The Futurist

The Futurist, subtitled A Journal of Forecasts, Trends and Ideas About the Future, is a journal that explores social and technological changes, with forecasts, trends and ideas about the future. Founded in 1967, The Futurist is published bimonthly by the World Future Society.Articles focus on the topic of sociology. The Editors of this journal are Edward S. Cornish and Jeff Cornish.

Articles from Vol. 44, No. 1, January-February

2020 Visionaries: In a Series of Essays by Some of Today's Brightest Future Thinkers, the Futurist Will Showcase New Ideas on the Key Issues of the Next Decade
Don't be alarmed, but the next 10 years could be the most significant in the history of the human race. The unsolved problems of the last century have grown in size and urgency. Issues such as climate change, governmental fiscal imbalances, the demographic...
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Arctic Species at the Cliff's Edge: New Paper Models Changes for Arctic Species Due to Climate Change
Climate change will affect species in the Arctic in ways that will produce ripple effects around the world. Olivier Gilg, Benoit Sittler, and Ilkka Hanski, writing in the journal Global Change Biology, warn that rapid arctic heating, already pushing...
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A Search Engine That Listens: Breakthrough in Computer Speech-Recognition
The Internet may not be making us smarter, but it may be getting smarter about us. Recent breakthroughs in speech-recognition technology point toward a future where Web crawlers recognize more of the words we speak. Researchers at the Fraunhofer...
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Decision Making under Pressure: From Emergency Rooms to Space Missions, Many Decision-Making Situations Allow No Room for Error. an ER Physician Reflects on What Went Wrong as Flight Managers Assessed the Potential Damage on the Space Shuttle Columbia
I was working a late night shift as an emergency-room physician in February 2003, shortly after the space shuttle Columbia disaster that resulted in the death of seven astronauts. As I reflected on the disaster, one persistent thought troubled me:...
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Decision Modeling: A Systematic Approach to Evaluating Key Factors in the Choices We Make
Decision modeling attempts to replicate the actual behavior of decision making. A model first identifies specific criteria to be used in making a decision, then allows the decision makers to assess how well competing options meet those criteria. For...
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Foresight Conquers Fear of the Future: Today's Youth Are Growing Up in the Midst of Radical Social and Economics Transformations. Now Is the Time to Develop the Most Critical Skill for Effectively Managing Their Careers and Personal Lives: Foresight
"I'm scared," the young man confessed. "I'm starting my eighteenth year in a world that makes no sense to me. All I know is that this world I'm living in is a shambles and I don't know how to put it together." [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION...
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How to Feed 8 Billion People: Record Grain Shortages Are Threatening Global Food Security in the Immediate Future. A Noted Environmental Analyst Shows How Nations Can Better Manage Their Limited Resources
The world is entering a new food era. It will be marked by higher food prices, rapidly growing numbers of hungry people, and an intensifying competition for land and water resources that crosses national boundaries when food-importing countries buy...
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Institutional Members: A Complete List of the World Future Society's Member Organizations
Associations/Foundations Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia, Nanoose Bay, British Columbia, Canada, John Leech Arcos Cielos Research Center, Sedona, Arizona, Elliott Maynard Baha'i World Centre Library, Haifa,...
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Literary Learning in the Hyperdigital Age: Emory University Professor Mark Bauerlein Is Fighting to Preserve Literary Thought in an Age of Digital Distraction
When the Boston Globe reported that an elite prep school in Massachusetts had set out to give away all its books and go 100% digital, most readers probably shrugged. This was just a sign of the times: Everyone now assumes a paperless future of learning...
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Managing Your Mind: A Top Investment Strategist Points out Three Decision-Making Danger Zones
The ability to make good decisions may be the most valuable skill you can acquire in your life--both personally and professionally. No one wakes up in the morning thinking, "I'm going to make some bad decisions today," yet we make them all the time....
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Murderous Economics: Nations That Skimp on Social Welfare May Pay the Price in Higher Crime
