Learning from Our Mistakes
Things don’t always work out as we hope or plan. Take the Information Revolution, for example. When the Internet was rolled out, that Information Superhighway was supposed to open a global supermarket where everyone could sell more stuff to everyone else. We would all become more knowledgeable, thanks to free, open Web-based encyclopedias and resources, and we could all become famous authors without hassling with picky editors and publishers.
If you have taught, administered, or participated in a futuring course or program, THE FUTURIST magazine would like to hear from you! For its September-October 2014 issue, THE FUTURIST will compile articles, essays, and resources on the teaching and learning of futurism.
Best Predictions of the Year (and the Worst)
In the last issue of THE FUTURIST, the annual Outlook report offered a roundup of the year’s best forecasts appearing in our magazine. In this issue, we see what nonfuturists had to say about the future during 2013.
We were saddened to learn of the death of longtime World Future Society supporter Parker Rossman, an educator and early proponent of the global electronically networked knowledge society. He died on October 18 at the age of 94. (Read: Obituary courtesy of Parker Funeral Service.)
Rossman's work had been featured in THE FUTURIST magazine for a quarter of a century, from 1981 to 2006. Here is a transcript of his last feature article, "Beyond the Book," published in the January-February 2005 issue.
One of the concepts that futurists have been buzzing more about in recent years is the Internet of Things—the idea that interactive communication will extend beyond people and organizations to include objects communicating with each other. For instance, sensors buried on water pipelines would notify a city’s sanitation department if a leak may be imminent.
They say you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, but I’m more inclined to think the opposite is true: out of sight, out of mind. I am often startled when the landline phone on my desk rings, and then the caller wants to fax something to me. Fax? Do we still have a machine for that? Where is it?
It's great to be back in Chicago (as hot as it is) for another WorldFuture conference. This year we set our eyes on "the next horizon," the twenty-second century.
Preview of Things to Come in July! A WorldFuture Sneak Peek. For this issue of THE FUTURIST, we invited several of our 2013 conference participants to offer us a preview of their forthcoming presentations at WorldFuture 2013: Exploring the Next Horizon:
Editor's Query: Disappearing Futures. What is likely to be here today and gone tomorrow? Many things we once thought we couldn't live without are now hard to find even in antique shops. And not just "things," but institutions, values, resources, diseases, languages, and people have all come and gone from our lives.
As much as some people may not like it, we’re going to need robots to perform a lot of the tasks for which humans are not available. Populations are aging, and human labor is getting more expensive for manufacturing the things that economies want consumers to keep buying, so a fleet of smaller, smarter, more agile robots could be a boon.
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March 11, 2014 - On the streets of San Francisco PPlanter is both a place to pee and a garden.
Some Scots want independence and their leader Salmond promises that he will deliver a land of milk and honey. I wrote a few months on some reasons I don’t think they should go their own way.
On March 4th 2014, an exciting new book on working with scenarios was launched by Amsterdam University Press: The essence of scenarios: learning from the shell experience by authors Angela Wilkinson and Roland Kupers. Both authors have an impressive history on working with scenarios inside and outside the Shell company and through their book provide us with an insiders view on the roll of scenarios and the famous scenario team in Shell from the early 1960’s up till now. The book gives us an insight in the development and fine-tuning of the ‘gentle art’ of scenario planning in Shell and is basically a unique case study with educational insights for both beginners and more experienced foresight experts.
Call it a legacy of the Baby Boomer generation, or a desperate attempt by states to generate new tax revenues. Either way, the decriminalization of marijuana is a trend that is simply too big to ignore.
March 10, 2014 - A 7.4 square meter (80 square foot) shelter named Exo is the creation of Mississippi born Michael McDaniel.
March 10, 2014 - It strikes me today that the cynicism that accompanies our political discourse is a symptom of a growing disconnect between those who govern and those who are governed. We are seeing evidence of this everywhere across the globe. And this is leading to the emergence of a sovereign citizen movement.
A new report from the Economic Policy Institute shows rising levels of income inequality in all fifty states. From 1979 to 2011, the top 1% saw their income rise 128.9%, while the bottom 99% saw their income increase by a mere 2.3%.