The Global Foresight Crisis
A Letter from World Future Society President Timothy Mack
Time horizons are shrinking. It seems that every piece of information we receive demands some immediate decision or action. Is there any wonder that people say, “I can’t plan six months from now; I can’t even plan for next week”? We see lives overwhelmed by change, people borrowing beyond their means, financial institutions taking foolishly short-sighted risks, and youth engaging in risky behaviors, with no ability to see the consequences.
In short, we are experiencing a global foresight crisis.
The good news is that we do have information and tools available for combating “change overload.”
And you can help us deliver these tools and this critical information to more people—especially young people—worldwide. All of us who care about our common future should be extremely encouraged by the growing interest we are now seeing among young people in attending WFS conferences, consulting our publications and Web groups, and connecting with others through our widening social networks.
For 45 years, the World Future Society has worked to help its members make responsible choices and cope successfully in a rapidly evolving future that all of us will share.
WFS is a leading resource for insight, thought leadership, training, and fresh and timely reporting on the future—wresting clarity and solutions from chaos and change. The Society inspires forward-thinking people to respond to complex systems of change with innovative and global solutions and equips professional futurists with the dynamic connections and tools they need to help their clients and organizations capitalize on change.
Our publications feature stories and critical information about developments throughout the world that have significant impacts and lasting implications. We share the good news and the opportunities relating to promising new research in energy and transportation, health and medicine, science and technology, food and water, education and ideas to improve our own future—and that of future generations.
But we’re also here to raise a flag concerning dangers and threats that are not always so easy to see, but won’t be resolved anytime soon—threats to the natural environment, to international security, to every area of human activity.
We are committed to finding—and delivering—solutions. The experts who contribute to our publications and participate in our conferences inspire us with their innovations, ignite our imaginations, and mentor us in the processes of developing our own foresight competence.
The World Future Society was built by visionaries like yourself, volunteering their time and expertise. So that is why we are calling on you to help us continue our mission of finding and delivering the most effective tools for building a better future.
Your support will help the World Future Society:
- Bring more diversity to our conferences by underwriting the costs of including full-time students, young futurists, and thought leaders from developing countries, who otherwise might have no voice in the future that is being created for them.
- Build up members’ networking capabilities by further enhancing our Web site and social-networking outreach.
- Connect more communities of special interest with each other, both online and in “real life,” using advanced membership management technologies.
- Create more focused personal and professional futures development programs, including academic textbooks and core curricula for K-12, higher education, lifelong learning, and professional-training.
- Support and inform efforts to enhance foresight capabilities in government, academia, and the private sector and continue to advocate on behalf of coming generations.
- Advance the field of professional futurism by generating products, publications, training, and services to support key areas of foresight endeavors, including academic, futurist consulting, foresight skills development, and policy analysis.
Today’s foresight crisis is urgent, as it affects not just every crisis the globe experiences now, but also all the crises we will face in the years ahead. So please join us, and send your contribution at one of the following suggested levels:
President’s Circle: $25,000
or whatever you can afford.
Another way for you to support the World Future Society is to join now or renew your membership—and join us in Chicago next July for an exciting conference, WorldFuture 2013: Exploring the Next Horizon.
Be assured that we will keep you informed of the all the important work that your support is helping to accomplish. And, by the same token, we want to hear from you! Let us know your ideas for new Society programs and how we can better serve your own foresight-development needs.
Though we may all dream of a better tomorrow, the future is not built on wishful thinking. Let us come together to imagine, debate, deliberate, and pursue our goals with hope and mutual commitment.
President, World Future Society