20 Forecasts for 2014-2030 - Trends and Breakthroughs Likely to Affect Your Work, Your Investments, and Your Family


  •   The Single Most Critical Skill for the 21st Century

  •   7 Ways to Spot Tomorrow’s Trends Today

  •   How to Succeed in
    an Age of Hyper-Change

  •   How Foresight Built
    a Fortune

Forecast #1:
Electric cars powered by fuel cells earn extra cash
for their owners
Your next car may help pay for itself by selling its excess electricity back to the power company.
Researchers in the Netherlands have developed electric cars using fuel cells that convert biogas or hydrogen into electricity. Then, while the car is parked, it generates extra electricity that you can sell to the power company for extra cash.

Forecast #2:
Open-source robot blueprints cut the cost of robots
by 90%
Robot development may soon dramatically
accelerate thanks to new open-source hardware-sharing systems. Similar to open-source software for computers, this new robot-development platform allows participants to share their designs so that other developers can adapt or improve on them. By sharing hardware and software development, costs may plummet and innovation may skyrocket. For example, a caregiving robot that used to cost more than $350,000 to purchase may soon be available for under $25,000.

Forecast #6
3-D Printing Revolutionizes

    Many types of goods that are now produced in a factory may soon be created via 3-D printing. These new three-dimensional printers create 3-D objects by laying down successive layers of material.

    New 3-D printers can use a wide range of materials—plastic, glass, steel, even titanium.  Industrial 3-D printers are being used to make everything from lampshades and eyeglasses to custom-fitted prosthetic limbs. 

    Eventually, everyone might have access to these 3-D printers, just like we have access to inkjet printers today.  You order the plans from the company, but instead of waiting for FedEx to deliver it, you just hit print and get it in minutes. 

    Get details in our new special report, The Abundance Builders.  It’s free, with your no-risk introductory membership

Forecast #3:
Smart phones help spur political reform in AfricaWeb-accessible mobile devices have proliferated in Africa, where text messaging and social networking are giving low-income residents more opportunities to watch their governments. Increased transparency and accountability, such as improving public access to spending on expensive infrastructure projects, could help reduce corruption and poverty.

Forecast #4:
The world’s oceans may face “mass extinction event.” By 2050, the scale of extinctions of ocean-dwelling plants and animals may equal the five great global extinctions of the past 600 million years, warns the International Programme on the State of the Ocean. Reasons: a “deadly triad” of pollution, overfishing, and climate change impacting the world’s ocean habitats.

Forecast #5:
The “cloud” will become more intelligent, not
just a place to store data—
Cloud intelligence will evolve into becoming an active resource in our daily lives, providing analysis and contextual advice. Virtual agents could, for example, design your family’s weekly menu based on everyone’s health profiles, fitness goals, and taste preferences.

Dear Reader,

    These are a few recent forecasts from members of the World Future Society and its magazine, THE FUTURIST.

Forecast #7
India may eclipse China in population and innovation
by 2028

    With its population now growing at twice the rate of China, India is projected to become the world’s most populous country by 2028.

    India is also in the midst of a boom in technical innovation.  The number of patents filed in 2010 in India increased by 36.6% over the prior year, greatly surpassing the worldwide average gain of 5.7%.  Thanks to this skyrocketing rate of entrepreneurial innovation, the decades-long “brain drain” of university graduates leaving India has begun to decline.

    In this special report, you’ll discover many other trends and forecasts that are likely to affect virtually all aspects of your life in the years immediately ahead. You’ll see how you can forecast possible future developments in your own life.

    You’ll also get details on receiving a valuable guide to important trends likely to impact your career, your business, or your investments. It’s yours absolutely free with an introductory membership.

    At the outset, let me say that futurists do not claim to predict precisely what will happen in the future. If we could know the future with certainty, it would mean that the future could not be changed. Yet this is the main purpose of studying the future: to look at what may happen if present trends continue, decide if this is desirable, and, if it’s not, work to change it.

    The main goal of studying the future is to make it better. Trends, forecasts, and ideas about the future enable you to spot opportunities and threats early, and position yourself, your business, and your investments accordingly.

Forecast #8
A “green” housing boom is under way

    While overall home sales are increasing slightly, green home sales are booming.  U.S. consumers are increasingly demanding energy efficiency and the use of sustainable materials both in new homes and in remodeling projects. 

    “Green homes” will grow from 17% of the residential construction market in 2011 to 38% by 2016, with a fivefold increase in revenues, according to the National Association of Home Builders. 

How You Can Succeed in

    Look how quickly our world is transforming around us. Entire new industries and technologies unheard of 15 years ago are now regular parts of our lives. Technology, globalization, and the recent financial crisis have left many of us reeling. It’s increasingly difficult to keep up with new developments—much less to understand their implications.

And, if you think things are changing fast now, you haven’t seen anything yet.

    The rate of change is accelerating. As inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil notes, “Because of the explosive nature of exponential growth, the twenty-first century will be equivalent to twenty thousand years of progress at today’s rate of progress; about one thousand times greater than the twentieth century.”

Forecast #9
Robots may become gentler caregivers in the next 10 years

   Lifting and transferring frail patients may be easier for robots than for human caregivers, but robots’ strong arms typically lack sensitivity.

   Japanese researchers are improving the functionality of the RIBA II (Robot for Interactive Body Assistance), lining its arms and chest with sensors so that the robot lifts and places patients more gently.

   Get details on this and more than 60 other top forecasts for the coming year and beyond in the World Future Society’s annual OUTLOOK Report. It’s yours free with a no-risk introductory membership.

