desire to be creative and imaginative in presenting our research. Our focus on critical issues for humanity served to not only educate each other on present/future threats to this planet, but it also manifested a sense of urgency for the need to effect change on this world.

Thank you Lynn for all that you have offered us students in terms of guidance and inspiration. You really have afforded us the ability to excel in our future endeavours, and I wish nothing but the same for you.

Greg Schellenberg


Dearest Lynn,

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your gift of imagining possible, probable and preferable futures. As a mature student I was inspired by your vitality and ageless wisdom.

Your friend and former student,

Alice Hartley.


Dear Lynn,

Thank you for informing us about the important issues surrounding our day-to-day lives. You have played a great role in helping us realize and understand our unique purpose and potential in the world.

Before coming to my first HUM 227 class I had no idea what the course was about and I had chosen it completely by chance. But I can honestly say that along with HUM 327, your classes have turned out to be the most interesting and informing classes I have ever taken, and I am very glad that I had the chance to experience them.

Thanks to you, I am becoming the change I wish to see in the world…

Mehran Seyed Emami


Dear Lynn,

Thank you so much for introducing the wonderful world of the Humanities to me in your courses and on the Applied Foresight Network; the department at SFU and your website are both so great and have become sites of stimulation and flourishment. I will always remember your optimism and positive approach to life; we discussed many of the world's problems in your classes and in the AFN Cyber-Salons; today I feel truly empowered to deal with these problems I have learnt about and become the change I wish to see in the world. Thank you for your tremendous thoughtfulness and intelligence.

I wish you the best.

Jose Godoy


Dear Lynn,

Fall 2005 was one of the most amazing semesters thus far; I dare to say your class has had the most positive impact on my educational career. Thank you so much for being an inspirational teacher to us all. Of all the classes I have taken at Simon Fraser University, yours has definitely been the one I remember most vividly and think about most often (which may not be saying much depending on how you look at it :P).

But hey, believe it or not, I still do my scanning journals to this day (well, occasionally at the very least!). Your words, kindness, wisdom and passion for the betterment of our world has inspired me as a student and renewed in me a hope for the future. Wherever your life takes you, may you continue to touch, to guide and to inspire. I wish you only the best in all your future endeavors; you no doubt deserve it.

Matthew Tsang

P.S. If you still wish for me to lend you Ghost in The Shell, send me an email anytime!



I signed up for Humanities 227 in the first semester of my second year at SFU. I was still finding my way through everything, and more or less took your course on a whim. I had not known anyone else to take it, and in truth I had no idea what to expect. Looking back on my five years at SFU, I can not think of anything more surprising, interesting, confounding, liberating, energizing, or exciting than your course. It was the best decision I could have made.

Immediately, you presented yourself in an manner unlike any other professor. You weren't there to dictate, or to merely impart knowledge unto us, you were there to make us want to take in as much as we possibly could, and then when we thought that there was no more we could take, you made the next morsel just that much more enticing.

Looking back at my first week, I didn't know what to expect. Being a visual arts major, I knew no one in the class. But that didn't matter. I don't know if it was the subject matter or the influence you carried, but within weeks I can honestly say that the class bonded - to a degree of which you very rarely see in a university setting. I didn't know if this was a fluke, or just coincidental that so many different people would feed off each other's minds so well, but it became all the more clear when I took 327 the following spring and the exact same thing happened. It wasn't just the subject matter or the students, but you brought out something - a desire in all of us - that most professors could not dream of touching.

The second week of class in humanities 227 was September 12th, 2001. Things changed a bit that week, and I couldn't think of a better forum for dealing with and discussing those events than a course dedicated to the study of the future, something that is in constant jeopardy from our own ambitions. It wasn't just the subject matter though, it was also the assignments. Never before had I been assigned a creative writing project for a final paper, but sure enough at the end of 227 you gave us one. It was an absolutely brilliant idea and to this day remains one of the papers that I am more proud of.

Seeing as I was only a second year student when I took both courses, I didn't have the prerequisite credits for humanities 327, but you took it upon yourself to wave that for me, and I thank you for it as the follow up was even more gratifying than the precursor.

