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. 46, No. 2, March-April

A Competition for Enterprise: A Controversial Serial Entrepreneur Is Aiming for the Final Frontier
NASA's original Apollo program, which put a human presence on the Moon, cost the ILS government $145 billion in today's dollars and took nine years to accomplish. Entrepreneur Naveen Jain is hoping to get back to the Moon at a cost of no more than...
A Future of Fewer Words? Five Trends Shaping the Future of Language: Natural Selection Is as Much a Phenomenon in Human Language as It Is in Natural Ecosystems. an Ongoing "Survival of the Fittest" May Lead to Continuing Expansion of Image-Based Communications and the Extinction of More Than Half the World's Languages by This Century's End
Just after I moved to Oklahoma three years ago, I was invited to a meeting of the state's Department of Education to discuss Native American languages. I learned that, of the 37 or so Native American languages represented in the state, 22 are already...
A World Wide Mind: The Coming Collective Telempathy: The Internet Plus Humanity Equals Hyperorganism, a Merger of Man and Machine That May Result in Global Mindfulness
The Internet is a human invention reflecting human decisions and values. However, it often looks as if it is a separate "species" with an internal logic of its own. The 1987 stock market crash has been blamed on program trading--computers that started...
Because the Future Matters
Dear Reader, The World Future Society Needs You ... because the more complex that the future becomes, the more minds we need at work: * scanning the horizon, * scouting the opportunities and risks ahead, * envisioning inspiring possibilities,...
Doomsday for the Arts?
The fine arts in Nigeria--a relatively young institution--may be on a path to a doomsday scenario if current trends continue, warns University of Nigeria art historian Ola Oloidi. In a recent lecture for the National Gallery of Art, Oloidi cited...
From the Three Rs to the Four Cs Radically Redesigning K-12 Education
The battle against nonliteracy has focused on teaching everyone to read and write text. But new technologies that facilitate more holistic learning styles, engaging all of the learner's senses, may open the locked stores of global knowledge for all....
Growing Pains Ahead for China and India: Demographic Change Will Challenge the World's Two Most Populous Countries
China and India have been flourishing economically over the last decade, but they will have to tackle significant challenges of demography, infrastructure, and standards of living if they want to ensure steady prosperity in decades to follow, according...
Hard at Work in the Jobless Future: Jobs Are Disappearing, but There's Still a Future for Work. an Investment Manager Looks at How Automation and Information Technology Are Changing the Economic Landscape and Forcing Workers to Forge New Career Paths beyond Outdated Ideas about Permanent Employment
Futurists have long been following the impacts of automation on jobs--not just in manufacturing, but also increasingly in white-collar work. Those in financial services, for example, are being lost to software algorithms, intelligent computers, and...
Nuclear Power's Unsettled Future: A Year after the Fukushima Daiichi Disaster in Japan, Prospects for the Nuclear Power Industry Worldwide Are Far from Certain. an Energy Policy Scholar Assesses the Key Economic, Environmental, Political, and Psychological Hinges on Which Nuclear Power's Future Now Swings
On March 16, 1979, Hollywood released a run-of-the-mill film that might have been rather unremarkable had the fictional plot not played out in real life while the movie was still in theaters. The China Syndrome, starring Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, and...
Partnership for a Freer World: An Alliance of Established Democracies Helps Newly Emerging Democracies Take Wing
Lithuania and Mongolia successfully transitioned from authoritarian rule to democracy in the twentieth century, and they are working to help other developing nations do the same in the twenty-first. As leading members of the governing council of the...
Rethinking "Return on Investment" What We Really Need to Invest In: Innovation Means More Than Inventing New Products for the World's Growing Populations to Consume. Innovation Also Means Solving the Problems Created by Consumption. by Investing in Sustainable Innovation and Creativity Now, We Will Enhance Our Future Returns
A leading challenge for the twenty-first century is how to enhance innovation and creativity in the midst of a global recession. While this area of concern might seem to focus largely on technology and business issues, it is also tied to enhancing...
Solving Renewables' Storage Problems: BrightSource Energy Shows That Storage Can Make Solar Power More Viable
It's not unusual to hear about the challenges of batteries for electric vehicles, particularly the tradeoffs among weight, cost, and capacity. But energy storage is also critical to replacing fossil fuels in the power sector. In electric cars, the...
The Road Ahead for Gasoline-Free Cars: In a Few Years, One out of Every Two Cars on the Road Could Be a Hybrid or Electric
Until recently, most people experienced clean-energy cars at auto shows, in the pages of magazines, or as image advertising--they weren't tangible. All that's changed now: You can actually see electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles on the street, picking...
Thriving in the Automated Economy: Two Management Experts Show Why Labor's Race against Automation Will Only Be Won If We Partner with Our Machines. They Advise Government Regulators Not to Stand in the Way of Human-Machine Innovation
The legend of John Henry became popular in the late nineteenth century as the effects of the steam-powered Industrial Revolution were felt in every industry and job that relied heavily on human strength. It's the story of a contest between a steam...
Toward Better Space-Weather Forecasts: Scientists Hope to Help Avert Devastating Impacts of Solar Outbursts
Charged particles and magnetic fields streaming from the Sun at a rate of a million miles an hour can do an awful lot of damage to unprepared systems on Earth. They can make the data coming from global positioning satellite systems (GPS) unreliable,...