    All of us are going to spend the rest of our lives in the future. Therefore, if we want to be practical, we must focus our attention on the trends and ideas that are shaping the future. What will these changes mean for you, your family, your career, your community and your investments?

    Today, it’s as if we’re driving 200 miles an hour and only looking out of the rear-view mirror. The Internet has given us access to a vast wealth of information, but it hasn’t helped us make sense of it.

    Politicians often can’t see past the next election. Many business leaders seem focused only on the next quarter. The media spends most of its time on trivia. Meanwhile, long-term problems and opportunities are ignored.

    My name is Tim Mack. I’m president of the World Future Society, an association of 25,000 forward-looking individuals and groups in 80 countries. Since 1966, when the World Future Society was founded, we’ve worked diligently to share information on new developments, possibilities, forecasts, trends, and scenarios. This information helps individuals, governments, and businesses participate in creating a better future for themselves and the world as a whole.

    As a nonprofit organization, we’ve put all our effort into sharing this information with everyone—not just governments or corporations. The World Future Society is totally independent, offers no official view of what the future will or should be like, embraces no creed or ideology. Only in this way can we give you the unbiased information you need about the most important subject there is: Your Future.

Forecast #10
A revolution in smart materials creates a new energy boom

   We’re now in the early stages of a revolution in new synthetic materials. These “smart materials” offer tremendous potential to save energy, generate power, and create lightweight materials that are stronger than steel.

   For example, carbon nanotubes are 100 times stronger than steel. They also conduct electricity like copper and disperse heat like brass. Carbon nanotubes could make a new kind of material that is lightweight, incredibly strong, and even generates solar energy.

   The material would have countless applications. For example, it could enable a new generations of solar-powered blimps that would generate their own electricity from solar cells on their outer shells.

   Get details in our new special report, Urgent Warnings, Breakthrough Solutions. It’s yours free with a no-risk, introductory membership.

“Whether we are on the threshold of a Golden Age or on the brink of a global catastrophe that will extinguish our civilization is, I believe, not only unknowable, but also undecided. The decision will emerge through what we do in the years ahead, for each of us will create a little piece of the common future of all mankind.

“We can do nothing to change the past, but we have enormous power to shape the future. Once we grasp that essential insight, we recognize our responsibility and capability for building our dreams of tomorrow and avoiding our nightmares. Of course, we feel abysmally ignorant of how to proceed, but as we join together, forming networks of human concern about the future, we will find the strength and wisdom needed to create a better future world.”
—Edward Cornish, Founder, World Future Society

    This is some of the thinking that went into founding the World Future Society more than 45 years ago. Its early founders and supporters were people such as Nobel Prize winners Glenn T. Seaborg and Dennis Gabor... comprehensive designer Buckminster Fuller... science writers Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov... business and government leaders such as HEW secretary John W. Gardner and members of the cabinets of presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. It was a unique assembly of some of the world’s most forward-looking people. They shared a common belief that a better tomorrow is built from wise decisions today.

    The World Future Society supports individuals and organizations by acting as a neutral clearinghouse for forecasts, trends, and ideas about the future. We serve as an early warning system to help people spot problems and opportunities far enough in advance so that they can prepare and make wise decisions.

Forecast #11
“The Internet of Things” Creates a Revolution of
Wired Devices

    We’ve witnessed a massive and ongoing revolution with computers and smart phones connected to the Internet. The next phase is the “Internet of Things.”

    Trillions of devices— thermometers, cars, light switches, appliances, homes, will also be connected to the Internet—each with its own IP address. According to Internet pioneer, Vinton Cerf, this “holds the promise for reinventing almost every industry... When the world around us becomes plugged in and aware, it will drive efficiencies like never before.”

    Get details in our new special report, The Abundance Builders. It’s free, with your no-risk introductory membership.

The Single Most Critical Skill
for the 21st Century

    In this era of accelerating change, knowledge alone is no longer the key to a prosperous life. The critical skill is foresight. Knowledge quickly goes out of date, but foresight enables you to navigate change, make good decisions, and take action now to create a better future.

    We often think people are successful because of luck, when in fact it was their foresight that made them “lucky.” Foresight prepared them so they were ready to act on their opportunities. If you look at any successful person, organization, even a country, you will find a high degree of foresight. That’s why foresight is...

The Secret Ingredient of Success

    Foresight is critical to achievement in all areas of your life, including your major life decisions. People who lack foresight are likely to find themselves unemployed when jobs are unexpectedly lost to new technologies, competition from overseas, or shifts in consumer tastes. Foresight is the key to survival in a world of disruptive innovation.

    Foresight enables you to see opportunities, avoid threats, and chart the fastest path to your goals. The key to success is seizing opportunity when it arises. But you need to see the opportunity and be prepared to take action. That’s why foresight gives you power and agility to achieve any goal you want to achieve.

Forecast #12
Shake-Up in the
“C Suite”

New corporate leaders with
new skills on the way

    Corporate futures will be shaped by leaders adept in social networking, content management, data mining, and data meaning.

    Look for such job titles as Earned Media Officer, Chief Content Officer, Open-Source Manager, Chief Linguist, and Chief Data Scientist.

    Get details about other exciting new emerging careers in 70 Jobs for 2030. Yours free with an introductory membership.

7 Ways to Spot Tomorrow’s Trends Today

    In the more than 45 years since the World Future Society was founded, futurists have developed a range of techniques to study the future. Here are a few techniques futurists use to spot new opportunities and potential problems. These methods give individuals and organizations an edge to help them succeed in a fast-changing world:

  1. Scan the Media to Identify Trends—Futurists often conduct ongoing and systematic surveys of news media and research institutes. These surveys help spot significant trends and technology breakthroughs.

