News and Events for the Futurist Community
News, events, and updates from the international futurist community. All material here is written by the World Future Society staff except those items labeled M2M (Member to Member). To post a plan, email Cwagner@wfs.org
Patrick Tucker, deputy editor of THE FUTURIST magazine will give an hour long talk on The Year 2030 as part of DC Week. The talk will be followed by an open discussion with Lisa Schaefer, chief futurist of RoleModel Enterprises on the future technology of books.
When: Monday, November 7th, at 6 PM until ?
Where: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library Room 215 Adaptive Services.
The Issue Management Council will host two events in Washington, D.C., that might be of interest to WFS members and Web site visitors.
Refreshing the Menu: Making Issue Reports Appetizing
Date: Noon, 30 November until 4:00 p.m., 1 December 2011
Location: 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC
Contact the Issue Management Council: +1.703.777.8450
The Fundamentals of Issue Management
Date: 30 November 2011 (morning)
Location: 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC
Contact the Issue Management Council: +1.703.777.8450
TechCrunch DISRUPT Bejing Winner Announced
"OrderWithMe," a start up "group buying system meant to help Western small business owners by drastically simplifying the process of acquiring Chinese-made goods in bulk," has officially won the TechCrunch DISRUPT Beijing event, which took place on November 1st. "By splitting orders (and simultaneously removing a vast majority of the middle men involved), OrderWithMe allows shops to acquire any size shipment of these lower-priced goods, as opposed to the usual minimum order of 100+" according to TechCrunch. Write up.
DaVinci Inventor Showcase
WFS (18 July 2011): Inventors and entrepreneurs will gather at the 7th Annual DaVinci Inventor Showcase, which takes place in Westminster, Colorado on November 5. DaVinci Institute executive director Thomas Frey recently delivered the much buzzed-about closing plenary at WorldFuture 2011 in Vancouver, Canada. Be sure to check out the DaVinci Institute’s list of other upcoming futurist events as well.
World Futures Studies Federation's 21st World Conference
WFS (22 September 2011): The World Futures Studies Federation will meet in Penang, Malaysia, December 13-15. The conference will focus on Global Higher Education: Reflecting on the Past, Designing Sustainable Futures. Details: World Futures Studies Federation
Now Available: The Great Growing Up by John Renesch
WFS (update: 27 October 2011): The newest book from futurist John Renesch, The Great Growing Up, is is now available. In the introduction, he writes, “This book is about taking responsibility for humanity’s future by becoming a more conscious society. How do we take lessons from all the developments in past decades and apply them to ourselves as a species?”
Renesch also contributed an essay to Moving from Vision to Action, the companion volume to WorldFuture 2011, edited by Cynthia G. Wagner. His essay “Beyond Adolescence: The Human Species Faces Growing Up” provides an overview of these ideas, which he explores in greater detail in the book.
Winners of The 2011 Possible Futures Film Contest Announced
WFS (30 August 2011): Amid the lackluster selection of would-be blockbusters and remakes being dumped into movie theaters this August are some films actually worth seeing. Even better, they're all freely available online. Pachamama Alliance and FOUR YEARS. GO. have announced the winners of the inaugural Possible Futures Film Contest. 317 entries from 44 countries were submitted to the worldwide competition for short films that envision potential positive futures and new visions for humanity.
First place was awarded to Superhero, directed by Nitin Das (India). It’s a bit treacly, but the message is inspiring: We’re never too young or old to live sustainably, and to challenge ourselves to do more than the status quo.
Prizes were also given out in each of the four categories: Peace and Freedom, Fair Societies, Sustainability and Beyond, and Human Fulfillment. Five people’s choice awards were handed out as well. The overall people’s choice award went to Within Reach, the trailer for a new documentary. In the movie, the filmmakers chronicle their travels across the United States by bicycle. They envision a world populated by more sustainable (and intentional) communities and meet with those who are committed to putting these ideals into practice. The documentary will have its official premiere on September 17 in Berkeley, California.
Free Business Foresight E-Publication from Alireza Hejazi
WFS (22 August 2011): WFS member and contributor Alireza Hejazi, the founder and developer of Futures Discovery, has just released a free e-publication online entitled Futurist Boutique Branding. A career development tool for futurists, the document covers topics such as market scanning and ways to develop more effective business proposals.
Hejazi invites anyone interested to download the PDF, and the earlier report that it complements, Seven Strategic Points for Running Your Foresight Business. (And don’t forget to check out his blog.)
Futurist.com Carbon Nation DVD Release
WFS (11 August 2011): Futurist.com recently announced the release of Carbon Nation, a new documentary by Peter Byck that explores the need to reduce fossil fuel dependence and ways to achieve that goal--available on DVD and On Demand as of August 1.
