New Leadership for World Future Society

Article excerpt

I am extraordinarily honored that the board and staff of the World Future Society has put their trust in me to assist the Society in expanding its programs and outreach for this new millennium. While I am not a stranger to the Society, this is an entirely new role and a challenging one. And I see that it will be a rewarding one as well, for both me as an individual and the membership as a whole.

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My relationship with the World Future Society began at the first WFS General Assembly in 1971, where I assisted Sally Cornish as a volunteer and event photographer. I subsequently volunteered for every conference except Toronto (1980), when I was out of the country. In 1981, I joined the conference planning committee and in 1985 became co-editor of Futures Research Quarterly. Finally, I was approached at the San Francisco conference last year about serving as conference chair for this year in Washington, D.C., and luckily I said yes--it has been a very rewarding experience.

Clearly, I have a formidable set of shoes to fill. Edward Cornish has ably led the Society since its founding nearly 40 years ago, and he will continue to serve on the WFS board of directors and as the executive editor of THE FUTURIST. With the aid of the experienced and highly competent WFS staff, my focus will initially be on expanding the Society's reach and relevance within new communities and professional groups and development of new projects like the educational initiatives built around the Society's Future Generations Fund for secondary and postsecondary age groups.

Another initiative will focus on continuing-education products in the professional foresight field, and we have already begun considering a range of potential partners to work with in building learning tools and curriculum. Still another initiative will involve the development of targeted trend publications focusing on specific professions, technologies, cultures, etc., such as retirees or the Hispanic community or association management.

Finally, I will be working to enhance the international presence of the World Future Society, providing support for an increasingly robust WFS local chapter network within the United States and throughout the world.

Like Ed Cornish, I feel that much of my professional life has been devoted to preparing for these under-takings, although I was not aware of it at the time. In addition to practicing law in New York and the District of Columbia, I have served on the boards of a number of issue-oriented nonprofits, including the Issue Management Association. My international experience includes a term as the editor in chief of the Syracuse Journal of International Law and Commerce and a three-year position as a senior instructor at the Institute for Global Chinese Affairs, which continues to be ranked number one worldwide by the Foreign Experts Bureau in Beijing. I worked as a change consultant to the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. General Accounting Office, and the U.S. General Services Agency, and held policy research positions at the National Academy of Sciences and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Following a term on the board of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Enterprise Forum, I served in marketing and operations capacities with a number of high-tech firms in areas such as financial transactions, electric power management, and environmental quality. In addition, I served as a regulatory adviser to a wide variety of industries and trade associations, ranging from city planning to small business affairs to transportation, and continue to speak on new converging technologies, including nanotech, biotech, and cognitive sciences. …