  2. Analyze and Extrapolate Trends—After the trends are identified, the next step is to plot the trends to show their direction and development into the future. Trend analysis and extrapolation can show the nature, causes, speed, and potential impacts of trends.

  3. Develop Scenarios—Futurists often describe the future development of a trend, a strategy, or a wild-card event in story form. These scenarios can paint a vivid picture that can help you visualize possible future developments and show how you can prepare effectively for future risks and opportunities. Scenarios help you to blend what you know about the future with imagination about the uncertain. Scenarios help you move from dreaming to planning and then to accomplishment.

  4. Forecast #13
    A handheld “breathalyzer” will diagnose diseases
    in seconds

        The Single Breath Disease Diagnostics Breathalyzer under development at Stony Brook University would use sensor chips coated with nanowires to detect chemical compounds that may indicate the presence of diseases or infectious microbes.

        In the future, a handheld device could let you detect a range of risks, from lung cancer to anthrax exposure.

        For details, see the World Future Society’s annual OUTLOOK Report. It’s yours free with an introductory membership.

  5. Ask Groups of Experts—Futurists also conduct “Delphi Polls” which are carefully structured surveys of experts. Polling a wide range of experts in a given field can yield accurate forecasts and suggestions for action.

  6. Use Computer Modeling—Futurists often use computer models to simulate the behavior of a complex system under a variety of conditions. For example, a model of the U.S. economy might show the effects of a 10 percent increase or decrease in taxes.

  7. Explore Possibilities with Simulations—Futurists create simulations of real-world situations by means of humans playing different roles. For example, in war games, generals test out tactics they may later use on the battlefield, or corporate executives can explore the possible results of competitive strategies.

  8. Create the Vision—Futurists help organizations and individuals systematically develop visions of a desirable future. Visioning creates the big picture of possibilities and prepares the way for goal setting and planning.

    Each issue of THE FUTURIST brings you the results of the work of leading futurists from around the world.

    You can also discover how to use these techniques yourself in your career, your business, and your personal life. We’ve prepared a special report that shows how to use these and other futurist techniques. It’s called The Art of Foresight: Preparing for a Changing World. This report will show you how to use futurist techniques to prepare realistically and creatively for success in your personal and professional life. You can get a copy FREE with an introductory membership in the World Future Society.

WFS Membership Entitles You
to These Exclusive Benefits

Find Exciting New High-Paying Careers

    You or your children may soon hold jobs that don’t even exist today. Tomorrow’s careers include job titles such as augmented reality architect, bio-botic physician’s assistant, holodeck trainer, digital identity planner, automated vehicle fleet manager, and many more.

    Discover how youThe Automation of Invention - Yours FREE!can position yourself for the high-potential careers of the next decade, 70 Jobs for 2030. It’s yours free with an introductory membership.

    Join the World Future Society today and you’ll receive a wide range of exclusive benefits that will help you understand trends, build foresight, and create a better future. As a WFS member, you’ll receive:

    THE FUTURIST: A Journal of Forecasts, Trends, and Ideas About the Future: This bimonthly magazine focuses on innovation, creative thinking, and emerging social, economic, environmental, and technological trends.

Spot Important Trends Years
Ahead of the Crowd

    Each issue of THE FUTURIST will brief you on the most important trends that could affect your business, career, family, investments, and the world in general. You’ll get the most significant trends across the changing landscape, from technology, the economy, public policy, education, resources, and the environment. THE FUTURIST will help you:

    Forecast #14
    “Lab-on-a-Chip” Technologies Revolutionize Health

        New technologies are enabling smart phones to conduct sophisticated lab tests for many different health conditions. These new devices will enable you to know your health status for many different tests day to day.

        Plus, combining these lab tests with new computer diagnostics programs using artificial intelligence will also give people in developing countries accurate, low-cost, easy-to-use, point-of-care diagnostics. People in the developed world can monitor their health in real time. And it will help the 60% of the developing world who don’t have access to hospitals and labs.

        Get details in our new special report, The Abundance Builders. It’s free, with your no-risk introductory membership.
  • See the Latest Breakthrough Technologies—You’ll understand the impact of new technologies, innovations, discoveries, and new solutions on the horizon.

  • Know the Economic and Business Outlook—You'll get vital updates on major economic, business, investment, and consumer trends.

  • Get an Advance Look at Environment and Resource Issues—You’ll see the latest ideas and reports on natural resources, habitats, sustainable communities, and more.

  • Identify Social Trends—You’ll spot important changes in values, lifestyles, religion, entertainment, sports, arts, language, sex, and family.

  • Spot Demographic Shifts—You’ll get the latest changes in population, immigration, births, deaths, marriages, and other vital information.

  • Understand Government and Regulatory Trends—You’ll get an overview of the impact of laws, regulations, taxes, politics, diplomacy, and war in the coming years.

    Our unique, multidisciplinary analysis of trends saves you time by compressing a massive amount of information into engaging and comprehensible reports. Each issue of THE FUTURIST gives you a careful selection of the most interesting and significant current reports on trends, forecasts, and potentially important developments.

Forecast #15
Drug-delivering nanorobots built from DNA could be approved for use in humans within
20 years

    Medical nanorobots that identify and attack individual cancer cells are being developed by researchers at Harvard University.

    The nanorobots would be able to sense when they encounter a cancer cell and then release its molecule-sized payload of cancer-fighting antigen.

    For details, see the World Future Society’s annual OUTLOOK Report. It’s yours free with an introductory membership.