When all is said and done, I look to my degree on the wall. It reads Bachelor of Fine Arts. I took Humanities 227 and 327 not because I needed to, but because I truly wanted to. And to this day, both courses help me in everything I take on, especially since I am trying to make a living as a fiction writer. You helped me to come to terms with a lot of issues, concepts and realities that had always been on my mind, and in retrospect, I truly do not think I could have chosen anything better than The Study of the Future.

Lynn, you are a large part of what made my university career a joy, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Good luck in whatever you may choose to do with your life now. Be prosperous, be confident, and be happy.

Your friend and former student,

Andrew Wilmot


Praxis has to do with the unity of analysis and action. Its gift lays in eroding artificially-imposed barriers. New thought, and the hope it brings, emerges from old ideas and new visions blending into each other. Lynn's teaching performs the critical function of eroding expected barriers: between disciplines; between research and creativity; between knowledge and optimism. Although I haven't taken a course with her in some years now, I can still pick up what I learned under her and spin it into something new.

Thank you Lynn.

Graham Fox


Hi Lynn,

It’s been a great pleasure having you as a teacher. There was not one day where you did not come into class without a smile on your face. You always lit up the room with that smile of yours! I had so much fun taking HUM 227 . . . I knew I had to enroll in your HUM 327 class as well! I learned so much from you. You are one of the very few teachers who actually care about their students. I really enjoyed learning the methodologies of futurism in your courses, and I can see myself using them in the future. Thanks for making the class so enjoyable and interesting. I’ll surely miss your classes!

Alice Wu


Professor Burton,

it has been a few years actually since I stumbled upon your Studies of the Future course, and since then I have finished my degree and started a Masters. I aspire to become a teacher one day. I think a lot about how my experiences as a student will lead me to become a better teacher, and amidst the many courses I have taken in my long undergraduate career, I remember your course especially fondly! It was one of the most fun and rich experiences; the best collaborative project, and overall - the course really felt like a small universe, where learning was relaxed and friendly. The atmosphere was one of acceptance and you had a really innovative approach to teaching. I can only hope to learn from this experience. Thank you!

best regards,

Milena Droumeva


Hi Lynn,

I just wanted to let you know that your class has inspired me to nurture the creativity that exists in the world. Also I want to let you in on a story I have hidden from you. When I travelled back in time, the big G-man (you know who I am talking about) was kind of upset that you did not return his calls. I told him not to call collect...he got angry....went on a hunger strike....and the rest exists in the pictures I have given you. I wish you best in your future adventures and hope that one day we meet again; perhaps we can include the Dali Lama?

best regards,

Shane Begg


To my dear friend and colleague in the creation of enlightened public policy.

I will always remember your serious but never solemn approach to “good works”. It has always been a pleasure to work with you on projects and I have particularly appreciated your self deprecating humour.

Your so evident concern for the well being of others, family, friends, students and (dare I say it) the positive evolution of the human race has been an inspiration; I know retirement will not mark the end of your involvement in enlightened citizenship.

Anne Ironside


Chère Lynn
Ceci ne serait pas complet sans quelques mots en Français:
Mais que dire sinon merci d’exister! Merci pour avoir ouvert l’avenir! Merci pour avoir su faire réfléchir les optimistes, faire croire à la vie les pessimistes! Merci pour tant de gentillesse et humanité, les deux seules qualités au monde.
« Nicole : L’autre blonde »

Nicole Schwartz-Morgan, Ph.D
Department Politics and Economics
Royal Military College of Canada
Kingston (Ontario)
(613) 541-6000 (6429)


Lynn Burton, a gentleperson and a scholar who has a kind word for all in the world and a heart of gold. Lynn Burton, the consumate networker and optimist, seeking the best for all and dreams for the future. Lynn Burton, a smile and a hug wrapped in a perfect intellect, challenging and a challenge to all whom she touches.

Tom Abeles, Ph.D
President, Sagacity, Inc.,
Minneapolis, Minnesota
When Dr. Burton took her sabbatical last year, I was quite honoured that she chose me, one of the most junior and inexperienced instructors at SFU, to teach her Futures courses. Try as I might, I was not able to approach her profound depth of understanding of the issues, wisdom, humour, wit and empathy that she displayed every time that she entered the classroom. I thank her for being my mentor in applied foresight and in professional futurism and for inspiring me to ever greater achievements in this wonderful and challenging profession.

