A glossary of futures terms
Bibliographical Entries are
drawn from educational, epistemological, critical, social change and
peripheral approaches to the future as well as those that create the
possibility for envisioning alternative futures.
Macrohistorical entries focus on
the causes, mechanisms and stages of social change. Critical and
interpretive entries point out how modernity has framed the future in
univocal ways making alternative futures - gender, cultural, spiritual -
all but fugitive. Critical entries problematize the present thus
allowing new futures to emerge.
Entries from Asia and Africa
stress the values and issues needed to create futures authentic to their
Finally, there are entries that
explore the field and discourse of futures studies itself as well as
those that give us some ideas of what the future might be like.
As with all bibliographies,
entries are often based on personal preferences even as they claim
This list is intended as a point
of departure not as a conclusion of a journey.
Albery, Stephen Evans and Stephanie Wienrich. World's Best Ideas. London, Institute for Social Inventions, 1998,
Endless ideas on how to create a
better world. Albery does not stop his creativity with this book. There
is also DIY Futures, Creative Speculations (A compendium of social innovations, 250
provocative ideas, projects and speculations) and How to Save the World. Each book has short pity sections, packed
with new and old ideas. This is futures qua practical actions.
Amara, "The Futures Field," The
Futurist (February, April and June 1981).
useful if overly empiricist reading of futures studies. Develops
characteristics of futurists and maps the field with variables such as
tools, organizations, objectives. His key contribution is the division
of futures into the possible, probable and preferable. Also attempts to
develop a criteria of the work of futurists. His section on the futures
of futures studies entirely missed the development of non-Western and
critical as well as interpretive futures studies.
Appadurai, "Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Economy,"
Public Culture (Vol. 2, No. 2,
1992), 1- 24.
fresh look at the intersection of culture, finance, politics and self.
Less concerned with center/periphery structures than with cultural
flows, particularly the creation of new diasporas.
Scott Armstrong, Long-Range
Forecasting: From Crystal Ball to Computer. New York, John Wiley and
the best book on quantitative forecasting methods. Many abstracts of
empirical studies. A must sourcebook for basic forecasting.
Atal and Eleonora Masini, eds. The
Futures of Asian Cultures. Bangkok, UNESCO, 1993.
best book on Asian futures with contributing articles from Ashis Nandy,
Susantha Goonatilake, Zia Sardar, Yogesh Atal, and others. An analysis
of the impact of the West on Asia at global and personal levels.
Assessment of the sources of cultural vitality in Asia.
Avadhutika, The Spiritual
Philosophy of Shrii Shrii Anandamurti. Denver, Ananda Marga
exegesis of Anandamurti's spiritual philosophy, including spiritual
stories, the theory of layers of the mind (from the body to the
superconscious). More rewarding reading than a library of New Age
Avadhutika. Neo-Humanist Education.
Mainz, Gurukul Publications, 2000.
inspiring book on education for children based on gender partnership,
ecological sustainability, alternative futures, planetary spirituality.
Lovely photos, packed with short essays on how to really create a better
Avadhuta, Togo: A Proutist
Approach for Solving the Problems of Lowered Living Standards,
Unemployment and Rural Poverty. Lome' Togo, PROUT Research
comprehensive report on how to transform poverty in Africa. It was
commissioned by the Togan President but used by the opposition once he
rejected it. Concern for spiritual, cultural, and economic variables.
Avadhuta, Microvita: Cosmic Seeds
of life. Berlin, Ananda Marga Publications, 1989.
new theory of life, arguing that life is both physical and mental, that
microvita both create atoms and molecules and can be used to heal and
Avadhuta, "Microvita: Unifying Science and Spirituality," New
Renaissance (Vol. 4, No. 1, 1993).
to unify science and the spiritual through the theory of microvita.
Fascinating hypothesis, even if the approach is not entirely critical
Avadhuta and Jayanta Kumar, The
New Wave. Calcutta, Proutist Universal, 1985.
Indian history, particularly the figures of Shiva and Krishna, with an
eye of creating a new spiritual vision for future. Critical approach to
major philosophical schools in Indian and European philosophy.
Outstanding historical, philosophical and futures approach to social
A. Ball, "Crime Problems of the Future," World Futures (Vol. 21, 1985).
that with the breakdown of integrated, crime will become increasingly
problematic. Who commits the crime if we are many selves, none of them
real? Develops historical reading of crime.
Barthes, Critical Essays
trans. Richard Howard. Evanston, Ill., Northwestern University Press,
many postmodern writers who begin to deconstruct self and text creating
the possibility for new futures.
Batra, Muslim Civilization and the
Crisis in Iran. Dallas, Venus Books, 1980.
interpretation of Muslim civilisation using Khaldun and Sarkar. Could
have gained from using Islamic categories of the real.
Batra, The Downfall of Capitalism
and Communism. London, MacMillan Press, 1978. First Edition. Second
edition, Dallas, Venus Books, 1990.
of the few writers to accurately predict the total collapse of
communism. Convincing macrohistory of Western, Russian and Hindu
civilisation. A future vision of a spiritual renaissance in the early
part of the next century.
Bell, Foundations of Futures
Studies. Two volumes. New Brunswick, New Jersey, Transaction Books,
first volume takes a post-positivist position in explicating futures
studies. While perhaps overly American in its epistemological lineage
for my taste, still it is clear writing. Bell traces and develops the
field step by step, such that even a cynic would be impressed. The
second volume examines questions of ethics and the good society. Once
again: clean, insightful and exhaustive writing. Places futures studies
on the academic map in the West. Only a Yale Professor could have done
so. Your bookshelf would be incomplete without these two volumes.
Bezold, Julio Frenk and Shaun McCarthy, eds.
21st Century Health Care in Latin American and the Caribbean.
Mexico City, Institute for Alternative Futures and Fundacion Mexican
para la Salud, 1993.
the book is in English and half in Spanish. The entire book is about
health futures, exploring genomics, complementary health,
pharmaceuticals, globalization and information sciences. Scholarly and
great trend analysis. Goal is to create a world health system that leads
to health for all.
Billingham et al, Social Implications of the
Detection of an Extraterrestrial Civilization.
Mountain View, California, SETI Press, 1994.
of workshops held in the early 1990s. Good summary of what might happen
with Contact. As Nasa writes: what is at stake is the chance to gain a
new perspective on humanity's place in nature, a new level of discussion
on the meaning and nature of life (At the very least).
Brown, The Nature of Social Laws.
Oxford, Cambridge University Press, 1984.
the nature of social laws. What are the assumptions behind the desire of
grand thinkers to argue that the social is law-like?
MacGregor Burns, Leadership.
New York, Harper and Row, 1978.
a theory of leadership. Who are leaders and who are followers?
Importance of leaders in shaping the future.
Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand
Faces. New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 1968.
the journey of the Hero--the struggle, the challenges, the betrayals and
the ultimate victory. Metaphor for the self and for the challenges
Campbell-Hunt and Kay Harrison, Unesco
Cultural Futures. Wellington, New Zealand Futures Trust, 2000.
Resource for school children on how to create multicultural futures. All
about creative ways to understand and
design the future. A beautiful tool. www.futurestrust.org.nz
Capper, Amy Brown and Witi Ihimaera, in conversation. Vision Aotearoa. Wellington, New Zealand, Bridget William Books,
of the future of New Zealand (Aotearoa) from Maori and Pakeha
perspectives. Good story telling. Begins the futures visioning discourse
there. "Vision has power, because through vision, you can reach
beyond the ordinary."
Chandler, "Modern Science and Vedic Science: An Introduction."
Modern Science and Vedic Science
(Vol. 1, No. 2, 1987).
attempt to empirically prove the spiritual. Does not argue for an
alternative Vedic science but argues that the Vedas predate the system
of modern science. Misplaced concretism. However, far more sophisticated
science is at www.tm.org.