    Recent World Trends and Forecasts reported in THE FUTURIST Include:

  • A Competition for Lunar Enterprise—How entrepreneurs are leading the race to develop the moon;

  • Growing Pains Ahead for China and India—Demographic change will challenge the world’s two most populous countries;

  • “Rateocracy” and Corporate Reputation
    How real-time ratings will raise stakeholders’ expectations of business;
  • Nanobots to Fight Cancer—Built from DNA, robots may deliver medicine where no doctor has gone before;
  •     You’ll get the complete versions of all the above articles in our new special report, Urgent Warnings, Breakthrough Solutions. It’s yours FREE when you join the World Future Society today.

        THE FUTURIST also features TOMORROW-IN-BRIEF, a quick update on unique and remarkable breakthroughs you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. In each issue, you’ll discover remarkable new developments such as:

    • Electrified Highways Enable Electric Trucks: How Germany is developing an “eHighway” where electric trucks connect to overhead wires;

    • Forecast #16
      Longevity Revolution Creates Lifespan “Haves” and

          An explosion of medical technologies using gene therapies, stem cells, and organ printing will soon greatly extend the average lifespan.

          Age 100 may soon become the new 60—for those who have access. But the cost of these technologies may still be out of reach for many poor people.

          This will create vexing issues around the distribution of health, wealth, and power. Today’s healthcare politics may seem tame by comparison.

          Get details on this and many other breakthroughs in Urgent Warnings, Breakthrough Solutions. It’s yours free with a no-risk introductory membership.
    • Surgeons Operate with Sound—How researchers are developing ultrasound as a non-invasive surgical tool;

    • Robotic Aides for Children with Autism—How specially designed robots may offer a novel way to get autistic kids to interact and learn.

    You’ll get more than 60 other forecasts like these in our OUTLOOK special report. It’s yours FREE with an introductory membership.

THE FUTURIST also brings you these features:

  • FutureView—A thoughtful essay by a leading futurist;

  • Visions—Exciting visual images of new designs; and...

  • Book Reviews—The latest books on the future, especially selected for their impact or originality.

    And, of course, feature articles you will find nowhere else. Each issue features 4-7 feature articles written by leading thinkers, scientists, researchers, economists, politicians, and experts from virtually every field who know that the actions we take today create the world of tomorrow. See the box at right for a small sampling of the leading thinkers and doers who have appeared in THE FUTURIST over the years.

A few of the Authors Who Have Appeared in THE FUTURIST
  • Peter F. Drucker—business visionary
  • B.F. Skinner—psychologist
  • Ray Kurzweil—inventor
  • Amitai Etzioni—sociologist
  • Glenn Seaborg—Nobel Prize-winning chemist
  • Gene Roddenberry—Star Trek creator
  • John Challenger—employment expert
  • Hazel Henderson—economist
  • Anthony Fauci—NIH AIDS expert
  • Nicholas Negroponte—MIT’s new media visionary
  • Richard Lamm—former Colorado Governor
  • Herman Kahn—defense analyst
  • Fritjof Capra—physicist
  • Alvin and Heidi Toffler—authors
  • Julian Simon—economist
  • Carl Sagan—astronomer
  • Neil de Grasse Tyson—astronomer
  • Frederik Pohl—science fiction writer
  • E.F. Schumacher—economist
  • John Naisbitt—author
  • Harold Shane—educator
  • Daniel Yankelovich—public opinion expert
  • Gerard K. O’Neill—space exploration expert
  • Vaclav Havel—statesman
  • Sir John Templeton—famed investor
  • David Walker—U.S. Comptroller General
  • and far too many more to mention.

Recent feature articles in THE FUTURIST include:

  • Thriving in the Automated Economy—How workers’ race against automation can be won if we partner with our machines.

  • Unlimiting Energy’s Growth—Exciting new smart materials, such as carbon nanotubes, may revolutionize power generation and energy efficiency.

  • A Thousand Years Young—An anti-aging expert identifies medical breakthroughs that could eventually eliminate the wear and tear of our bodies and minds as we grow old.

  • The Secret Life of Data in the Year 2020—A futurist from Intel Corp. shows how geotags, sensor outputs, and big data are changing the future;
  • The New Age of Space Business—The end of the space shuttle era marks the beginning of a new generation of entrepreneurs and “adventure capitalists.”

You’ll receive all of the articles above in the special reports that you can receive free with an introductory membership.

WFS Membership Also Entitles You to These Benefits:

  • Unique and Exciting Conferences—From presidential candidates to prominent scientists, WFS conferences feature thought-leaders on the cutting edge of change. These unique meetings have been described as “a world's fair of ideas” and “the greatest intellectual show on earth.” No other conference brings together so many original thinkers and doers from so many fields. (See box at right for a few of the well-known speakers.) You'll receive early invitations and members’ discounts for these important events.

  • Connect with Forward-Looking Experts and Organizations—Discover ideas and innovations that will inspire and enhance your own work. Knowing what others are doing—as they are doing it—enables you to make breakthrough connections that otherwise would never be possible.

  • Network with Other Forward-Looking People in Your Area—As a member you can join local futurist groups throughout the United States and in 117 cities and 39 countries worldwide. You'll be able make important professional and personal contacts that can boost your work and career. Many of our local groups sponsor seminars and lectures, take field trips, publish newsletters, hold discussion groups and other events. You’ll receive a complete listing of local and special-interest futurist groups with your introductory membership.

  • How WFS Membership and THE FUTURIST Magazine Will
    Help You

        All of us will spend the rest of our lives in the future. That’s why understanding coming developments and making wise decisions is everyone’s business. WFS helps...