Futurist.com founder Glen Hiemstra sums up the documentary nicely in a recent blog post: “In the movie, Peter travels throughout the country documenting amazing stories of individuals and companies who are creating the next clean and low-carbon energy future. If you see climate change as a problem, or if you don’t but would like cleaner and cheaper energy anyway, this film tells you how it can be done, and is already being done.”
In related news, Byck, whose previous documentaries include the award-winning “Garbage,” has joined Futurist.com (just for clarification, a futuring organization based in Kirkland, Washington; no relation to The Futurist Magazine) as a featured associate.
Backyard Invention TV Show – Casting Call
A friend of mine with a production company sent along this urgent casting call, reprinted in its entirety below.--Patrick Tucker
Engel Entertainment, Inc. an Emmy Award-winning television production company based in New York City that produces programming for networks such as PBS, Discovery, History, National Geographic and A&E, is currently producing a new show for a major cable network about homemade inventions. The show is hosted by two invention enthusiasts who will travel the country meeting the brilliant minds behind extraordinary and out-of-this-world backyard creations.
We’re looking for big character hacker/builder/maker/tinkerers who are working on large-scale, mechanical or technological creations. These creations can be anywhere in the continental US but must be jaw dropping, imaginative, visual, easy to demonstrate, and open to being put to the test on the show. Ideally, the inventions are homegrown creations, being built in your backyard or garage.
If interested, please contact: email@example.com. Your information will not be shared with anyone unaffiliated with the program. Thank you for your submissions!
Article by Timothy C. Mack in the Journal of Future Studies
WFS (5 August 2011): World Future Society president Timothy C. Mack recently published an article in the Journal of Future Studies: Epistemology, Methods, Applied and Alternative Futures (Vol. 15, No. 4: June 2011). The article, entitled, “Good Roads and Potholes: Teaching Foresight to Younger Children,” appears in the issue’s Symposium section, the theme of which is futures education. Tim writes in the article’s abstract, “‘Good Roads and Potholes’ collects some of the lessons learned by the World Future Society in exploring the concept of foresight with groups of children of elementary and secondary school age.”
PDFs of the articles and essays from the June 2011 issue (as well as back issues) are available for free download on the Journal of Future Studies’s Web site.
Future Talk: Interview with Cynthia Wagner in The Grinnell Magazine
WFS (1 August 2011): Cynthia Wagner, editor of The Futurist Magazine, is profiled in the Summer 2011 issue of The Grinnell Magazine, the alumni magazine of Grinnell College, where Wagner completed her undergraduate studies. In the article, entitled “Future Talk” (which begins on p34, for those of you who download the free PDF), she looks back on 30 years of involvement with the World Future Society and also provides a nice explanation of the futures studies field—what it is and isn’t—in a way that’s easy for the uninitiated to understand (something that anyone who’s spent any time in this field can appreciate.)
Designing the Future in Europe
An international colloquium on Designing the Future in Europe 2011 will be held October 21-22 at the University of Economics in Prague.
Panels will discuss global problems affecting local governance; state, regional, and corporate strategies for governance; and strategic thinking: the roles of learning systems and artificial intelligence in strategy-making in governance.
The symposium is sponsored by the Civic Futurological Society in the Slovak Republic. Details: http://obcanska.futurologicka.spolecnost.sweb.cz/kolokvium.html
APF V-Gathering Futures Fest
According to the organizers at the Association of Professional Futurists, this event is "designed for professional futurists and people using strategic foresight approaches in their work, the Virtual Gathering will bring together leading thinkers from across the globe to share their insights, experiences and ideas about their work."
Issue areas include:
- Futures/Foresight Methods
- Insights from Art/Design/Architecture
- Crazy Futures
- Building a Futures Career
The event runs for 18 hours concurrently across the world, beginning at 6 AM (EST) on October 26th.
World Future Society board member Kenneth Harris describes the 'fest thus, "I don't know of another futures event that has been tried like this one, so it should be of great interest."Registration details.
The Creative Community: Free Event
WFS (22 September 2011): The World Future Society's Europe Chapter is sponsoring a free event on October 25 in Ipswich, UK, to consider The Creative Community and what will drive growth in the Knowledge Economy. Discussion will be led by Stephen Aguilar-Millan (Director of Research, European Futures Observatory). Register here.
Boosting Competitiveness: Lessons from GermanyWFS (20 September 2011): Germany has emerged from the recent recession as one of the world's strongest economies. To understand why, the Washington, D.C., based Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will hold a seminar on Boosting Competitiveness by Connecting Science and Industry: Insights from Germany's Innovation Model on October 18 from noon to 2 p.m. Eastern time.