Stunning experiments on how meditation increases IQ, health and
longevity. Some sparse data as to the field effect, ie concentrated
meditation leading to social well-being.
Cliche ed., Cultural Ecology: the
changing dynamics of communications London, International Institute
of Communications, 1997.
the best book out on communication futures. Essays by Kevin Robbins in
which he deconstructs the futuristic claims of Bill Gates and Nicholas
Negroponte (the net will end class divisions and reduce if not eliminate
distance, physical and social) and by Cees J. Hamelin in which he argues
that a global conversations of cultures is needed that goes beyond the
hype of the information society. Cultural pluralism is the vision and
the challenge of the future, not an information society. Kostas
Gouliamos argues that the new technologies continue the hegemony of
corporatism, reducing civil and national democracy and Gary Marx
investigates if the new information technologies are a threat to
privacy. Forget the hundreds of books out on the information society,
this is the one to get.
Comte, Positive Philosophy.
trans. Harriet Martineau. London, Trubner, 1875.
book and perspective that has outlined how the moderns think. For Comte
there were three stages; the religious, the philosophical and the
scientific. Modern futures studies continues this model. Critical
futures studies attempts to use the pre- post- and
differently-scientific to create alternative futures.
de Chardin, The Future of Man.
trans. Norman Denny. New York, Harper and Row, 1964.
Grand macrohistory with a
spiritual-Christian dimension. Has an evolutionary base to it. Believes
we are moving toward a bright religious future, the Omega point.
Dator, ed., Futures Studies in
Higher Education. American
Behavioral Scientist. Sage Publications. Special issue. Vol. 42, No.
3, 19938, pages 293-554.
practitioners on how they teach futures studies.
Dator, Emerging Issues Analysis in
the Hawaii Judiciary. Honolulu, Hawaii Judiciary, 1980.
booklet that develops this important futures method. Illustrated with
many examples of the life cycle of issues. Easy and humorous reading.
Dator, "Its Only A Paper Moon,"
Futures (December 1990).
essay which takes issue to conventional notions of the natural and
nature. Even if the real is only a artificial, "only a paper
moon," can't we still honour it.
Dator, "The Futures of Cultures and Cultures of the Future,"
in Marsella et al (eds.) Perspectives
on Cross Cultural Psychology. New York, Academic Press, 1979.
Posits four futures:
continued growth, steady state, collapse and transformation. These four
visions of the future form the basis for Dator's approach to futures
Wyn Davies, Ashis Nandy and Zia Sardar, Barbaric
Other: A Manifesto on Western Racism. London, Pluto Press, 1993.
witty and well written exposition of how the West has treated the other.
Argues that with the potential end of five hundred years of colonialism,
we have the possibility for authentic multicultural futures; a world of
many civilizations negotiating the real might be around the corner.
Drexler, Engines of Change.
New York, Anchor Press, 1986.
insight into the range of dramatic new nano-technologies that will
forever transform economics.
Dudley and Kioni Agard, Man, Gods
and Nature. Honolulu, Ka Kane O Ka Malo Press, 1990.
epistemology, the basis of an alternative future for the world. For the
Hawaiian, land and history are central; one lives in that episteme, one
cannot choose otherwise.
Dyson, Infinite in All Directions.
New York, Harper and Row, 1988.
one to rethink technologies. A physicist looks at the future, arguing
that we need to see space travel through the eyes of biology: why metal,
why not, organically grown spaces ships, he asks?
Eisler, Sacred Pleasure. San
Francisco, HarperCollins, 1996.
macrohistory, great feminism, very readable. Brings in chaos and
complexity to argue that we have moved from a partnership (the chalice)
to a dominator (the blade) cultural system, and now through human agency
we can move back to a partnership system. Calls for transformative
knowledge. An excellent and important book. Also see,
Riane Eisler, The Chalice and the
Blade. San Francisco,
Elgin: A Vision of Hope and Action for Humanity's Future. New York,
William Morrow, 2000.
asks a simple question: if humanity was a person, what age would he or
she be. He concludes that humanity is a teenager: no sense of the
future, cliquish, materialistic, impressionistic, self-concerned (and at
the same time idealistics). Humanity needs to make the transition from
teenager to responsible and caring adult. Also see Elgin's
Earth. New York, William Morrow, 1993. (Stage
theory, evolution and the role of awakening consciouness)
Elgin with Coleen Drew, Global
Consciousness Change: Indicators of an Emerging Paradigm. San
Anselmo, California, Millennium Project, 1997.
along the earlier work done in the 1970's with Oliver Markley and Willis
Harmon on indicators that humanity's image of self, other, nature and
future is undergoing a dramatic shift to a more spiritual, ecological
and planetary paradigm. Indicators for global consciousness change,
global ecological awareness, postmodern values, experiential
spirituality and sustainable ways of living are presented. The survey of
the many empirical reports is quite useful but the study good have
gained by citing and using sources from non-Western cultures. Still, the
report provides hope for an alternative future, even if the data is
mixed (as the authors do point out).
Eliade, The Myth of the Eternal
Return. New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 1971.
at myth and time from a variety of religious traditions. Very important
book in showing the underlying structure of the spiritual worldview.
Etzioni and Eva Halevey-Etzioini, eds. Social
Change. New York, Basic Books, 1973.
essays by Comte, Pareto, Hegel, Weber and others. Also discussion of
Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks.
New York, Grove Press, 1967.
landmark book that shows how the self is constructed by the Other. Shows
why futures from non-whites must first deal with the problem of the
West. Passionately written.
Ferguson, The Man Question:
Visions of Subjectivity. Berkeley, University of California Press,
genealogy and interpretation, examines praxis, cosmic, and linguistic
feminism. Excellent introduction to poststructural textual strategies.
H. Fletcher, "Key Concepts in the Futures Perspective," World
Future Society Bulletin (January-February 1979).
summary of the futures field with excellent quotes from Edward Cornish,
John Platt, Rajni Kothari, Lewis Mumford, Willis Harmon, John McCale.
Postive, upbeat article that sees futures itself as a new paradigm.
Gunder Frank and Barry Gills, The
World System: Five Hundred years or Five Thousand. London, Routledge,
the units of macrohistory, civilizations or worldsystems? Did the world
system really start in the 16th century or are world systems much more
historical, with the 16th century merely a shift within the framework of
the already existing system? The central debate in this book is about
continuity and discontinuity in the worldsystem. Outstanding, if a bit
overly world-systemesque, book with contributions from Frank, Gills,
Amin, Wallerstein, and Abu-Lughod.
Freeman and Marie Jahoda, World
Futures: The Great Debate. London, Martin Robertson, 1978.
the various global models (quantitative and qualitative). See in
particular essays by Sam Cole and Ian Miles on assumptions and methods,
and worldviews and scenarios. See also Sam
Cole, "Global Models--a review," Futures (Vol. 19, No. 4, August 1987), 403-430.
Excellent review and critique.
Foucault, The Foucault Reader.
ed. Paul Rabinow. New York, Pantheon Books, 1984.
mix of essays which outline archeology and genealogy. A great beginner
to understanding one of the most influential thinkers in the late 20th
century. Almost every page has insights, of particularly note his essay
on "truth and knowledge" and "the death of the
Foucault, The Order of Things.
New York, Vintage Books, 1971.
This book, while having little futures,
shows how the boundaries of knowledge create and limit the possibility
of the future. This is a history of the epistemes, of the peculiarity of
knowledge regimes. Foucault believes that "man" will soon
cease to exist and other less universal categories will frame us.
for the Future. Humanity 3000 Seminar No. 2
Foundation for the Future, 1999, 374 pages.
debate between geneticists, social scientists and futurists. Three
questions are posed to leading thinkers: 1. What are the threats to the
survival of humanity? What are the opportunities that offset or mitigate
the threats? What are the emergent priorities to ensure the survival of
humanity? Beautiful put together. Also see, The
Evolution of Human Intelligence, 294 pages.