    • Business Leaders—Gain an edge on the competition by understanding trends in technologies, consumer lifestyles, customer demographics, employee values, government regulations, and much more
    • Investors—Get an advance look at emerging technologies and industries likely to capture market share in the years ahead.
    • Educators—Look ahead to prepare students for the new careers and challenges they’ll face.
    • Parents—Guide children into successful careers and help ensure they’ll succeed in the years ahead.
    • Citizens—Help governments avoid management by crisis and make wise decisions for the future.
    • Retirees—Find enjoyable new careers, better places to retire, and help ensure grandchildren inherit a better world.
    • Students—Identify and prepare for rewarding new careers. See how you’ll be able to make a difference in the world of tomorrow—a world that you will help build youself!
    • Government and Civic Leaders—Make wise long-term decisions and better understand the trends and big-picture issues facing your constituents.

    Join Today and Receive Up to
    5 FREE Gifts!

  • Stay Current on the Latest Futurist News —Your membership also entitles you to receive Futurist Update. This e-mail newsletter keeps you in touch with late-breaking news. You'll get up-to-the-minute breakthroughs, the latest research, news, and links to futurist Web sites and other resources.

  • Interact with Other Thought-Leaders Around the World—As a member, you'll be able to participate in online forums exploring vital topics on the future. You can post your ideas and get reactions from others around the world. Current forums cover subjects such as education, futurist methodologies, preventing terrorism, global strategies, cyber society, future generations, and more.
  • Save on the Best Future-Oriented Books, Tapes, DVDs, CDs and More—In addition to reviews and summaries of the best future-related books, you'll also be entitled to members-only discounts on hard-to-find books and other resources on future-related topics.

A 45-Year Track Record of Successful Forecasts

    In more than 45 years since its first issue, THE FUTURIST has correctly forecast many of the major technological and social developments of our times. Some of these included:

  • The energy crisis of the 1970s;
  • The impact of communications technologies such as the Internet and cellular phones;
  • The rise and fall of the Japanese economy
    in the 1990s;
  • Recycling;
  • The impact of the Baby Boom generation on housing, schools, and retirement systems;
  • Human organ transplants and the use of
    artificial organs;
  • The widespread use of automation, robotics,
    and lasers;
  • Commercial applications of genetic engineering;
  • Telecommuting;
  • The Dow Jones stock index at 10,000 by the end of the 20th Century;
  • Increased terrorist attacks on U.S. soil and the World Trade Center as an attractive target.
  • Meet Leading Thinkers and Doers at WFS Conferences

    Speakers at WFS conferences have included:

    • Al Gore—Vice President
    • Gerald Ford—President
    • Walter Mondale—Vice President
    • Sir Arthur C. Clarke—author
    • Buckminster Fuller—visionary designer
    • Gene Roddenberry—Star Trek creator
    • Betty Friedan—author
    • Fritjof Capra—physicist
    • Isaac Asimov—writer
    • Alvin Toffler—futurist
    • Marilyn Ferguson—visionary
    • Les Aspin—U.S. Senator
    • Hazel Henderson—economist
    • Lester Brown—environmentalist
    • Hubert H. Humphrey—Vice President
    • Marshall McLuhan—media guru
    • B.F. Skinner—psychologist
    • Timothy Leary—psychologist
    • Doug Casey—investment author
    • Ray Kurzweil—inventor
    • John Naisbitt—author
    • Glenn Seaborg—Nobel Prize-winning chemist
    • Peter Senge—author, The Fifth Discipline
    • Ellen Burstyn—actress
    • Herman Kahn—defense analyst.

        Plus many others prominent in their respective field or country.

        As a WFS member, you’ll receive special invitations and can attend at special members-only rates.

  • The role that subprime mortgage lending, which targeted minorities and women, would soon play in the biggest economic crisis of recent memory.

Shouldn’t you know the likely developments of the next 10-20
years of your future?

    Of course, the value of a forecast is not just in whether it comes true or not. Forecasts can be useful for helping you think about the future. Sometimes the most useful forecasts do not come true because people took action to avoid a crisis. For example, forecasts about the Y2K computer problem warned about the potential dangers of widespread computer-related problems. But people took action to keep the forecast from coming true.

    Anticipating change is the first part. The second part is to actively build a better future for yourself, your family, your organization, and your community by helping to realize a more-desirable possible future. You see...

It’s Not Just What Your Future Will Be;
It’s What It Could Be!

    All of us need exciting new visions of positive possible futures to achieve. Just as John F. Kennedy’s call to put a man on the moon inspired people to do something many thought impossible, you can identify possible and preferable futures and work to achieve them. WFS and THE FUTURIST bring you realistic visionaries who have developed practical solutions for pressing world problems.

The Key to Building a Better Future

    Many futurists believe that almost anything can be done in 20 years. Consider that unleashing the power of the atom took only four years and putting a man on the moon took only eight.

    Just as a building can be built if people believe it will be built, a desirable world might be created if people can imagine what that world would be like and how it might be achieved. Futurists believe that to develop such a consensus, ideas about the future world should be systematically generated and studied. The study of the future would thus become a major human activity.

What Type of World Will Your Grandchildren Inherit?

Forecast #17
“Rateocracy” and augmented reality makes corporate reputation a key driver of profitability

    Yelp.com and Angie’s List are just the beginning in a new wave of “rateocracy” where reputations rule.

    Corporations will closely track the real-time rise and fall of their reputational “credit ratings” as closely as they watch their stock prices. Savvy corporations will know that their reputations are key drivers of their growth, profitability, and employee retention.