Thank you so much Lynn for everything you have done to help me excel!

Paul Tinari, Ph.D
Pacific Institute for Advanced Study

“The kind of thinking that got you into a problem is not the kind of thinking that will get you out of it.”
- Albert Einstein


Many of Madame Lana's predictions have come true. As you know my sister and I predicted many things in my Book of Shadows.

For your future, Madame Luna.

I see through my tarot cards that your future will be filled with new opportunities and creative expressions. These things will only come to pass if you remember to follow your dreams and stand your ground. Moreover, you must take time to let go of problems and learn to take care of yourself.

May the spirit be with you, Lana.

Kathy Spittle


Thank you Lynn,
for having such interesting classes. I will always remember them. It is a tribute to your teaching and patience will all the individual personalities that were in your classes. Good luck in all your endeavours, wherever the wind may take you.

Greta Spittle
(1st mother and daughter in your classes at Simon Fraser University).


A tribute to Professor Lynn Elen Burton

Dear Lynn:

Your courses on Future Studies, Creativity, Innovation, and Visionary Thinking are the most significant and dynamic I have taken in my entire life of University studies. Simon Fraser University and the Humanities Department must feel a real sense of privilege and honour to have had an opportunity to experience your leadership.

I wish to express my most sincere thanks to you for unveiling the wonderful and profound world of Future Studies to us all. We have learned to unleash the power of imagination and actively actualize our own most preferable futures. As an incredible teacher and friend, you are shining source of hope and inspiration.

You have taught us the great values of life. I have learned to believe in the beauty and meaning of life. I have learned to believe in the goodness of man. Despite the chaos and danger of an ever changing world that abounds in destruction, I now believe that we can truly be the positive change that we wish to see in this world.

If there is one thing that will fulfill my life, it is the knowledge that futurism will not only continue, but thrive in the University experiences of tomorrow. We must wholeheartedly support future studies for it is a promise of hope. Everyone deserves a chance at hope. Everyone deserves the experience of Future Studies.

On behalf of everyone, dear Lynn, I thank you for the utmost of excellence in knowledge and friendship bestowed graciously upon us throughout the years. We have privileged enormously from your teaching, and only hope that others will continue also.

Your courses have fulfilled my life.

Thank you,

Eleonore Anne Cermak


Dear Lynn,
I can honestly say, and with plenty of frame of reference, that your class was one of the most enjoyable of my undergraduate career. Where else would I have gotten the chance to sit around and talk about theoretical futures in such detail and with such informed feedback? Or to get academic credit to design our own vision of Utopia? What did I do right to get to take this class in my last semester as an undergrad?

For those of us who spend inordinate amounts of time thinking and fretting about what the world might be like in the distant and not-so-distant future, it can often be frustrating to be met with antagonism, ignorance, or worst of all, indifference from others when we try to express our concerns. Being one of the more fretful variety of amateur futurists, I have to imagine that for a lot of us, it was a relief to come across someone, someone in a position of influence, even, who draws around herself such passionate and creative people, and encourages them to apply that passion in everyday life. I found a few kindred spirits in this class; and it's always nice, while always vaguely fearing the downfall of the human race due to greed, ignorance, inaction, and poor foresight, to be a little reassured that there are people other than oneself out there trying to make a difference in the way the future of the world is shaped. I write about the future, mostly, and rest assured there's a book dedication in your future - once I get published, that is. Thanks for everything.

Arien Crossby


Lynnie poo (Dr. Poo),

A true historian to boot. I would love to share the quest we had in Greece for the sake of higher learning. Just think, we discussed fully the possibility of mosquitoes on Mars, and were later proven correct by the discovery of water on that planet.

The photo (Click here!) is a field study of the effects of menthol on breathing

Later, we found a lot of future study material in the National Museum of Science and Technology while we were waiting to ride the snowmobile. This study was further enhanced by the poetry of the Space Child's Mother Goose.