And, edited by Allen Tough, When
SETI Succeeds: The Impact of High-Information Contact.
Galt and Larry Smith, Models and
the Study of Social Change. New York, John Wiley and Sons, 1976.
if dated overview of models of social change, particularly of the
contrast between dialectical and equilibrium models. Discussion of
exogenous and endogenous drivers of change.
Galtung, Economics in Another Key.
London, Polity Press, 1997.
range of theories that go beyond criticizing neo-classical economics to
showing how we can create a different type of economics that creates
structural, civilizational and individual peace.
Galtung, Essays in Peace Research:
Vol. 1-6. Copenhagen, Christian Ejlers, 1988.
best of Galtung on peace research, political design, nation-states, a
structural theory of imperialism and more. Many excellent futures
articles as well.
Galtung, There Are Alternatives.
Nottingham, Spokesman, 1984
that there are alternatives to industrialism, capitalism, structural
violence, traditional economics and economism. A primer for the
Galtung and Sohail Inayatullah. Macrohistory
and Macrohistorians. New York, Praeger, 1997.
towards a general theory of macrohistory through a comparative analysis
of twenty macrohistorians. Included are such thinkers as Ibn Khaldun,
Comte, Vico, Marx, Hegel, Ssu-Ma Chien, Sarkar, Toynbee, Weber and
Sorokin. For each thinker there is a diagram which presents their
macrohistory. The relationship between micro and macrohistory is
explored as is between macrohistory and world politics. Numerous
perspectives on what we can learn from macrohistory in understanding the
Galtung, Tore Heiestad Eric Rudeng, "On
the last 2500 Years in Western History: And Some Remarks on the Coming
500," in Peter Burke, ed. The New Cambridge Modern History. Vol
13. Companion Volume, London, Cambridge University Press, 1979.
the decline of the Rome and the West. Useful in gaining distance from
the present by moving to history. Shows underlying structures in society
as well as new forces that challenge these historical structures.
Galtung, "Visioning a
Peaceful World", in Glenn Paige and Sarah Gilliat, Buddhism and Nonviolent Global Problem-Solving. Honolulu, University
of Hawaii, 1991.
this essay, Galtung uses a four fold division of power--military,
economic, political and cultural to investigate the possibilities for
peace in the near future. Attempts social design of global institutions
to ensure a peaceful world including a global house of NGO's, a people's
assembly and a house of world commerce. Abolition of war is similar to
the struggle against slavery and colonialism. "We live in their
utopia, which then proved to be a realistic utopia." Brilliant and
Garrett et al, eds., Studies for
the 21st Century. Paris, Unesco, 1991, 642 pages.
you every wanted to know about how nations see the details of the
future. A useful if somewhat boring resource. Still, crucial reading and
Glenn and Theodore Gordon, eds., 1997
State of the Future: Implications for Actions Today. Washington
D.C., American Council for the United Nations University, 1997.
important first step towards developing a global early warning system.
Over 200 thinkers contributed to this effort. Eighteen issues are
presented. These are spelled out through cross-impact analysis and
scenario development. Dissenting positions are also presented. A very
useful annotated bibliography concludes the report. While one might
expect this report to be heavily Western and litany biased, in fact, the
editors to a good job to move out of this position. Hopefully, future
editions will be even more authentically global. A very useful book.
Well done and solid future research.
Goldstein, Long Cycles. New
Haven, Yale Press, 1988.
data on all sorts of economic cycles and their connection to social and
Godet, From Anticipation to Action.
Paris: Unesco, 1993, 277
account of scenario building from the European perspective.
Goonatilake, Toward a Global
Science: Mining Civilizational Knowledge, Bloomington: Indiana
University Press, 1998.
Writes about science without
the blinders of Eurocentrism. Useful resource.
Goonatilake, The Evolution of
Information: Lineages in Gene, Culture and Artefact. London, Pinter,
review of the literature of genetics, self-organizing theory, and social
sciences through the lense of information theory. Evolution is the flow
of the genetic, the social and the exosomatic. As these streams interact
with the environment through proteins, limbs, technology as well as
information itself, a flow of history comes into being.
Harding, The Science Question in
Feminism. Milton Keynes, Open University Press, 1986.
provocative book that undoes science. The question posed is" is it
possible to use for emancipatory ends sciences that are apparently so
intimately involved in Western, bourgois, and masculine projects?
Harmon, Global Mind Change: The
Promise of the Last Years of the 20th Century. Indianapolis,
Knowledge Systems, 1988.
from Sorokin, this easy to read book, argues that we are entering a new
mindscape, one that is global, spiritual/material. Harmon argues for a
new science not based on cartesian divisions.
Halal, "World 2000," Futures
(Vol. 25, No. 1, Jan/Feb 1993), 5-21.
attempt to create a model of the future based on an international
dialogue. Trends chosen are neither hyper-optimist not doomsday. In
addition to global trends, includes critical issues such as leap to
global order, alleviating the North-South Gap, managing complexity,
reconciling economic interests and achieving sustainable development as
well as strategies to realize the "global drive to maturity."
Well thought out.
Hamm and Pandurang Muttagi, eds., Sustainable Development
and the Futures of Cities. Trier, Germany, Center for European
How to create sustainable cities is the
driving question for this edited book. What are the planning
implications for megacities? Are there are any bright futures out there
for the futures of cities?
Wendy Harcourt ed.,
Creating New Cultures in Cyberspace. London, Zed, 1999.
the gendered politics and
futures of cyberspace from a multiplicity (what else) of perspectives.
Excellent introduction to the emerging reality and field of cyberspace.
Explores the possibilities for women in empowering themselves via
cyberspace as well as the realities of technological power.
Harvey, The Condition of
Postmodernity. Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1989.
introduction to postmodernity: the death of the author, metanarratives
and the grand unity of modernity. Easy to read, well written, and
excellent comparison of enlightenment and postmodern discourses. As
might be expected, unable to include third world critiques of the
Henderson, "From the Fossil Fuel era to the Age of Light," Foresight
(Vol. 2, No. 4, August, 2000).
Part of a special issue on the futures of
energy/oil. Henderson. Argues we are moving to a solar age, a shift that
can be grasped by OPEC, allowing it to play a lead role in global energy
Henderson, Building a Win-Win
World: Life Beyond Global Economic Warfare. San Francisco, Berret-Koehler
continues her rethinking of economics arguing that economists are still
the "thought police" of this century. Looks at globalism, the
information economy, and efforts at new social and wealth indicators.
Positive and inspiring without being mushy new agish.
Hicks, Educating for the Future: A
Practical Classroom Guide. Surrey, World Wide Fund for Nature, 1994.
to teach futures to young people, practical support for teachers, lots
of easy exercises, great graphics and charts. Tons of classroom
activities. Inspiring and multi-layered and for many educational levels.
Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. New
York: Touchstone, 1996, 367 pages.
realist position. Uses the lense of realism to understand culture.
Hutchinson, Educating Beyond
Violent Futures. London, Routledge, 1996.
a beautiful book that combines futures studies with peace studies and
educational theory. Brings in numerous charts and pictures. As Elise
Boulding says in the introduction: this book has had the courage to open
the doors in young peoples hearts that formal education has all too
often slammed shut. Chapter titles include, for example, "Resisting
gendered and violence condoning images of the future in young people's
Sohail Inayatullah and
Jennifer Gidley, eds. , The University in Transformation. Westport,
Explores the futures of the University based
on four trends: globalization, multiculturalism, virtualization and
politicization. Chapters drawn by futurists, educationalists and
political scientists from around the world.