Among the participants exploring the factors underlying Germany's success are Robert D. Atkinson IFTF President; Engelbert Beyer, head of the Directorate Innovation Strategies, Germany Federal Ministry of Education and Research; Stephen Ezell, senior analyst, ITIF; Joann Halpern, director, German Center for Research and Innovation; William Hartman, executive vice president, Fraunhofer USA; Anke Hellwig, deputy director of International Business Development, Fraunhofer Society; Greg Tassey, senior economist, U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology; and Jan Wessels, Division for Innovation Policy Issues, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Register here. The event will also be webcast.
Producing Change: Creating a Better World An Inspired GatheringM2M
Thursday, September 15, 4 PM PST, 7 PM ESTThis concluded event was billed as follows:
"Join us for a very special event that explores the world of E-lanthropy--a place where art, storytelling, philanthropy, technology, science, social networking and more come together in new and exciting ways to make the world a better place. Register now to learn from some of the most powerful and positive people on the planet. Amazing visionaries including Tim Kring, Marc Levey, Elizabeth Huttinger, Kathy Eldon, Jerome Glenn, Richard Cummings, Kate McCallum, Jennifer McClure and Jeanette DePatie will be presenting amazing stories that show how art, technology, storytelling and philanthropy are coming together in new and exciting ways. From outstanding mobile applications that help onion farmers in West Africa get fair prices for their crops to aerial flashmob photography that brings like-minded people together to create visual petitions for their causes to stereoscopic painters who motivate change by inviting you into their paintings to exciting new models uniting artists and storytellers with compelling causes, this event will open your eyes to new possibilities for progress."
WFS Fall Events You Won't Want to Miss(From Patrick Tucker) The World Future Society and THE FUTURIST magazine are pleased to announce several upcoming noteworthy events for future-interested folks in the Mid-Atlantic region. Visit the WFS Fall Events page to register and learn more and register. http://www.wfs.org/content/wfs-fall-events. 2011 State of the Future The 15th Anniversary Edition Tuesday, September 13, 2011 The world is in a race between implementing ever-increasing ways to improve the human condition and the seemingly ever-increasing complexity and scale of global problems. So, how are we doing in this race? What’s the score so far? What are some strategies to improve our prospects? Jerome C. Glenn, author of the State of the Future series will address these and other topics. Register How to Put Your Brain on the Internet (and Would You Want to?) A Presentation by Michael Chorost, Author, World Wide Mind World Future Society-Washington, D.C. Chapter Thursday, September 15, 2011 Author Michael Chorost will show emerging technologies that allow brain activity to be read and altered in unprecedented detail. He'll outline what a future "World Wide Mind" could look like and ask: Would people want to be part of it? Register > THE FUTURIST Magazine Presents: The Immortal Life? An Evening With Aubrey de Grey Wednesday, October 12, 2011 Dr. de Grey will explain: (1) why therapies that can add 30 healthy years to the remaining life span of the typical 60-year-old may well arrive within the next few decades, and (2) why those who benefit from such therapies will very probably continue to benefit from progressively improved therapies indefinitely and will thus avoid debilitation or death from age-related causes at any age. Register
Live from Lincoln Center: Ray Kurzweil
WFS (updated 13 September 2011): On August 3, futurist, author, inventor, and WorldFuture 2010 keynote speaker Ray Kurzweil brought his compelling vision of transhumanism to the Great White Way—and countless multiplex theaters near you via simulcast—during a one-night-only event entitled Transcendent Man: A Conversation about the Future.
Following a brief presentation by Kurzweil, a panel discussion examined Kurzwell’s ideas on the Singularity. Clips from the documentary Transcendent Man were shown throughout the evening as well.
Panelists included Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, inventor Dean Kamen, Deepak Chopra (appearing live via Teleportec), and Barry Ptolemy (the director of Transcendent Man).
The evening at Lincoln Center also featured prerecorded remarks from an impressive and eclectic array of talking heads, including Al Gore, Bill Maher, Quincy Jones, Elon Musk and Suzanne Somers. (For some reason, I can’t help imagining them as special guests joining Ray for an intimate stroll through the Great American Songbook, but that’s probably because I’ve been watching a lot of PBS lately…)
For background, read the World Future Society's review of Transcendent Man.
Hudson Institute Book Forum on the History of the Future
WFS (updated 20 July 2011): “Will people really be better off when the whole world has become wealthy, free, and peaceful?” That’s the question addressed in The History of the Future: The Shape of the World to Come Is Visible Today, the latest book by Hudson Institute co-founder and senior fellow Max Singer. A panel discussion looked at the possibilities, along with other ideas presented in Singer’s new book, when the Hudson Institute hosted a Book Forum on July 18, 2011 at their Washington, D.C. headquarters.
WorldFuture 2011 Wraps Up
WFS (12 July 2011): ...and another great World Future Society conference draws to a close. Thanks to everyone who participated this year. We hope to see you next year in Toronto! In the meantime, stay tuned for special announcements about WorldFuture 2011-related webinars, photo galleries, and editorial features by signing up for our free online newsletter.