May you teach and inspire forever.
Joanne Frembd
longtime friend an ally


Dear Lynn,

Future studies taught us to be aware of the uncertainties that may arise in the future and served as a gateway to critical and visionary thinking...your class was truly inspirational and the knowledge that we gained from your courses will transcend throughout our lives. Thank you for your dedication to this subject, and the dedication to your students.

best regards,


To Dr Lynn Elen Burton,

Simon Fraser University

Dear, Dear Dr Pooh and Friend:

I’ve been standing by . . . and waiting for the right moment to put in my personal “5-cents worth” to this tribute to Dr Pooh. Both Marie and I have been deeply touched, but not surprised, by your students’ initiative. They have expressed, with such sincerity, gratitude, friendship, affection to you and appreciation of your presence in their individual life.

This is, without a doubt, the biggest collective effort I have ever seen . . . in my entire life, in making a well-deserving friend feel good about herself.

That makes you, “the most extraordinary human being I have ever met" . . . in my book and very obviously in that of a whole lot of people you have touched, reached out for, or associated with, helped, one way or another.

I will never forget the day you joined our organization in our effort to support the Prime Minister of Canada, addressing issues of Science and Technology. That day, I knew you would be of great influence on the rest of my career. Your frequent quotes, such as “success comes in cans and not in can’ts” . . . “there are doers and don’ters” and of course, “. . . that’s nice!” . . . have henceforth been part of my daily decisions; either at managing my mandates or teaching my art students.

Thank you for your contribution to my success in all I have done over the last twenty-some years. No matter what I undertake, there is always some solution found, when I think back and ask myself how you would handle stumble blocks. Thank you for turning so many of my negative events into positive and profitable ones. Nobody does it better.

Your sincerity and friendship are of vital importance to both Marie and myself, thank you so much. As well, we return our friendship to you and yours.

As your students express so nicely to you, in their Celebrity Roast, my Dear, Dear Dr Pooh and Friend, without you, “Futures Studies” would certainly be deprived of a future.

Most sincerely,

Your old friend,

J. Ernest François Labelle,
Artist and Painter - Ottawa
eflabelle@rogers.com www.jeflabelle.com artjef@jeflabelle.com


Dear friends,
Last night I searched my personal lexicon for the perfect words to say thank you, but they would not come. As I disturbed my husband's sleep with my muffled giggling, as the full box of kleenex went down to its last tissue, as I started and restarted a reply, and as the morning sun started peeking into the windows beside my computer, I realized that the words to say how incredibly happy you have made me feel just simply do not exist.

Wasn't it a Buddha who said, "thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared"? Thank you all for sharing your thoughts with me. We clearly draw out the best in each other. Thank you for your trust, appreciation, and kind words.

At the beginning of every new class of students, I struggle with the insecurity of your expectations of me and the class. And at the end of every new class of students, I become more and more certain that as university professors we need to go beyond artificial and temporary intellectual growth to create authentic learning communities where how we care meshes with what we think.

In Futures Studies we look at personal responsibility for creating our preferable futures, both individually and collectively. I am convinced that we will never fully understand the whole of scientific or humanistic phenomenon by isolating our inquiry into narrow packages and surgically examining the parts.

Flatland academic thinking will not suffice. I believe that university professors must recognize that they are nurturing the leaders of the future. You, the leaders of tomorrow, will require not only knowledge but also understanding. In addition to your profound intellectual growth, a university education should help you to further develop your ability to make wise and ethical decisions, a deep level of integrity, good judgement, and human empathy. I hope, in some small way, I have helped you to achieve these ends.

In closing, I would be remiss if I did not recognize the huge efforts of a great student and future statesman, Artin Kiani, in making this tribute possible. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Artin.

And as 'we' Italians say, "until we meet again". Golly, this reminds me of my assignment to you to write your obituary the way you would like it to read many, many years out and the actions you will need to take in order to achieve these ends. It also reminds me of the scene in 'Princess Bride' where Billy Crystal is using fireplace bellows to try and pump life back into the farmboy. He says something like, "[s]he's not dead yet, [s]he's just nearly dead." Hopefully, not! As the perennial optimist, I will assure you that it is just the beginning point of a new adventure in life.

See you on the Applied Foresight Network and blogspots where the power of one becomes the force of many. Thank you all a million times over for honouring me as your professor, colleague, and friend.

My very best wishes to all of you,
Lynn (aka Madam Luna)