Inayatullah, Alternative Futures:
Methodology, Society, Macrohistory and the Long-Term Future. Taipei,
Tamkang University Press, 2000, 63 pages.
on Causal Layered Analysis, the alternative futures of the univeristy,
and the long term future of humanity. Part of the Tamkang Chair lecture
series delivered in 1999.
Inayatullah, "Deconstructing and Reconstructing the Future", Futures
(Vo. 22, No. 2, 1992).
that there are three approaches to the future. Empirical which
privileges empiricism and experts; interpretive which while sensitive to
the meanings culture give to the future, relativizes the real; and the
critical which deconstructs the future. Examines the politics of
information asserting that decisionmaking rarely changes by having
Inayatullah, "Painfully Beyond East and West: the Futures of
Cultures", In Context
(Summer 1988), 50- 53.
very personal essay on the difficulties many experience when they are no
longer part of any single culture. Becoming less defined by a particular
culture is fraught with pain and struggle but the results are the seeds
for a new post-nation, post-territorial global culture.
Inayatullah, "Rethinking Science,"
IFDA Dossier 81 (April-June 1991).
from post-structural studies argues for a non-Western science. Draws
largely from P.R. Sarkar's alternative science of society. Also critical
of misplaced concretism (the formula for the distance from Earth to
Heaven, for example), that is, inappropriate non-Western sciences.
Develops a multi-dimensional theory of temporality (linear, cyclical and
Inayatullah, guest editor, "The Futures of South Asia," Futures
(November 1992). Includes
essays on Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, the Himalayan region and
Bangladesh. Essays examine images of the region's futures and the
problems with creating futures in an area dominated by history and
nation-state politics. Contributions from QK. Ahmad, Sankaran Krishna,
Zia Sardar, B.M. Sinha, Barun Gurung, Nandini Joshi, Shivani Chakravorty
Inayatullah, guest editor, special issue titled, "What Futurists
50 essays by a diverse range of futurists on their visions of the
future, the methods they use to forecast and create the future, as well
as the trends they believe are shaping the future. Each futurist also
reveals why they became interested in the futures field. Expanded in
CD-ROM format as (with over
100 entries The Views of
Futurists: Visions and Methods - The Knowledge Base of Futures Studies -
Vol. 4 (Melbourne, Foresight International, 2001).
Jarva, "Toward Female Futures Research," in Mika Mannermaa,
Sohail Inayatullah and Rick Slaughter, eds., Coherence
and Chaos in Our Uncommon Futures. Turku, Finland Futures Research
to develop an epistemology for feminist futures research. Argues that
futures studies is the next wave, largely humanistic in its orientation.
Female futures research is enabling not problem-solving. A great
beginning but suffers from lack of literature review of both critical
feminist studies and critical futures studies.
Jaynes, The Origin of
Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Boston,
Houghton Mifflin, 1982.
that what the ancients took to be gods was actually different aspects of
the mind speaking. The ancients did not have a unified self as we do
now. Rationality has it limits, believes intuition is the next
development of the mind.
Jones, The Politics and Futures of
Gaia. Doctoral dissertation. University of Hawaii, 1989.
seriously the Gaia Hypothesis and develops scenarios for Cosmic Gaia,
Spiritual Gaia, World Gaia, among others. Fantastic futures studies and
excellent social theory.
Joseph, "Anticipatory Sciences Research: The Shape of Alternative
Futures," Futurics (Vol.
3, No. 1, 1979).
piece but important in that Joseph maps out various alternative futures.
Worth looking at as he enriches with his numerous spatial metaphors.
Judge, Encyclopedia of World
Problems and Human Potential. 4th edition. Bruxelles, Union of
International Associations, 1994.
latest volume of the mammoth classification scheme shifts to chains of
problems. Through links and cross-links challenges us to move out of our
conventional categories and embrace complexity. In fact, it is a
metaphor for human thinking itself. Also see their new CD-ROM.
Judge, "The Aesthetics of Governance in the Year 2491," Futures
essay that examines the contribution of poetry, painting, dance and
other arts as meaningful ways to create conferences and other meetings.
Why script articles and conferences, why not find other ways to create
meaningful communication. Judge desires to bring back drama and
excitement into learning and communication. To paraphrase Judge,
"the shocking feature of our era is that those involved in
policymaking have lost the art of dancing." Judge broadens the
scope of policymaking and futures studies. A must read for anyone who
attends meetings, makes policies, or writes.
Kahn, The Next Two Hundred Years.
New York, Quill, 1976.
Believes that we should be patient and not be convinced by doomsday
sayers. We are in the period of the great ascent. The industrial
revolution still has two hundred years more to go before a world of 15
billion people an a world per capital of 20,000US$ (1975 dollars) is
reached. Some parts quite inspiring but weak at understanding
underdevelopment. Still, more inspiring than "end of world"
Kaku, Visions: How Science Will
Revolutionize the 21st Century and Beyond. Oxford, Oxford
University Press, 1998.
of it are typical hyper upbeat. But some chapters are stunning.
Especially noteworthy is the chapter, "Toward a Planetary
Civilization," in particular the distinction between Type 0, 1, 2
and 3 civilizations (based on the type and scale of energy used).
Definitely worth reading, bordering on brilliant macrohistory.
Kauffman, Teaching the Future.
Palm Springs, ETC, 1976.
of the originals on futures methods particularly as applied and used in
American high school settings.
Khaldun, The Muqaddimah: An
Introduction to History . Trans. Franz Rosenthal (Princeton,
Princeton University Press, 1967).
founder of sociology writing in the 14th century. A must ready for
understanding deep social patterns. Heavily influenced Comte, Weber, and
Kidder, Shared Values for a
Troubled World. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1994.
to read interviews with famous and not-so-famous "men and women of
conscience" including Oscar Arias, Muhammad Yunas, John Gardner and
others. Important book in the creation of a post postmodern global
Kim," Toward a New Theory of Value for the Global Age," in
Tae-Chang Kim and James Dator, Creating
a New History for Future Generations. Kyoto, Institute for the
Integrated Study of Future Generations, 1994.
essay that develops the idea of future generations. Kim conducts a grand
questioning of modern Westernism; Monism; Rationalism; Centricism;
logicism; Anthropocentrism; Patriarchy; and Technologism. Argues for a
global family person. "People who view themselves as members of the
global family believe also that past, present, and future generations
are also family members of our home, Earth.
Kohr, The Overdeveloped Nations.
New York, Schocken Books, 1978.
into the focus the necessity of size in visioning the future. Believes
that societies after a certain size begin to degenerate. Human touch is
lost, decisions get made based on structure instead of other variables.
Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific
Revolutions. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1962.
Science has never been the same since this
book. Historicized science making it less universal and essential.
Brought the language of paradigms into conventional thinking.
Kumar, Utopia and Anti-Utopia for
Modern Times. Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1987.
The classic book on utopias. However, while
exhaustive in its treatment, it remains Eurocentric, defining utopias in
western terms, and not seeing non-western nominations of preferred
future as utopian. Still, a classic.
Thomas Kurian and Graham T.T. Molitor, Encyclopedia
of the Future. Two Volumes. New York, Macmillan Library Reference,
1115 page project. Lots of interesting facts, the global statistics page
is outstanding. Decent range of topics but ultimately the project fails
(although certainly a good beginning). It is missing any clear
conceptual scheme, entries are just randomly thrown in. India is
mentioned but not Malaysia (among the leaders in futures activities). An
entry for cosmetics but not for chaos theory. It is very much US based
with bibliographic citations from other nations having been thrown out.
Of the list of "One hundred must influential futurists," all
but one (Yoneji Masuda) are from the West. Does the future not exist
elsewhere? Perhaps not. If this was called, Towards a data base for
American Futures Studies it would be quite good but as it stands now, it
would give the undergraduate a distorted and myopic view of futures
studies. Still, I ordered one for the University Library.