    For example, you might choose one restaurant over another when your mobile augmented-reality app flashes warnings about health-department citations or poor customer reviews. Customers, suppliers, and employees will gain power as they exert more control over corporate reputations.

    Get details on this and many other breakthroughs in Urgent Warnings, Breakthrough Solutions. It’s yours free with a no-risk introductory membership.

    We can do nothing to change the past, but we have great power to shape the future. We can learn to avoid repeating past mistakes and we can collaborate globally to create a better future world. We’ve got to learn to be good ancestors and think of future generations.

    Now is the critical moment. The accelerating pace of change is creating huge opportunities for individuals, organizations, and countries that are prepared, and serious dangers for those who are not.

The Key to Success

    Successful people believe “I Create My Future.” Unsuccessful people believe, “The future happens to me.” That’s why successful people look ahead. They know that every day they are making choices that will affect the rest of their lives. They believe that they are largely in control of their lives and they create their own opportunities for success. Now, it’s time for you to decide...

You can be a passive victim of change OR you can discover the trends and use change to your advantage!

    By looking ahead, you’ll make better decisions, avoid threats, develop your entrepreneurial vision, and seize opportunities that others never see.

    That’s why leading companies such as Procter & Gamble, Nokia, and the electronics group Philips use futures thinking. The British government has set up a “horizon scanning center” as part of its Foresight project. Notre Dame University now requires all of its business students to complete a course in foresight.

How Shell Oil Foresaw the Energy Crisis

Forecast #18
“Peak Water” may become a bigger problem than peak oil

    As water tables around the world become depleted, and as growing populations demand more water for personal as well as agricultural use, supplies of sustainably managed water will continue to fall.

    The consequences could be dire for human health, as water-related diseases proliferate.

    Get detail on this and more than 60 other top forecasts in the World Future Society’s annual OUTLOOK Report. It’s yours free with an introductory membership.

    Shell was one of the first companies to adopt futures thinking, incorporating it into its planning in the 1970s. Futurist Pierre Wack got Shell to see that oil production was not just about economics and technology, but also about politics. Futurist scenarios showed the possible outcomes and impact of interruptions in oil supplies from the Mideast. Thus, Shell was ready for the severe oil crisis of 1973, when OPEC countries cut off oil exports during the Yom Kippur war.

    Then in the early 1990s, scenarios written by Shell futurists foresaw the likelihood of a rapid and dramatic decline in the price of oil. This was the result of the discoveries of new fields outside of the OPEC sphere of influence, in combination with energy conservation. Positioning itself accordingly, Shell then rose from fourteenth to second place among the oil multinationals during the mid-1990s as prices fell and other heavily over-invested companies lost billions.

How Foresight Prevented Civil War

    Futurist techniques helped South Africa emerge from its apartheid system without widespread violence or economic upheavals. In 1991 (three years before the end of Apartheid) a diverse group of 22 prominent South Africans met with a team of futurists. They developed scenarios designed to “stimulate debate on how to shape the next ten years” for South Africa.

    The team presented the scenarios to then-President De Klerk, and his Cabinet. They briefed Nelson Mandela in his jail cell and leaders of the ANC and other associations. The scenarios were published in a 14-page insert in The Weekly Mail and The Guardian Weekly, major South African newspapers. Over the rest of the year, the team presented the scenarios to more than 50 influential groups throughout South Africa. As a result, the scenarios became widely discussed in South Africa at all levels, from taxi drivers to talk radio shows. Ultimately, South Africa was able to make a peaceful transition to representative government and create a new future. It could have been much different, and the widely disseminated scenarios are credited with the peaceful outcome.

Forecast #19
Amish Boom

    The fastest-growing religious group in the U.S. is the Amish. Their numbers will reach 1 million shortly after 2050.

    While most other religions grow through conversions, Amish communities are growing on sheer family size.

    A new Amish settlement is currently founded every three and a half weeks, according to research by a sociologist at Ohio State University.

The Widening Gap between
Technology and Wisdom

    A great challenge of our time is that science and technology are accelerating furiously, but our understanding and wisdom are not. We need new perspectives to allow us to reflect on where change is leading us. The issues become ever more complex. We need new systems and institutions to help us understand the long-term consequences of new developments. Our technology is evolving faster than our capability to understand it and guide its development.

    The World Future Society is a global network of thoughtful people sharing a common interest in exploring the future and working to make it better. You can be part of this tremendous intellectual resource that can light the way for humanity as it moves into a future filled with extraordinary potential, enormous risks, and mysteries beyond our comprehension.

World Future Society membership and THE FUTURIST will help you:

    Futuring Success Story
    How Foresight
    Built a Fortune

        Alan Hald was a young Arizona banker when he attended his first World Future Society conference in 1975. There he met the editor of a new magazine for computer hobbyists. At the time, virtually no one except governments and big businesses had computers. You couldn’t buy a personal computer. The only way you could get one was to build your own from a kit.

        But Alan Hald caught a glimpse of the computer revolution at the conference that day. He went home in great excitement and began planning a business in the emerging personal computing industry. In the following years, his business became MicroAge Corporation, which became a multi-billion dollar enterprise and the largest computer distributor in the United States. All from a burst of inspiration and foresight that began at a WFS conference.

  • Prepare for the Opportunities and Challenges of Tomorrow—You'll be able to position your career, your business, your family, and your investments to capitalize on trends and avoid threats.
  • See the Big Picture—You'll understand the larger forces shaping day-to-day events. You'll see how the sudden and random events that make the headlines are part of larger patterns of change.

  • Be First to Know of Breakthrough TechnologiesChances are today's hot stock is based on technology THE FUTURIST covered years earlier. You'll get advance notice of exciting new technologies often years before they hit the news. Most importantly, you'll have a context to evaluate the impact of new inventions.