Rates of violent crime go up when public investment in social systems goes down, according to Northumbria University lecturers Steve Hall and Craig McLean. "Any abrupt move to the neo-liberal form of political economy will result in almost immediate...
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Networked Learning: Study Groups Go Global, Virtually
Many college students gather in small study groups to help each other get ready for tests and term papers. But on one new Web site, they can find a study group that spans the entire globe. GradeGuru, a new social-networking Web site, is for student...
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Reinventing the Music Business: Will Artists and Fans Even Need Record Companies in the Future?
The music industry continues to reel from the slow-burning demise of the major-label system and the meteoric rise of ubiquitous content, peer-to-peer file sharing, and newer, easier ways to produce, promote, and distribute work digitally. Finding a...
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Reinventing the Pharmaceutical Industry, without the Industry: The Founder of the Pink Army Cooperative Is Bringing the Open-Source Development Model to Breast Cancer Therapies
If I were to tell you that volunteers working out of garages and bedrooms could play as big a role in the elimination of breast cancer by 2020 as a multi-billion-dollar big pharmaceutical company, would you believe me? I'm convinced it's possible....
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Remaking Education for a New Century: Communications Scholar Janna Anderson Is Charting a New Path for Education outside of the Classroom
The following interview was conducted by FUTURIST senior editor Patrick Tucker. THE FUTURIST: You've talked about entrenched educational institutions of the industrial age, and how those will be replaced as computer interfaces will be improved....
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Robust Decision Making: Coping with Uncertainty: Predicting the Future and Then Acting on Our Predictions Leaves Us Vulnerable to Surprises. So We Need Decisions That Will Work in a Variety of Potential Situations
Robust decision making (RDM) is a framework for making decisions with a large number of highly imperfect forecasts of the future. Rather than relying on improved point forecasts or probabilistic predictions, RDM embraces many plausible futures, then...
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Saving a Tribal Language: Cultural Knowledge May Disappear with Dwindling Native Populations
When languages disappear, so do oral histories and cultural knowledge. As minority indigenous cultures face rapidly dwindling populations, the future of their heritage grows dark. In America's northern Plains, the Assiniboine tribe has shrunk to...
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The Dymaxion Dream Reincarnate: Volkswagen Showcases the "Purposeful Aesthetics" of Earth-Friendly Design
One could not help but smile when Volkswagen introduced its trim little concept car, the L1, at the 2009 auto show in Frankfurt. Smile, with nostalgia for futures past ... and for visionary inventor R. Buckminster Fuller. The future is, and has...
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The Future of Nanomedicine: The Founder of the Nanofactory Collaboration Is Innovating Medicine Molecule by Molecule
For countless centuries, physicians and their ancient predecessors have sought to aid the human body in its efforts to heal and repair itself. Slowly at first, and later with gathering speed, new methods and instruments have been added to the physician's...
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The Post-Scarcity World of 2050-2075: The World Economy Will Experience Scarcities of Natural Resources from Now until the Middle of the Twenty-First Century, When a Post-Scarcity World Becomes a Reality, According to an International Team of Futurists
The world between 2010 and 2050 is likely to be characterized by scarcities: a scarcity of credit, a scarcity of food, a scarcity of energy, a scarcity of water, and a scarcity of mineral resources. While it is important to understand the nature of...
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The Science of "Tipping Points": Researchers Look for Warning Signals of Major Shifts
The stock market, the Arctic, and your brain have more in common than you might think. Many complex systems--including natural habitats like lakes, animal populations, financial markets, and even the human brain--exhibit "early warning" behaviors prior...
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WorldFuture 2010: Sustainable Futures, Strategies, and Technologies
The Annual Conference of the World Future Society July 8-10, 2010 Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel Boston, Massachusetts Professional Members' Forum: July 11, 2010 More than one thousand of the brightest, most forward-thinking minds in technology,...
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