Lamm, Megatraumas: America at the
Year 2000. Boston, Hougton Mifflin, 1985.
know we are in trouble when in the preface the author praises Naisbett's
Megatrends for enlarging the categories from
which we see the world. The scenarios in this book are excellent,
however, as might be expected world peace comes through the folly of the
irrational others, in this case nuclear war between the fanatical
Pakistani and Indians. Uses the language and tools of futures studies
but remains singular in its view of the future. Simplistic and a worthy
example of shallow political analysis and futures studies.
Laszlo, Evolution ‑‑ The Grand Synthesis, 211 pp. Boston:
Shambhala Publications Inc, 1987.
This is a
basic textbook for anyone interested in evolutionary futures studies.
Articulates extensive and intensive dimensions of evolution.
Laszlo, "Footnotes to a History of the Future." Futures (Vol. 20, No. 5, 1988).
linear and cyclical theories of change. There are upward and downward
spirals. Believes that the evolutionary model is the most rewarding. The
future is bright because information will allow us to better navigate
Lawlor, Voices of the First Day:
Awakening in the Aboriginal Dreamtime. Vermont, Inner Traditions,
synthetic, inspiring work on Aboriginal ways of knowing. Sensitive and
revealing. Makes links with other civilizations.
Linstone, "What I Have Learned: The Need for Multiple
Research Quarterly (Spring 1985), 47-61.
his earlier work in the military (Linstone's first forecasting study was
in 1959 for Hughes Aircraft) as well as his recent three level approach
of futures: the organizational, the technological and the individual.
Important map of futures by the editor of Journal of Technological
Forecasting and Social Change.
Lorie, The Millennium Planner,
London, Boxtree, 1995.
it is that time again. This book is marketed as a personal planner.
Great, great photos but the accounts of Nostradumus, Malachy, Edgar
Cayce and Jean Dixon are not critical enough. Moreover only Western
millennium prophecies are covered (Serbian, Native American Indian,
Tibetan, Muslim prophecies would have enriched this book). Many more of
this type to come in the next few years.
H. May, The Future is Ours.
London, Adamantine, 1996.
is an excellent book particularly useful as a text for advanced
undergraduates or MBA students. May manages to bring together three
important strands in futures studies: forseeing, managing and creating.
He surveys the entire futures field, describes and assesses numerous
futures methods and does this while remaining grounded in case studies.
This is a solid book. His last chapter on social paradoxes is also worth
reading. While not an entry into critical futures studies, he is
certainly aware of the epistemological debates and thus his book is not
a unidimensional forecasting or planning primer.
Manicas, A History and Philosophy
of the Social Sciences. Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1989.
philosophical storytelling. Tells the history of the social sciences,
what turns were taken, what was missed. How the modern social sciences
developed this century. Great reading leaving one with valuable insights
into Herder and Hegel, Comte and Marx, among others.
Margulis and Dorion Sagan, Origins
of Sex: Three Billion Years of Genetic Recombination. New Haven,
Yale University Press, 1986.
for understanding the world at the cellular level. What this means for
human survivability (the cooperative metaphor) is discussed.
Markley, "Changing Images of Man, Part I and II," Renaissance
Universal Journal (Vol 1, Nos. 3 and 4, 1976).
essay by Mark Markley, Duane Elgin, Joseph Campbell and others on the
importance of image in understand social relations. Images influence
social policy and governance in general. Traces the image of economic
man in contemporary society and analyses the cost of this image and what
happens when there is a gap between society and this image. Argues that
an emerging image "reinstates the transcendental, spiritual side of
man. It denies none of the conclusions of science ...but rather expands
its boundaries. Brilliant stuff for the 1970's. Part of a Stanford
Research Institute project. A great entry into humanistic futures. The
entire Fall 1976 issue of Renaissance Universal
is devoted to Values and the Future with essays from Hubbard, Henderson,
Etzioni, Lappe and Collins.
Masini, ed. Visions of Desirable
Societies. Oxford, Pergamon Press, 1983.
for the richness of essays. Contributions from Dator, Nandy, Markovic,
among others. The task is to enivision utopias from different historical
and cultural positions.
Masini, Why Futures Studies?
London, Grey Seal, 1994.
excellent introductory book on futures studies. Quick reading and well
thought out. Uses the work of other futurists in explaining futures
studies. Takes a philosophical approach to the future.
Masini and Albert Sasson, eds. The
Futures of Cultures. Paris, Unesco, 1994.
from well known futurists on the futures of cultures from African,
Asian, American, South American, and European perspectives. Culture is
not easy to define but we must ask basic questions. How resilient are
culture? What are peripheral culture? Where are the sources of new
cultures? Is it possible to have a dialog among cultures?
Maruyama and James Dator, eds. Human
Futuristics. Honolulu, Social Science Research Institute, 1971.
anthropological essays on futures research including contributions from
Elise Boulding and Margaret Mead. Attempts to balance culture, self and
McCarthy, "An Outline of Philosophy." Honolulu, Department of
Philosophy, University of Hawaii, 1973.
the best overview of different philosophical positions: dualism, vs.
empiricism. vs. theism vs. existentialism and more. Excellent essays as
well on Marxism, Zen, and Pragmatism. Captivating reading and a great
summary of tensions and contradictions within each philosophical
McNally and Sohail Inayatullah, "The Rights of Robots: Technology,
Law and Culture in the 21st Century," World
Peace Through Law Centre: Law/Technology and in Futures (Vol. 2, No. 2, 1988).
a political view of rights as hard fought conceptual and technological
struggles. As artificial intelligence technology develops and as our
models of life change (partly through the adoption of more Asian
perspectives), robots may one day be seen as living. Strong legal and
Mernissi, Women and Islam.
Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1991.
excellent book on gender struggles within a civilization. An important
book for the reimagination of Islam project.
Mesarovic and Eduard Pestel, Mankind
at the Turning Point. New York, E.P. Dutton, 1974.
and regional model of the future. More useful than Limits to Growth as
data is disaggregated by region. Conclusion is that current crisis are
not temporary, that solutions can be only developed in a global context,
solutions must go beyond economistics and that cooperation rather than
confrontation can resolve current global problematique. While
civilizationally uninformed, still for 1975 very impressive. Even makes
a please for solidarity with future generations.
Molitor, "Emerging Economic Sectors in the Third Millennium:
Introduction and Overview of the Big Five," Foresight
(Vol. 22, No. 3, June 2000).
one of a five part essay on the next 1000 years. Easy to read long term
forecasts. Molitor is founder of the s-curve.
Mosca, The Ruling Class.
trans. Hannah Kahn. intro. Arthur Livingston. New York, McGraw-Hill,
the idea of social forces to analyze history. Social forces include the
military, the church, business. Useful historical and political
approach. Absolutely necessary in understanding and designing future
Nandy, Science, Hegemony and
Violence. Delhi, Oxford Publishing Press, 1993.
of the reductionist science and the scientific technocratic State. A
third world contribution to the post-development, post-Western/modern
Nandy, The Tao of Cricket.
Delhi, Penguin, 1989.
will never be the same after this book. Insights into the futures of
games. Looks at the premodern in the modern, at Victorian culture and
the Indian response to England. For Nandy, cricket is an Indian game
accidentally invented in India. If cricket becomes part of State, quick
time, and commercialism, that is, the battle to win, than India will
have lost, as it will have entered a unilinear theory of history and
Nandy, Tradition, Tyranny, and
Utopias, Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1987.
classic already, examines how yesterday's utopias are today's
nightmares. The base for an alternative to postmodernism and
development. Each page full of insights.
Naisbitt, Megatrends: Ten New
Directions Transforming Our lives. New York, Warner Books, 1984.
don't like this book but everyone else seems to think that it describes
current and emerging trends (Industrial to Information, national to
world economy, centralization to decentralization, representative to
participatory democracy, north to south, either/or to multiple option).