Singularity University and Expo 2015 Announce Partnership
The expo’s theme is Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life. To that end, participants will examine the future of food and sustainability. Singularity University will be involved with the search for technology-driven ideas, projects, and potential solutions to global hunger. Over 100 countries are expected to participate.
Inaugural South by Southwest Eco Conference Just Announced
WFS (27 June 2011): You can now add sustainability to the list of different SXSW conferences (music, film, and technology round out the other three). The first annual SXSW Eco will bring together individuals from many different fields to search for innovative interdisciplinary solutions to global environmental issues. This special event is being held separately from SXSWeek, which takes place every March. It’s scheduled for October 4-6 in Austin, Texas.
“Just as SXSW Music, Film, and Interactive emerged as a vibrant space for the creative and entrepreneurial communities, we hope SXSW Eco will foster a similar, productive environment for policy makers, academics, and professionals to build meaningful relationships and develop tangible solutions,” says SXSW co-founder and managing director Roland Swenson.
According to a press statement released today, SXSW Eco will “provide a platform for attendees to collaborate and advance solutions to the most pressing challenges facing the environment, the economy and civil society.”
The conference will also provide an excellent opportunity to go to that unbelievably great Korean taco truck that’s sure to be somewhere nearby…I mean…um…to think about really important issues and stuff. (Seriously, though, those kimchi fries with tofu are definitely worth waiting in line for.)
Pew Internet’s Lee Rainie Gives a Talk on the Millennial Generation
WFS (updated 20 July 2011): On July 13, The Capital Cabal presented a Speaker Series event entitled Millenials Overview: Gadgets, Politics and Future Online Behavior, at the City Club of Washington. During the talk, Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project, presented new findings regarding the 35-and-under crowd and the ways they’re driving online technology.
A “pundit panel” provided further commentary and insight into the generation also known as Y. The panel featured former Washington Post columnist Rob Pegoraro, president and COO of JESS3 Leslie Bradshaw, and CEO of R2integrated Matt Goddard.
Lewis Jaffe (1924-2011)
The futurist community recently lost one of its most ardent supporters. Lewis Jaffe of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, died on October 4, just shy of his 87th birthday. We at the World Future Society knew Lewis to be extremely generous in his compliments to our hard-working staff, as well as in his torrent of ideas for networking opportunities, partnerships, and projects.
While Lewis was hospitalized in September, a spontaneous e-mail vigil arose among his colleagues and friends to offer him and his family encouragement and support. His daughter Lynne assured us that, though her father did not want to die, it was not because he feared death, "but rather that he had SO MUCH he still wanted to accomplish in this life.... He would have never wanted to die as he would never have run out of bright ideas and things in need of transforming."
A memorial service was held on Saturday, October 15, at noon at the Jewish Community Center, 5738 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, with lunch immediately following. Memorial contributions can be directed to: The Lewis Jaffe Scholarship Fund, Saint Vincent College, 300 Fraser Purchase Road, Latrobe, PA 15650.
Read the obituary (originally published in the Butler Eagle on October 7).
H. McKinley Conway (1920-2011)
WFS (30 June 2011): The World Future Society sadly notes the passing, on May 29, of one of its longtime supporters, aeronautics engineer and development expert McKinley "Mac" Conway. He was 90.
As a proponent of regional planning and development, Mac wrote frequently for THE FUTURIST on megaprojects. His last article, "Coming: The Biggest Boom Ever!" (May-June 2010), was on the great economic opportunities that he foresaw in water projects, clean energy plants, transportation systems, and innovative agricultural technologies.
Jan Lee Martin
WFS (9 August 2011): We are saddened to note the passing of Jan W. Lee Martin, co-founder of the Futures Foundation and a longtime professional member of the World Future Society. (Recently, she spoke at WorldFuture 2010 and also contributed an article entitled Statisticians: New Champions of the Future? to the 2010 conference volume, Strategies and Technologies for a Sustainable Future.)
A beautifully written personal tribute to her can be found on Tim Longhurst's blog.
WFS (10 May 2011): The editors of online futures journal FUTUREtakes have put together a very moving tribute to Susan Echard, who provided many years of invaluable service to WFS as vice president for membership and conference operations. The entire 2010-2011 issue is worth taking a look at.
Moshe Dror (1934-2011)
WFS (3 May 2011): We are saddened to report that noted futurist Rabbi Moshe Dror, director of the Jewish Futures Network, president of the World Network of Religious Futurists, and coordinator of the Israel chapter of the World Future Society, passed away in Israel on April 29.
A moving obituary and tribute page can be found on the WNRF’s Web site. They request, “If you knew Moshe, and would like to send a note of gratitude to his colleagues at WNRF, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.”