  • Save Time—With the Internet and 24/7 news it can seem impossible to keep up with all the information you need to know. When you know the trends, you can cut through the clutter and focus on the news most relevant to your goals.

  • Find New Solutions—You'll gain new vision, expand your horizons, and be able to overcome mental roadblocks. You'll understand the impact of changes outside your industry or area of expertise.

  • Futuring Success Story
    The Wealth Secret
    of the World’s
    Richest Man

        Mexico’s Carlos Slim is thought to be the world’s richest man. His $60 billion net worth surpasses Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. The 72-year-old tycoon controls more than 200 companies.

        According to the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Slim says his success comes from spotting opportunity early. He learned this in part from reading futurist writer Alvin Toffler, author of the best-seller “Future Shock.” Toffler is a member of the World Future Society’s Global Advisory Council and has appeared frequently in THE FUTURIST and at WFS conferences.

  • Make Better Decisions—You'll have a much better understanding of your opportunities, potential threats and the long-term impacts of your choices.

  • Act with Confidence in an Uncertain World —You'll have unique tools, information and a network to help you succeed amidst complexity and rapid change.

    World Future Society membership and THE FUTURIST are a total information system to help you succeed in a rapidly changing world. You'll be able to position your career, your education, your family, your investments, even where you choose to live—in ways that use trends to your advantage.

    Now here’s the most important part. Your membership will give you the satisfaction of knowing that you make it possible for leading thinkers and doers from all over the world to study the future—helping to create a better tomorrow for all of us. The world faces enormous challenges. We need to work collectively to develop the wisdom and consensus to to build a world worth handing over to our children. A better tomorrow truly depends on your support.
Forecast #20
The next space age will launch after 2020, driven by competition and “adventure capitalists”

    While the U.S. space shuttle program is put to rest, entrepreneurs like Paul Allen, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Jeff Bezos are planning commercial launches to access low-Earth orbit and to ferry passengers to transcontinental destinations within hours.

    Challenges include perfecting new technologies, developing global operations, building new infrastructure, and gaining regulatory approval.

Won’t You Join Us?

    To sum up, your membership entitles you to:

  • A one-year subscription to THE FUTURIST (six printed issues)
  • A subscription to Futurist Update, the Society’s monthly e-mail newsletter
  • The opportunity to join local chapters
  • The ability to participate in online forums
  • Special discounts on conferences and seminars
  • Special discounts on books, CDs, DVDs and more
  • The Annual Outlook Report of more than 70 top forecasts, a $5.00 value.
  • The Art of Forecasting Report, a $5.00 value.
  • Our New Special Report, Urgent Warnings, Breakthrough Solutions, a $9.95 value.
  • “Sparks for
    Creative Minds”

        THE FUTURIST is one of my main sources for retrieving meaningful content and a springboard for further research. I discovered it decades ago and instantly fell in love with it. It’s one of the few publications that I read from beginning to end. The articles are well written and inspiring. They are sparks for creative minds, taking the reader into worlds waiting to be explored.
    —Carmen-Maria Hetrea, director

    of the Information Architecture
    and Management team, Encyclopaedia Britannica.

  • And the knowledge that you are helping to build a better tomorrow.

FREE with Your
One-Year Membership

    Accept our invitation to join now and you’ll also receive these exclusive special reports:

Free Gift #1:
Urgent Warnings, Breakthrough SolutionsThe convergence of rapidly advancing technology, globalization, and resource shortages creates enormous challenges for all of us in the years ahead. But there are also exciting new solutions. This special report explores some of the challenges and gives you details on companies, organizations, and individuals developing at the forefront of breakthrough solutions.

Articles in this all-new report include:

What Experts are Saying

    “I have been an enthusiastic reader of THE FUTURIST for many years, and applaud you on an excellent publication. It is hard to find people or publications that give serious consideration to what the future will be like.”
—Ray Kurzweil, inventor, author, “The Age of Spiritual Machines”

    “And what of the future of futurism? The World Future Society’s expanding membership suggests that it’s bright.”
—Michael Rogers, MSNBC’s Practical Futurist, former Futurist-in-Residence, The New York Times

  • Thriving in the Automated Economy—How labor’s race against automation can be won if we partner with our machines;
  • Unlimiting Energy’s Growth—Exciting new smart materials, such as carbon nanotubes, may revolutionize power generation and energy efficiency;
  • A Thousand Years Young—An anti-aging expert identifies medical breakthroughs that could eventually eliminate the wear and tear of our bodies and minds as we grow old;
  • The Secret Life of Data in the Year 2020—A futurist from Intel Corp. shows how geotags, sensor outputs, and big data are changing the future;
  • The New Age of Space Business—The end of the space shuttle era marks the beginning of a new generation of entrepreneurs and “adventure capitalists”; Join Today
  • A Competition for Lunar Enterprise—how entrepreneurs are leading the race to develop the moon;
  • Growing Pains Ahead for China and India—Demographic change will challenge the world’s two most populous countries;
  • “Rateocracy” and Corporate Reputation—How real-time ratings will raise stakeholders’ expectations of business;
  • Nanobots to Fight Cancer—Built from DNA, robots may deliver medicine where no doctor has gone before.
  • And Much More!
The Art of Foresight: Preparing for a Changing World - Yours FREE!Free Gift #2:
The Art of Foresight: Preparing for a Changing World

    The best person to forecast your future is you. Why? Because you can influence your future in ways no one else can. So how can you put futurist techniques to work and improve your future? This special report details some of the methods futurists use to anticipate future developments. You’ll get details on trend analysis, scanning, trend projection, scenario development, models, simulations and gaming, visioning, and more.