If it was written as a particular vision of the future it might be more
palatable, but as it reads now it is futures kitch.
Rick Slaughter's "Looking for the Real 'Megatrends" Futures
(October 1993) is far more
insightful. He argues that the trends are half true, ambiguous and a
brochure for liberal capitalism. Slaughter also overviews trend reports
by Faith Popcorn, Marvin Cetron and Owen Davies. Slaughter believes we
need to design our own trend analysis systems instead of buying the used
futures of others.
Special Issue. Back to the Future (No. 269, July 1995).
Editor Vanessa Baird commissioned novelists,
poets and essayists capable of big thoughts instead of big thinkers who
could write stories and poems about what they say in the future.
Outstanding stuff. See Eduardo Gaeleano's poem on the right to dream,
when "cars will be run over by dogs." Strong environmental,
cultural and social justice approach. Excellent trend analysis as well.
Compare to Wired's Scenarios.
Neal, Business Brief Series,
Queensland Government, Department of Primary Industries, 2000.
to read, surprisingly charming set of 5 reports on social, economic,
political, environmental and technological trends. Useful for
corporations as well as a good introduction for young people.
Nivison, The Life and Thought of
Chang Hsueh-Cheng. Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1966.
different interpretation of the Tao in history and future. Is the Tao
metaphor or is a part of the force that changes history? What is the
Confucian vision of utopia? A few excellent chapters about this
important 18th century Chinese thinker.
Nolin, "Communicating with the future: Implications for nuclear
waste disposal," Futures
(Vol. 25, No. 7, September 1993), 778-791.
the serious question, can we transmit a message about nuclear
waste--warnings or instructions--to be received thousands of years from
now? Also: can we ensure that crucial information will be available and
intelligible at a critical moment? What an excellent avenue for
exploring futures. Can knowledge survive through various cultural and
historical contexts or is all knowledge context based such that any
communications with the future will be incomprehensible?
Novaky and Tamas Kristof, eds., Youth for a
Less Selfish Future. Papers of the Budapest Futures Course.
Budapest, Department of Futures Studies, 2000.
book on how young people around the world see the future and how young
people should be taught the future. How pessimism can be overcome and
how young people can learn to read the media – especially in terms of
the image of the future received – critically.
Based on the World Futures Studies Federation futures studies
Obijiofor, ed. "The Futures of Human Rights and Democracy," Futuresco
(No. 5, June, Paris, Unesco, 1996.
is perhaps the best edition of the Unesco Futuresco series. It is
comprised of review articles by Michael Marien, Zia Sardar, Alfred Auer,
and Hans Holzinger and Agnes Poirer. Included selected annotated
bibliography from around the world. Sardar's piece is particularly
Oruku, Sage Philosophy: Indigenous
Thinkers and the Modern Debate on African Philosophy. Nairobi, Acts
interviews local African sages and analyzes their comments on self,
community and future. Attempts to locate and compare their discourse to
the larger debate on the relative influences of Islam, the West on
African philosophy. Argues that the future of Africa must be based on
its multiple traditions.
Pareto, The Rise and Fall of the
Elites. Intro. Hans Zetterburg. New Jersey, The Bedminster Press,
that political history is but the circulation of elites. Good societies
are those that create conditions for rapid circulation. All revolutions
lead to elitism.
Platt, "Social Traps," American
Psychologist (Vol. 28. no. 8, 1973)
overly Skinnerian influenced but Platt still helps show ways out of
situations that where the long term is sacrificed for the short term.
The focus is on structures not on consciousness. Social traps are
situations where we find ourselves caught and there is no easy way out,
where short term individual goals damage long term individual and
societal goals. The tragedy of the commons is the classic example.
Platt, The Step to Man. New
York, John Wiley, 1966.
structure at the forefront of social and political design. Platt's
chapter on "The Federalists and the Design of Stabilization"
is of particular importance. Sees the idea of checks and balance as a
stabilization feedback. Examines issues of good vs. evil, centralization
of power, federalism vs. regionalism from the perspective of social
design. Asks "what would be the requirements for a peace-keeping
system among a hundred sovereign states today." Answers with:
Polak, The Image of the Future.
trans. Elise Boulding. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass, 1973.
that the image of the future pulls nations and civilizations. Those
nations that have a vision of the future rise, other decline. A very
important book on the future.
Popper, The Poverty of Historicism.
New York, Basic Books, 1957.
against use patterns, long waves and structures to understand social
Prakash, "The Hindu Philosophy of History." Journal of the History of Ideas (Vol. 16, No. 4, 1958).
seriously the classic Indian division of the golden, silver, copper and
iron ages. Uses this methapor of history to analyse the present and to
suggest emerging futures.
Shankar Prasad, ed. Time in Indian
Philosophy. Delhi, Indian Books, 1992.
pages of all you wanted to know about time and Indian philosophy.
Chapters in German are a bit tough going if you don't speak German but
otherwise just lovely. Opening essay on the problem of time is an
excellent summary of the book.
Reardon, Women and Peace: Feminist
Visions of Global Security. New York, SUNY Press, 1993.
together futures studies, peace studies and women's studies. Chapter on
women's visions of peace is excellent. The case study of backcasting is
Rudhyar, Astrological Timing.
New York, Harper and Row, 1969.
Long wave theory of history and the future
using astrological cycles. Even if one is skeptical of this method, the
insights that come from this view of mind, self and history are often
far deeper than what emerges from conventional psychological theory,
Freud or Skinner. Believes we are in the midst of a grand
transformation, the first of many to come in the next centuries.
Ryden, ed. Human
Rights and Values in East Asia.
Fujen Catholic University, 1998.
human rights universal? Who speaks for Asian values and are East Asian
values different from Western values. What of the rights of robots?
Should there be an Asian Human Rights Court? These and other questions
are pursued in this book.
Said, Orientalism. New York,
Vintage Books, 1979.
Orient/Occident distinctions and shows how the Orient was socially
constructed by the West. Those in the Orient see themselves through the
eyes of the imperialistic Other.
Sahtouris. EarthDance: Living Systems in Evolution. New York: iuniverse.com,
2000. 403 pages.
view of evolution from the gaian perspective. Inspiring and
Sangchai, "Some Aspects of Futurism," Futures Research Working Paper 4. Honolulu, Hawaii Research Center
for Futures Study, 1974.
old but worthwhile reading piece from this Thai futurist. Numerous
typologies. Of particular value are his alternative orientations that
attempt to locate inner mystical activities in futures studies, as
Sangchai says, "the mind can be both positivistic and
Sardar, Thomas Khun and the
Science Wars. Cambridge Books, Icon, 2000.
great book by Sardar. In this, he summarizes the debates in regard to
normal and postnormal science.
Sardar, Postmodernism and the Other: The New Imperialism of Western
Culture. London, Pluto, 1998.
critique of postmodernism. Argues that while it claims pluralism, it
does so in the western context of liberal secularism.
Sardar, ed. Rescuing
all of our Futures: The Futures of Futures Studies.
Twickenham, UK: Adamantine Press, 1999, 258 pages
to decolonize the field. Takes a non-western critical view of the future
and futures studies. Chapters by Milojevic on feminist futures, Masini
on rethinking Futures Studies, May on future surprises, Jan Nederveen
Pieterse on global futures, Nandy on dissent and much more. One of the
best books out on the field, as valuable as Slaughter's Knowledge base
Sardar, "Paper, Printing and Compact Disks: The Making and Unmaking
of Islamic Culture," Media,
Culture and Society (Vol. 15, 1992), 43- 59.
the history of information and argues that CD-Rom will liberate the
Quran from the hands of the few to the interpretations of the many. One
of many of outstanding essays by Sardar. All a must read for a
Sardar, Islamic Futures: The Shape
of Ideas To Come. London, Mansell, 1985.
how the future might be if based on Islamic cosmology.
Believes that creative futures
that are more wholistic and ecologically sensitive can emerge from Islam.
Sardar and Jerome Ravetz, Complexity:
Fad or Future. Guest Editors of Special Issue of Futures (Vol. 26, No. 6, 1994).
articles explaining and situating complexity theory. Takes a critical
view of complexity as yet another grand narrative.
Excellent piece by Peter Allen on
evolution, particularly, how we evolve from risks and mistakes.
Sardar and Jerome Ravetz, Cyberspace: To Boldly Go. Guest
Editors of Special Issue. Futures
(Vol. 27, No. 6, 1995).
Cyberspace as extension of Westernization. Investigates how
digitalization will impact our being and our image of humanity.
"Physical and material worlds have been conquered and rendered
fluid, now it is turn of consciousness." "The future will be
shaped by two kinds of generations, one experiencing more intoxicating
powers while for the other deeper and deeper hopelessness." Essays
on virtual nature and ecological consciousness, democracy and religion.
Yet another outstanding issue of Futures. Also available as Cyberfutures.
London, Pluto Press, 1996.
Sarkar, PROUT in a Nutshell,
Vols. 1-25. Calcutta, Ananda Marga Publications, 1988-1994.
compilation of Sarkar's provocative
works. Essays on this alternative social and economic theory, Prout,
which contends to be a new vision for the coming centuries. Essays look
at economic democracy, spiritual liberation, water shortages, language,
Sarkar, Proutist Economics:
Discourses on Economic Liberation. Calcutta, Ananda Marga, 1992.
series of essays that take seriously concepts from Indian philosophy for
deriving an alternative economics. Based on ideas such as prama,
dynamic balance, economic democracy and limits to capital accumulation.
Supports high technology, however, in contrast to other spiritual
Sarkar, The Liberation of
Intellect. Calcutta, Ananda Marga Publications, 1982.
that we need to relocate the intellect outside of the self, race,
nation, and humanism and embrace plants, animals, humans and inanimate
life. Compelling series of essays.
Schultz, Futures Fluency:
Explorations in Leadership, Vision and Creativity. Doctoral
Dissertation, University of Hawaii, 1994.
the best primers on futures studies. Shows how futures studies can help
develop leadership. For Schultz, vision is the key. Very easy reading
and a must read. Great cartoons and quotes as well. A total delight.
Schultz, Clement Bezold, and Beatrice Monahan, Reinventing Courts for the 21st Century: Designing a Vision Process.
State Justice Institute, Institute for Alternative Futures, and Hawaii
Research Centre for Futures Studies, 1993. Prepared under a grant from
the State Justice Institute.
easy to follow guidebook for visioning futures thinking within the court
system, but useful for futures activities in any setting. Numerous
activities and excellent summaries make this essential reading.
Schwartz, The Art of the Long View.
New York: Doubleday, 1996
Detailed exploration of the future – from
a business and organizational view. The how to do scenario guide for
every modern planner. However, missing an analysis of epistemology and
Shapiro and James Der Derian, eds. International/Intertextual
Relations. Massachusetts, Lexington Books, 1989.
the process of creating a post-neorealist politics. Very important for
understanding how and why our images of the future include outdated
notions of power and State.
Shapiro, Reading the Postmodern
Polity. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota, 1992.
series of critical essays that use literary sources to undermine
modernity. Kafka, Ulysses, Don Delilo, Babette's Feast all become data
for this deconstruction of the modern world. Less concerned with
providing evidence, Shapiro aims to disturb our conventional
understandings of politics.
Sheldrake, A New Science of Life.
London, Blong and Briggs, 1981.
Argues for the existence of
morphogenetic fields that help the spread of ideas. Basically a
post-empirical view of life. Creative.
Chen Shui-Bian, The Son of Taiwan. Taipei, Taiwan Publishing Company, 1999.
leaders use the future for politics. Chen Shui-Bian is different. He
offers a compelling vision of Taiwan – an inclusive, green, high tech
island. This is a beautiful book by one of Asia's new leaders.
Sivaraska, Seeds of Peace: A
Buddhist Vision for Renewing Society. Berkeley, California, Parallax
the basis of Buddhism in creating an alternative future: self-reliance,
humanistic, concern for the other, justice and peace are some of the
concepts that emerge from the Buddhist eight-fold path. There must be
inner and outer transformation. Self-reliance instead of dependency.
Capitalism and Buddhism cannot co-exist for Sivaraska. Excellent
examination of Buddhist mythology as well.
Slaughter, Futures for the Third
Millenium: Enabling the forward view. Sydney: Prospect Media, 1999.
This work offers a comprehensive description
of futures studies, focussing particularly on critical theory and
Slaughter, Futures Concepts and
Powerful Tools. Melbourne, Futures Study Centre, 1990
epistemologically informed discussion and presentation of futures
methods and concepts. Useful at undergraduate and graduate levels.
Tools and Techniques. Melbourne,
Futures Study Centre, 1995.
best book around on how to teach futures. Complex ideas elegantly
Slaughter, guest editor, "The Knowledge Base of Futures Studies," Futures (April 1993).
special issue intends to develop a core understanding of futures
studies, to aid in developing an interpretive community. Excellent
articles by Martha Garrett on scenario construction, Tony Judge on
metaphors, Peter Moll and Rolf Homann on Western futures organizations.
Also includes ten mini essays on futures studies. Expanded to become
The Knowledge Base of Futures Studies
(Melbourne, DDM, 1996). A
three volume set with essays by Zia Sardar on multicultural futures,
James Dator on alternative futures, Ivana Milojevic on feminist futures
research, Hazel Henderson on sustainability, Clem Bezold on visioning
methods, Sam Cole on Global Models, and many others. Perhaps the best
book out on futures studies.
Slaughter, ed. New Thinking for a
New Millennium. London, Routledge, 1996.
beginners guide to futures studies, brings together essays by Wendell
Bell, James Dator, Nicholas Alberry, Jane Page (education systems as
agents of change: an overview of futures education), Francis Hutchinson,
and many others.
Sogolo, Foundations of African
Philosophy. Ibadan, Ibadan University Press, 1993.
framework needed to begin to explore African futures.
Sorokin, Social and Cultural
Dynamics. Boston, Porter Sargent, 1957.
one of the best analysis of cultural, social and economic patterns.
After the current age of chaos, Sorokin believes a bright integrated
spiritual/material future is ahead.
Spanier, IM/Partial Science:
Gender Ideology in Molecular Biology. Bloomington, Indiana
University Press, 1995.
that biology is skewed by various gender biases. Spanier exposes the
impact of sexual ideology about the "building blocks of life,"
seeing the name of, for example, bacteria as re inscribing traditional
models of dominant/subordinate relationships. Forces one to rethink the
college and high school biology we all learned.
Spengler, The Decline of the West.
trans. Charles Atkinson. New York, Alfred Knopp, 1972.
for an approach to science that is interpretive. Cultures are Spengler's
unit. All cultures, like organisms, follow a lifecycle of birth, growth
and decay. Believes he has discovered the truth of social change.
However, he is not a positivist as he believes truth is shallow and
deep. Creative macrohistory and useful as a way of examining alternative
Stalin, Dialectical and Historical
Materialism. New York, International Publishers, 1970.
likely not written by Stalin. This short book develops the Marxian
historical laws of transformation (from quantitative to qualitative,
unity of opposites; and change is dialectical). Much of recent
evolutionary thinking, complexity and chaos theory derive their thinking
from these laws of dialectics, even as they deny this historical link.
van Steenbergen, "Global Modeling in the 1990s: A critical
evaluation of the new wave," Futures
(Vol. 26, No. 1, Jan/Feb 1994), 44-56.
that recent global models have lost the track and are dominated by
economistic paradigms. Solidarity with the South is no longer a concern
and while the language of sustainable development is adopted it is done
so only as rhetoric. Excellent reviews of modeling in the past 30 years.