This special report will help you:

  • Spot opportunities...
  • Chart potential courses of action...
  • Identify future threats...
  • Become a MemberDevelop vision for yourself and your organization...
  • Be ready to move quickly to seize new opportunities.

Plus Your FREE Quick-Reply Bonus:
The World Future Society's Annual OUTLOOK Report
—65 Top Forecasts for the Coming Year and Beyond.

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    Join for two years and you’ll save a full 20% off your second year’s dues and get these valuable extra gifts:

The Automation of Invention - Yours FREE!Free Gift #3:
70 Jobs for 2030Exciting new high-paying careers are emerging for those prepared to seize the opportunities. For anyone working now, or forstudents preparing for their careers, this special report offers essential guidance for understanding and preparing for the trends affecting work and careers over the next 15 years. You’ll discover:

  • 70 exciting new, high-paying emerging careers;
  • How to adapt your current job to capitalize on trends for better pay and improved job security;
  • The key skills for career success in the years ahead;
  • How to monetize your passion to create a job you love;
  • And much more.

A $9.95 value, it’s yours free with a two-year, no-risk introductory membership.

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2020 Visionaries20 forward-thinking innovators, experts, and creative minds share their hopes, fears, and ideas for the years ahead. In their own words, you’ll get their new approaches and solutions for the challenges we’re facing today and exciting opportunities for tomorrow.

  • Open-source geneticist Andrew Hessel;
  • Nanomedicine pioneer Robert Freitas;
  • Communications scholar Janna Anderson;
  • Educator Mark Bauerlein;
  • Sim City creator Cory Ondrejka;
  • Media critic Andrew Keen;
  • Humanist Roy Speckhardt;
  • Religious leader Prem Suksawat
  • NASA chief scientist Dennis Bushnell;
  • Urban planners Pavlina Illieva and Kuo Pao Lian;
  • Net guru Clay Shirky;
  • Science fiction superstar author Cory Doctorow;
  • Futurist Jamais Cascio;
  • Geopolitical risk expert Ian Bremmer;
  • Iranian dissident Azar Nafisi;
  • Entrepreneur Jason P. Clark;
  • MIT Media Lab designer Ryan Chin;
  • Bestselling author Douglas Rushkoff;
  • Stanford psychologist Philip Zimbardo;
  • Anthropologist Helen Fisher.

The AI Chasers - Yours FREE!

A $9.95 value, it’s yours free with a two-year, no-risk introductory membership.

Technology Timeline: Emerging High-Tech Breakthroughs 2014 to 2040 - Yours FREE!Free Gift #5:
The Abundance BuildersProgress occurs when inventive people solve problems and create opportunities. Here are a few of the breakthroughs that offer the brightest prospects for a future that leaves austerity and deprivation behind. Breakthroughs in this report include:

  • The Biotechnology Code Breakers—How new synthetic life forms could produce fuel and transform agriculture;
  • The Internet of Things—The next revolution of the Internet is when trillions of devices such as appliances, sensors, and homes go online—each with their own IP address;
  • 3-D Printing and Digital Manufacturing—In a few years, you may just order the plans for the things you want to buy, then use your 3-D printer to make them yourself;
  • “Lab-on-a-Chip” Revolutionizes Health: Newly enabled smart phones will allow anyone to have accurate lab tests and medical diagnoses.

Plus this EXTRA FREE GIFT When
You Join in the Next 10 Days:

OUTLOOK Report - Yours FREE!Quick-Reply Bonus:
The World Future Society's Annual OUTLOOK Report.
Respond today and download this bonus report immediately. This exclusive collection presents the most thought-provoking forecasts from the past year published in THE FUTURIST, including the ones mentioned here such as:

  • The Boom In Sustainable Housing
  • Robots to Become Gentler Caregivers
  • Handheld Breathalyzers Diagnose Disease in Seconds
  • Drug-Delivering Nanorobots
  • And Over 60 More!

    The World Future Society's Annual OUTLOOK Report features 65 intriguing forecasts from leading futurists covering all these areas:

  • Business
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  • Education
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Government
  • Health
  • Lifestyles
  • Resources
  • Technology
  • Terrorism
  • World affairs
  • And more.

    World Future Society membership gives you all this for only $79 a year—less than 22 cents a day. Many newsletters or associations charge many times this amount.

Join Today at No Risk!

    If you are not 100% satisfied with your introductory issue and other benefits, you may simply contact us and I’ll see that you receive a full and immediate refund with no questions asked. And you may keep everything we’ve sent you including your free reports.

    If you agree that the future consists of a variety of alternatives, that choice is unavoidable, and that refusing to choose is itself a choice, you have taken the first step toward a more active role in your own future.

    The World Future Society can make a major contribution to creating a better future for all of us. Thanks to you, we may be able to halt the present trends toward calamity, and move human civilization toward the happy future that exists within our imagination and capability. Please click below and get started today!


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signed: Timothy Mack
Timothy Mack

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In addition to receiving THE FUTURIST and all of the membership benefits described above, I’ll also receive all of the following free bonus reports:

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  •     If, at any time, you are not 100% delighted with your introductory membership in the World Future Society, you may cancel your membership and get a full refund—even after receipt of your last issue of THE FUTURIST.

        We’ll promptly send you a complete refund—not a prorated refund, but every penny you’ve paid, whether you’ve joined us for one year or two. And you may keep everything we’ve sent you—all the issues and free gifts you’ve received—with our compliments just for giving us a try.

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