Stevenson and June Lennie, "Anticipating Applications for Digital
Video Communications: Two Scenarios for Australia," Technology Studies (Vol. 2, No. 1, 1995).
futures studies and brings the futures approach to the communications
field. Advocates a collaborative, co-evolutionary approach to
anticipating the appropriate forms and uses for digital video
communications. Outstanding and useful essay.
D. Stone, Should Tree Have
Standing: Towards Legal Rights for Natural Objects. Los Altos,
William Kaufmann, 1974.
the analysis of a California legal decision, argues that the best way to
protect the environment, since it cannot litigate for itself, is to give
nature legal rights. As Stone argues, successive extension of human
rights as been, heretofore, a bit unthinkable. Excellent analysis. US
Supreme Court opinions on a case also presented.
Tehranian, "Communication and Theories of Social Change: A
Communitarian Perspective," Asian
Journal of Communication (Vol. 2, No. 1, 1991).
summary of communication studies and excellent synthesis of critical
theory communication theory and futures. Argues for an ecological,
spiritual, communitarian perspective of the future.
Irwin Thompson, At the Edge of
History. New York, Harper and Row, 1971.
of the rationality of planning, of attempts that try to consciously plan
the future. Thompson revokes myth and the unconscious. Unites
macrohistory, mythology, and visions of the future. Examines the
structure of four stages in Plato, Vico, Blake, Marx, Yeats, Jung, and
Mcluhan. The future, like Being, is always more than we can ever know.
Irwin Thompson, Pacific Shift.
San Francisco, Sierra Club 1985.
that we have always exported our problems to the other but have now
created a global polity where this is increasingly difficult to do. Also
investigates the shift of global culture to the Pacific.
Landscape: Making Worlds of Myth and Science, New York, St. Martin's
Press, 1989 continues his
mixture of cosmology, science, poetry and a cultural history of
consciousness. Dazzling writing.
Irwin Thompson and David Spangler, Reimagination
of the World. Sante Fe, New Mexico, Bear and Company, 1991.
critical look at the new age and new age visions of the future. Both
writers examine the mistakes they made in their personal journeys as
well as in their writings. Maintain a mythic approach to the
transformation of society and consciousness.
Toffler, The Adaptive Corporation.
New York, McGraw-Hill, 1985
favorite Toffler book. He uses his sweeping history of agricultural to
industrial to information to understand the changes corporations are
undergoing. But while he makes persuasive arguments for the need for
corporations to reduce size and hierarchy, issues of power, control, the
nature of the world capitalist system are often passed over. Still
Tough, Crucial Questions About the
Future. Lanham, MD, University Press of America, 1991.
not try to colonize our mind about what the future can be; rather Tough
asks questions which leader to inquiry. He leads the reader to question
his or her own assumptions of the future and provides pathways to
alternative futures. An excellent introductory text. Quick and easy
Vedaprajinananda, ed. New
Renaissance: Holistic Education, Preparing for the 21st Century
(Vol. 6, No. 3, 1996).
issue of the magazine New
Renaissance devoted to spiritual, transpersonal, women, third world,
early childhood, and multicultural and futures education.
Voegelin, The New Science of
Politics. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1987.
this classic study, Voegelin, author of numerous books on order and
history, examines the thrust to modernity. He argues that the moderns
have misunderstood Christian eschatology in creating the stages of
ancient, classical and modern. Modernity misunderstands the cycle, that
there is a time to be born and a time to die. Blames the tragedies of
the last hundred years on this mistake, of beliefs that history can end:
as Marxism, Nazism or capitalism. A short book.
Warren Wagar, A Short History of
the Future. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1999, third
books that develop scenarios on the future are boring. They are
idiosyncratic and one rarely learns anything about society or
technology. It is better they should have gone all the way and written
science fiction. However, Wagar does not disappoint. A short history of
the future presented three possible futures: A world socialist
government based on integral humanism;
A small is beautiful, communitarian future; and the opening
future, Earth, inc. Of course, generally Western-centric but what else
Walker, The Crone: Woman of Age,
Wisdom and Power. San Francisco, Harper and Row, 1985.
that the wrinkles on an aging woman should be seen as part of her wisdom
instead of a face in need of plastic surgery. Looks at global futures
based on ancient feminist myths.
Wallace: Agequake: Riding the Demographic
Rollercoaster Shaking Business, Finance and Our World.
London, Nicholas Brealey, 1999, 266 pages.
book that makes the claim that it is underpopulation and not
overpopulation which will be the major problem of the 21st
century. This is especially so in OECD nations. Populations are like
supertankers, hard to turn around, but once they do, it is full steam
ahead. Forecasts age wars, and argues that nations with low birth-rates,
such as Germany and Italy, will flounder unless they allow increased
immigration. Our mean age has been historically 20, it is now set to move
Wallerstein, The Politics of the
World Economy: The States, the Movements, and the Civilizations.
London, Cambridge University Press, 1984.
the world as one economic (a single division of labor) and cultural
system and examines the efforts of the social movements to transform the
system. Looks at the tension between the economic, which is global, and
politics, which remains bounded by the nation-state.
Wallerstein, "World System and Civilization," Development: Seeds of Change (1/2, 1986)
the futures of the world system, concluding that the world capitalist
system will transform into a world socialist system, that will be global
and egalitarian. Wallerstein's other categories are mini-cultural
systems and empires. The former get subsumed by the latter and the
latter are not stable. It is only the world capitalist system that has
managed to consume all opposition. But like other systems before it, it,
too, will transform.
Walker and Saul Mendlovitz, Contending
Sovereignties. Boulder, Lynee Rienner Publishers, 1990.
of conventional political science and international relations, examines
new forms and shapes of sovereignty. Argues that International Relations
Theory itself is part of the problem in the task of creating better
futures as it privileges an economistic view of social relations.
Neo-realism closes not opens the discussion on sovereignty.
Watson, Ssu-Ma Chien: Grand
Historian of China. New York, Columbia University Press, 1958.
interpretation of the ancient Chinese philosopher Ssu-Ma Chien. Does the
Tao operate in history, what are the stages in history? For Ssu-Ma Chien,
it was the sage-king that intervened when the tao degenerated. History
and future are thus cyclical with the rise and fall of the Tao. When
wisdom and learning separate, then society degenerates. A futurist from
Wildman and Sohail Inayatullah, "Ways of Knowing, Civilization,
Communication and the Pedagogies of the Future," Futures (Vol., 28, No. 8, October 1996), 723-740.
through case studies of teaching futures studies in multi-cultural
settings the many ways human know their worlds. Argues for multi-layered
approaches in the pedagogy of the future.
"Scenarios: the Future of the Future," Wired (Special issue, 1995).
and often humorous writing on scenarios. A good read and easy to read.
Scenario on plague years particularly well written.
Kuan Yew, "The Vision of Asia," The
Muslim (20 March 1992), 1.
short essay but well worth reading. The key to wealth for poor nations
is: have a view of religion that is this-world based, have an external
technological dynamo that helps start the process, have strong
leadership but create consensual politics, terminate feudal land owning
practices and invest and save. Finally: export and export.
[Website of the Foundation of the Future – focused on 1000 year
[Website of New Renaissance – focused on preferred futures]
[Website of the World Futures Studies Federation]
[Website of the World Future Society]
[Website of the Journal of Futures Studies]
[Website the journal Foresight]
[Website of Sohail Inayatullah and colleagues, including, Ivana
Milojevic, Marcus Bussey, Alan Fricker, Tony Stevenson and David Wright]
[Website of Richard Slaughter]
[Website of Glen Hiemstra]
[Website of The Futures Foundation]
[Website of Zia Sardar and friends]